point reyes, tomales bay, night kayaking

Bioluminescence Kayaking

Our bioluminescence night kayaking tours are an experience unlike anything else you will do in Point Reyes. Observing the glowing water in Tomales Bay is a magical experience.

Tomales Bay is one of the rare locations where bioluminescent dinoflagellates are visible. These amazing plankton produce bursts of light when disturbed, putting on an incredible light show of glowing water. We schedule our trips on moonless nights and take you to the darkest areas of the bay for the brightest viewing. Fish swimming, paddle strokes, and the kayaks themselves generate a magical display.

We begin the tour in daylight on the eastern shore of Tomales Bay. Your guides will show you how to operate your kayak and teach you a few paddling techniques; no prior experience is necessary. On the water, there is a great chance of seeing some of the plentiful wildlife that lives in Point Reyes as the sun is setting. Once we reach a beach across the Tomales Bay, we will enjoy a picnic of hot drinks and locally-made desserts and wait for the sun to finish setting. The limited light pollution in Point Reyes leads to incredible view of the stars; this and the bioluminescence will amaze you for the remainder of your night kayaking experience.

Weekends (Sat-Sun):  4hr tour – $98 per person (includes a stop on a beach for freshly baked desserts and hot drinks)

Weekdays (Mon – Fri):  3hr tour – $89 per person (no beach picnic)

Launch Site: Miller Park, Nick’s Cove (see directions)

*Start times vary between 4 PM – 7 PM, based on sunset

*Private and mid-week camping and evening paddles are available upon request

*Bioluminescence Camping is also available every Saturday of available viewing dates.

*Reservations are required! Summer weekends fill up fast. We recommend calling at least 4-6 weeks in advance to make your reservation. For midweek tours we recommend calling at least 1-4 weeks ahead.

*Minimum age/weight is 12 yrs/90lbs for or night-time trips.

Glowing water, bioluminescence, night kayaking, tomales bay

Custom Tours: mid-week tours and private or group paddles can be scheduled for any night. Weeknights are often a quieter time to experience Point Reyes, as we are usually the only boaters on Tomales Bay.  Bioluminescence is best viewed on nights with no moonlight; these conditions occur about two weeks out of every month.

Bioluminescence - What is it?

Bioluminescence is present when the conditions are right, we are able to see dinoflagellates, small organisms that “light up” the water a brilliant green when they are displaced. On a moonless night in Tomales Bay, with the sun only a memory, the quiet darkness that surrounds us is the perfect viewing environment for the delicate light show put on by tiny organisms. Many people have heard about the magic of this glowing water, but you can’t quite understand until you see it.

“Wait, What is it?” Bioluminescence is light produced by a chemical reaction in living things.  The chemical reaction releases energy as light.  It is similar to the reaction which occurs when you break a glow stick. The organisms you are most likely to see lighting up Tomales Bay in the evening are called dinoflagellates. Dinoflagellates are single celled plankton; with some animal characteristics like locomotion and some plant characteristics such as photosynthesis.

Read more about the magic of bioluminescence night kayaking HERE.

Preparing for Your Trip

The success of any journey is based on well prepared participants. The most important contribution you can make is to arrive on time prepared and eager to enjoy the trip. When getting ready for your trip please double check that you understand the directions and allow yourself plenty of travel time. It is very important to be appropriately dressed to ensure your comfort, so please read and follow the clothing recommendations that are provided.

Our Guides
PRO takes pride in the quality and skill level of your guides. Impeccably trained, they bring a wealth of knowledge and proficiency to each trip. With expertise in group facilitation, natural history, wilderness first aid, and specialized kayak instruction, your guides are ready to provide you with a safe, relaxing and enjoyable experience. As a trip’s success and safety depends on their judgment, we ask that you respect and support their decisions.

Gratuities are not included in the cost of the trip and there is no obligation to tip your guides, but many people do. The industry standard is in the range of 10%; any amount will be greatly appreciated.

Directions

Please study and follow the DIRECTIONS to Miller Park (Nicks Cove) for our Bioluminescence Tour.
Have a safe and enjoyable drive and allow plenty of time to arrive before your start time! Please allow extra time on Friday nights if coming north on 101.

If you are running late please call our office at: 415-663-8192