The Ultimate Guide on Bioluminescence Kayaking in Florida - Jackery

The Ultimate Guide on Bioluminescence Kayaking in Florida

Everything that comes into contact with the bioluminescent dinoflagellates in the Lagoon emanates an unforgettable green-blue glow. Every stroke of the oar and every movement of the mullet, manatees, and dolphins beneath the surface creates a mesmerizing spectacle that can only be witnessed in a handful of locations.

Suppose you intend to visit Florida beaches in search of bioluminescent organisms. Your experiences will likely vary depending on the time of year, what you bring, and where or how you observe.    

According to this bioluminescence Florida guide, you will learn what bioluminescence is, when and where to see bioluminescence, and what to bring on this fantastic excursion. We recommend Jackery power stations to power your phone or camera, specifically, the Explorer 300 power station, which is compact, quiet, and simple to transport, so you don't miss the breathtaking view.

Explorer 300 Portable Power Station

Explorer 300

- 293Wh capacity and lithium-ion battery 

- 300W rated power and 500W peak power

- Weighing only at 7.1 pounds

- 2*AC outputs, PD USB-C, QC3.0 USB-A, and 12V carport

- Lower price, higher power

What is Bioluminescence In Florida

Although bioluminescence appears magical, it is not. However, this is Mother Nature at her most magnificent. Bioluminescence is the process by which living organisms such as fireflies, comb jellies, or marine dinoflagellates produce light by chemical processes within the organism.  

At the appropriate times and places in Florida, the unassuming dinoflagellate can be as dense as 200,000 to 300,000 per liter of water, causing the water to emit fluorescent blue-green light. Any movement excites the organisms and causes them to shimmer, whether it be a fish swimming, sea grass swaying, or your palm moving through the water.   

Bioluminescence is more common than one might believe in Florida's rivers and oceans. Many animal families have bioluminescent members, ranging from the smallest bacteria to the largest predators. There are two varieties of bioluminescence in Florida: cooler and warmer months. 

What Makes Bioluminescence Florida Like That

Aquatic species of bioluminescent organisms are frequently highly minute. Many are so minute that they appear invisible to the unaided eye, and others are microscopic. These tiny, unicellular organisms often resemble small centipedes with fins and a swollen cranium when viewed under extreme magnification.

Bioluminescence in Florida organisms is caused by a chemical reaction that produces light energy within their bodies. For a response to occur, the species must contain the chemical luciferin. This is a molecule that has light when it reacts with oxygen. There are also numerous varieties of luciferins. These differ by species. Several of these organisms also produce the chemical catalyst luciferase, which speeds up the reaction.

Jackery solar generator for bioluminescence

When to See Bioluminescence In Florida

Because each species of bioluminescence life has its seasonal cycle for peak activity, and each geographical region of Florida is home to its indigenous species. Following is a chart of bioluminescence life activity throughout the year. Only the following species are likely to be encountered during bioluminescence in Florida:

  • January - March: Comb jellies are the most active and out and about from January to March. There is also a possibility that you will encounter numerous fireflies along the shore while kayaking.
  • April- May: April to May is the "off-season" for bioluminescence kayaking, if there is such a thing. That does not imply there are none. It is still possible to observe comb jellies loitering about.
  • June- October: June to October is the now-famous tourist season, often incorrectly called "Bio-season." However, during this period, the dinoflagellates that blanket the water at night will put on their most spectacular display.
  • November- December: By this time of year, the dinosaurs have vanished, and comb jelly season is in full gear.

What to Pack for Bioluminescence In Florida

Because you will be out on the water at night, both the air and the water will be considerably colder than if the sun were shining brightly overhead. It is vital to think of this when planning your trip. The areas where you will view the bioluminescence light display are also notorious mosquito breeding grounds. You will also capture stunning photographs, so ensure your phone or camera is fully charged.

- Water Shoes: Provide comfort and grip when transitioning from land to water.

- Jackery Power Station: Charge your devices so that you can record this momentous occasion.

- Water Bottle: Tours typically last two hours, and it is essential to remain hydrated.

- Long-Sleeve Shirt: Offers increased protection against mosquitoes and keep you toasty.

- Spare Clothes: You never know what could happen while on the water.

Power stations are valuable appliances that provide electrical power during a blackout and prevent interruption of daily activities or business operations, particularly in your bioluminescence Florida. Jackery is the leading manufacturer of solar panels, power stations, and solar generators that convert sunlight into electricity.  

