Submission and Photos by Andrew Bermel
Editor’s note: This summer Andrew Bermel and his friend, Dylan Thier, embarked on a sailing adventure from Astoria, Ore. They traveled up the Pacific coast and toured the San Juan Islands before ending their journey in Bellingham, Wash. Bermel submitted this excerpt from his log.
We headed for Neah Bay, but when we were about 45 minutes from the entrance, the brightest bioluminescence I’ve ever seen lit up our wake. It was 11:00 on a perfect moonless, starry night. Absolutely no wind, none, not a ripple. Don’t tell the Coast Guard, but I shut off the navigation lights and started playing around with the wake—slapping ropes in the water and sitting on the bow pulpit in awe of the light. It was as if the entire straits of Juan De Fuca were filled with motion-activated glow stick fluid. The water was completely black until we disturbed it. We eventually shut off the boat, let her drift, put on our wet suits and jumped in with our eyes open. I’ll never forget the transition of black night to bursting green light. It was almost as if the light was coming from inside my eyes. Since we were drifting at 3 knots out to sea, we eventually got back to the ocean and a perfect 6-foot swell started to roll in! We restarted the engine and I started towing Dylan on a body board in the waves! He actually caught one! My boat and my buddy were surfing 6-foot ocean swells together.