Adventures at the Luminous Lagoon
One of the nights we spent in Jamaica, we left the resort. I hired a private driver who drove us first to Rose Hall. For years, we have wanted to tour Rose Hall, especially at night, because it is said to be haunted by Annie Palmer, the “White Witch” of Rose Hall. She was raised mostly in Haiti, and when her parents passed away, she was cared for by a Haitian nanny who was said to have schooled her in voodoo. Upon returning to Jamaica, she married the owner of the plantation. She later murdered him, as well as two other husbands and numerous slave lovers. It’s a very interesting story that makes for a creepy feeling while you’re in the house!
The night tour was a little bit history and a little bit “haunted house.” Actors were dressed in period costumes and jumped out during integral parts of the story being told, which served to both scare us and bring the story to life. I would have liked a little more history and a little less theatrics, but it was still fun. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take any pictures, but it was a beautiful house. If you are ever in Montego Bay, it is worth a visit. If you’re too afraid to go at night, you can always go during the day.
The highlight of the evening, though, was our visit to the Luminous Lagoon. We were the only ones there at the time, so we pretty much got a private tour. They took us out on a boat and explained that the micro-organisms in the water, called dinoflagellates, gave off a glow when moving. You can even see it in the back of the boat as it raced through the water.
The guide filled a bucket with the water and dumped some of it on the floor of the boat, and it just lit up the floor. It was so cool. At one point, we all got to get in the water. It was weird because it was partially river water and partially ocean water, so there were hot and cold patches, and if you touched the bottom, you could feel the mud. It was kind of gross in that way, but totally worth it to get to experience the glow of the dinoflagellates firsthand. We swam around and watched the water light up around us as we tread water and swam. Luckily, there was a photographer on the boat who took pictures for us while we enjoyed our swim. Once we got back in the boat, if I touched or moved my swimsuit, it was just enough movement to make my swimming suit glow!
There are only a few parts of the world where you can swim with the dinoflagellates, and Jamaica is one of them. This is definitely one of the coolest things we have ever done, and I’m glad we got to check it off our bucket list!