Recommend Jackery power stations, which are generators propelled by rechargeable batteries. AC outlets, DC carports, and USB charging ports can charge all your devices, including smartphones, laptops, CPAP machines, and small appliances such as mini refrigerators, electric grills, coffee makers, etc.

Jackery power station for bioluminescence

The Jackery Explorer 300 is the lightest portable power station, allowing you to transport it anywhere. With 293Wh capacity, it is simple to charge your electronic devices. Digital Trends has recognized it as the "Best Portable Power Station for Outdoor Use." This a classic option for your selection. Jackery SolarSaga solar panels, a wall outlet, and a carport can be used to recharge the power station. The solar panel can operate at its maximum power point due to the MPPT controller that is incorporated into it.  




Recharge Time


Jackery Explorer 300


2*AC Output: 110V, 60Hz, 300W (500W Peak)

USB-A Output: 5V, 2.4A

USB-C Output: Quick Charge 3.0, 5V, 3A 

Car Port: 12V, 10A

SolarSaga 100W: 3.5H

Phone(iPhone) 30Charges

Camera(10W) 23Charges

Laptop(Mac) 4Charges

Drone(60W) 5.5Charges

Light(5W) 27H

Fan(15W) 18H

Wall Outlet + USB-C PD: 2H

Wall Charge: 3.5H

Car Charge: 3.7H

How to See Bioluminescence In Florida

There are many ways to experience bioluminescence in Florida. Still, the best way is from a kayak on a moonless or cloudy night, paddling right out among this magnificent aquatic life for an unmatched, up-close, and personal encounter. Kayaks or other types of boats offer a distinct advantage due to their proximity to the water and high maneuverability, even in groups.

Another option is to remain at a campground during your bioluminescent kayaking adventure. This can be a fun option to connect with nature during your travel. You may even be able to remain near the bioluminescent water, allowing you to observe it even when you're not kayaking.

There are numerous campsites in the refuge or on the shore. Camping in Florida is a beautiful way to spend time with family and experience bioluminescence's natural splendor. Camping requires a portable power station or solar generator, which is a fantastic way to guarantee power wherever you need it, even if there is no nearby power grid.

Where to See Bioluminescence In Florida

The majority of bioluminescence in Florida occurs in the northern reaches of the Space Coast, which is renowned for being home to the Kennedy Space Center and its legendary interstellar missions. The region includes Cocoa Beach, Titusville, Port, and Cape Canaveral, as well as its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean near the state's geographic center.

India River Lagoon

Location: Off U.S. Highway A1A, Indian River FL 32951

Phone: 321-984-4852

Website: India River Lagoon  

When to Visit: June to October

Activities: Kayaking, Boating, Wildlife Seeing, Birding

Indian River Lagoon is one of the most biodiverse estuaries in the Northern Hemisphere, located south of Cocoa Beach. Numerous species, including turtles, fish, and migratory birds, seek refuge in mangrove wetlands, saline marshes, and coastal waters. Due to the natural protection and wildlife in this region, the Indian River Lagoon can offer a variety of ecotourism activities, such as bioluminescent kayak excursions.

The Indian River Lagoon consists of three lagoons: the Mosquito Lagoon, the Banana River, and the Indian River. Due to the isolation of its waterways, Florida is an ideal location for bioluminescent kayaking.

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Location: 1987 Scrub Jay Way #32782, Titusville, FL

Phone: 321-861-0669

Website: Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge  

When to Visit: June - September

Activities: Kayaking, Boating, Wildlife Seeing, Birding, Camping

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is in Titusville, north of Cocoa Beach, and close to the Kennedy Space Center. One of Florida's most beautiful islands is a 140,000-acre National Wildlife Refuge. NASA originally acquired the land for the John F. Kennedy Space Center. Established in 1963, the refuge contains native Florida fauna and habitats, such as saltwater marshes, dunes, and flat pine woods.

Haulover Canal is the finest location to observe bioluminescence in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Because the canal consists of hundreds of thousands of acres of nothingness, you will have the most excellent chance of encountering wildlife here. Without any light pollution, it will be black. Dolphins are the most prevalent wildlife species to observe. They enjoy splashing and hunting in the luminous waters, creating quite a spectacle.  

