The “Luminous Lagoon” stretches along the marshlands from the small fishing village of Rock to the town of Falmouth, Trelawny. The slightest stirring of the sea, causes the water to glow with a neon green florescent light. The glow comes from small micro-organisms that emit a flash of light when disturbed.
Jamaica’s Luminous Lagoon is one of four places in the world where these micro-organisms live and create these natural phenomena, known as bio-luminescence. It’s said that out of the four, the Luminous Lagoon here in Jamaica is the brightest in the world – a fact that had and continues to awe scientists and visitors alike.
Over the years, scientists from around the world visited the Luminous Lagoon and investigated the phenomena. Their research concluded that the lagoon is the best place to see these micro-organisms, called dinoflagellates or pryodinium bahamene, because of two reasons. Firstly, there are literally millions of tiny micro-organisms living in the lagoon.
Secondly the lagoon is formed at the point where the Martha Brae River meets the Caribbean Sea, and the dinoflagellates thrive in the layers where the salt and fresh water combine. The organisms glow brightest in shallow, warm water, and generally the lagoon is about 3-4 feet deep, and only 8 feet at its deepest point.
“Moonie’s Boat Tours” is available every night from Fisherman’s Inn at Rock. The 45-minute tour takes you around the edges of the lagoon. After a hot sunny day, the Luminous Lagoon is brightest at night especially when there is no moon light.
The highlight of the tour comes when Moonie’s 26 feet Cary Hull boat name “JODIANN” anchors near the middle of the lagoon, so you can take a swim. As visitors swim about in the water, the area lights up like you turn on a light switch. It’s an awesome sight to behold. Once the sea water is disturbed, it glows. One thing for sure and is that, Moonie has never lost a swimmer there even thought it was night.
Moonie grew up on the Luminous Lagoon having lived at the district of Rock all his life. He owns the boat “Jodiann” and is a certified Dive Master. He and his colleagues in the community know every inch of the lagoon. Their parents were fisher folks and taught them the ways of fishing and the sea.
The community of Rock is closely knitted with most persons looking out for each other. There are several outstanding seamen living there having the experience in deep sea marlin fishing, scuba diving and yachts. Jason White the famous seaman is from the community of Rock as well. He rose to prominence many years ago when he miraculously survived been lost at sea for over two weeks because of boat engine trouble. His father who was with him on one of their usual fishing trips did not make it.
There was a big welcome home for him in his community and in Falmouth Water Square. Even though Jason came back alone, the people were overjoyed that the sea did not claim both of them. He is regarded as a local hero and became famous because he fought to defy all odds and return to his family from such a treacherous ordeal.