Miss the glowing, neon ocean? These 8 bioluminescence moments caught on camera will blow your mind – LA Daily News

For a month, the glowing ocean gave us a thrill when we needed it most.

Some spectators sought out the rare sight at open beaches, while others tried to navigate nighttime crowds or took their chances on closed beaches to get a glimpse at the blue waves that lit up the night.

Filmmakers took the rare opportunity to make magic, knowing it could be another decade or longer until the bioluminescence phenomenon shows up as strong as it has the last few weeks off the Southern California coast.

With the red tide that causes the bioluminescence dissipating, we’re left only with countless images on social media and a few mesmerizing, spectacular videos that blew our minds during difficult times cooped up at home amid the coronavirus pandemic. In this strange time in history, these moments gave us something to smile about.

Here’s a look at our top eight bioluminescence moments, in no particular order, caught on camera at Southern California beaches:

1. Our first look at the electric waves: It was on a hunch that a trio of photographers – Mark Girardeau, Patrick Coyne and Royce Hutain – ventured out in the dark of night to see if a thick red tide was the kind of phytoplankton that cause the ocean to glow. Turns out, they were spot on – and this photographer skipping with glowing waves in the background and their collective cheers of joy gave us our first glimpse that something special was happening off the coast.

2. Donuts off the coast: Who wouldn’t want to do donut spins in the dark to make the ocean glow? Paired with the lights off the nearby Newport Beach coastline, this was a great image that is wall worthy for a print. Girardeau jumped aboard Newport Coastal Adventure for this amazing shot.

A rare phenomenon called bioluminescence was caught in this drone image on April 19, 2020 off the coast of Corona Del Mar. (Photo by Mark Girardeau)

3. Skimboarding off Newport Beach: Skimboarder Blair Conklin hacking on the face of waves breaking on the shore made for an awe-inspiring visual. Paired with the editing and music by Skylar Wilson, this short video is worth a watch.

4. Aqua dancing in Naples canals: As a professional performer in Los Angeles, Genevieve Jae has missed making art during the stay-at-home orders. But when the glowing water showed up, the Manhattan Beach resident had an idea: to do a graceful aquatics dance in neon water. The free diver took out a stand-up paddleboard at sunset and waited for the darkness to allow her body to glow in the calm harbor waters.

“Bioluminescence had always been on my life list, and now it was here in our backyard,” she wrote in an e-mail about the experience. “It was absolutely magical to experience this in our home waters.”

The two-minute video was shot on May 5 in the canals of Napals, Long Beach, filmed by Tom Nagel of Steel House Production.

She said it was an “unreal” experience moving through the water.

“Generally when you move, whether dancing or diving or anything else, you can feel the energy you create,” she wrote. “It feels like the bioluminescence then just amplifies what already happens.”

She said to be able to dance and dive in the bioluminescence has always been a dream, calling the moment “incredible.”

“Especially, now,” she said. “What a gift.”

5. Cannonball in Newport Harbor: Really, we all wanted to just jump in the water to make a glowing splash. This moment of Hutain doing a cannon ball brought out the kid in all of us.

6. Surfing off San Clemente: Countless surfers grabbed their surfboards at the chance of riding a few neon waves. Surfers have been doing this for decades, a bucket-list moment that will stick with wave riders for a lifetime. The ocean glowed with each paddle, even the leashes on the surfboards lighting up in the glowing ocean.

Trying to see waves coming in the dark is no easy task, but as the whitewash started to crumble and began to glow, it created a neon canvas to ride as the electric waves pushed toward shore.

7. Dolphins light up the ocean: The glowing dolphins caught on camera was likely the most watched video to come out of the entire month of bioluminescence awesomeness, with nearly 7 million views just on the Facebook video alone. Coyne teamed up with Newport Coastal Adventure captain Ryan Lawler to try and find dolphins in the dark, with the duo almost giving up before finding a few who wanted to swim alongside the boat. A rarely seen, National Geographic-worthy moment all caught on film for the world to see.

8. Wake surfing off South Bay: Surf photographer Bo Bridges put together this epic nighttime surf adventure out of the South Bay, with pro surfers Dane Zaun and Bruna Schmitz Zaun towing behind a boat in the dark of night.

“It’s like you have super powers when you touch the water,” Bruna said. “I’ve never experienced that in my entire life.”

Want more?