Cocoa Beach

Location: 1600 Minutemen Causeway, PO Box 322430, Cocoa Beach, FL

Phone: 321-868-3200

Website: Cocoa Beach  

When to Visit: July to November

Activities: Kayaking, Boating, Wildlife Seeing, Birding, Shooting, Surfing

Cape Canaveral is located just south of Cocoa Beach. It is renowned for its excellent surfing waves, the Cocoa Beach Pier, and proximity to Orlando, approximately 60 miles away. Cocoa Beach and its shorelines are not only family-friendly because it is a quaint beach town and one of the finest surfing spots in all of Florida. They are the last great site in Florida to observe bioluminescence!

You will want to explore Cape Canaveral for the finest vantage points. It is completely isolated because it is bordered on both sides by nothing but roads and no significant development. When you go night kayaking, there is fauna. During the day, you may see a manatee sticking its nose out of the water or an alligator lounging on the brink of a river, which is fascinating and entertaining. At night, with illuminated waters, the experience is entirely different. You must listen to fauna at night because it is all around you.

Tips for Bioluminescence Kayaking In Florida

Although you could locate a tour and show up, you should do a few things to have the best bioluminescence Florida experience. Follow these guidelines, and you'll have a fantastic time kayaking on your own or a guided tour.

1. Darkness

Because bioluminescence is generated by tiny plankton (dinoflagellates), it must be highly dark to be visible. This activity is not for you if you experience anxiety or claustrophobia in the dark. Lack of visibility can make some paddlers apprehensive, and nobody wants to experience a panic attack on the water. Also, if traveling alone, carry large, bright glow sticks to attract attention.

2. Fully Charged

It would be ideal if your bioluminescence excursions were powered. It would help if you carried a portable power station on trips to charge your devices and to ensure you don't miss any photo opportunities. The Jackery power stations are the optimal option for your bioluminescence expedition, as they utilize solar energy to provide renewable and clean power to your devices.

how jackery solar generator works

Except for the Explorer 300 mentioned above, the Explorer 500 portable power station is suitable for bioluminescence journeys with its 518Wh capacity. Its compact size and functionality make it the ideal power station for short camping excursions and power outages. Additionally, the Explorer 500 has 1*AC outlet, 3*USB-A ports, 2* DC ports, and 1*car port can simultaneously charge more devices. It is built with a lithium-ion battery cell and a frame designed for safety to maximize and extend the power for all outdoor activities and domestic use.




Recharge Time


Jackery Explorer 500


AC Output: 110V, 60Hz, 500W (1000W Peak)

3*USB-A Output: 5V, 2.4A

DC Output: 12V, 10A

Car Port: 12V, 10A

SolarSaga 100W: 7.5H

Phone(iPhone) 53Charges

Camera(10W) 25Charges

Laptop(Mac) 4.5Charges

Drone(60W) 9Charges

Light(5W) 45H

CPAP(AC Outlet) 9H

Wall Charge: 5.5H

Car Charge: 5.5H

3. Bug & Mosquito

In Florida, insect repellent is necessary when venturing into freshwater bodies. It would be best if you defended yourself from those annoying mosquitos. When kayaking through bioluminescence in Florida, there are methods for mitigating the mosquitoes.  

  • Wear Long Sleeve Shirt & Pants: Select clothing that will keep you cool but is substantial or durable enough to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Bug Spray: Before you arrive at your bioluminescent kayaking site, apply insect repellent before you get in your vehicle or stop in a parking lot.
  • Stay Moving: Moving targets are more challenging to strike, including mosquitoes attempting to bite you. Once you're paddling, it's because you're moving, and there's usually a breeze on the water, but until you're in your kayak, you should keep moving on land.

4. Photographing

Bioluminescence is challenging to capture visually. While paddling through the luminous water, the color and illumination are extraordinary. Because your eyes have adjusted to the darkness, but your phone has not, and if you believe it has, you should test it. Nighttime photographs of bioluminescent plankton and dolphins are exceedingly difficult to capture successfully. However, obtaining some distinctive and beautiful bio-photos is possible, but you will need the proper equipment.  

Final Thoughts

Bioluminescence is one of the most remarkable occurrences on Earth. It is discovered in the deepest regions of the ocean and caves. In Florida, it is possible to kayak in bioluminescent waters at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Cocoa Beach, and India River Lagoon. Bioluminescence in Florida is remarkable and must be witnessed to be believed. In addition, it is highly recommended to bring Jackery power stations in case your electronic devices run out of power and you miss the opportunity to record this fantastic moment.  

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