National Trust program takes families into the wild

The National Trust is inviting families to embark on a bioluminescence tour on Saturday, Feb. 22, as part of the Trust’s “Families in the Wild” program.  

The main goal is to encourage families to start becoming active in nature.  

“Every month we offer a special activity to our members to encourage families to get outside and enjoy our unique natural and cultural heritage,” said Cathy Childs of the National Trust. “It’s become so easy for us to sit inside looking at screens, and children around the world are losing touch with the natural world around them. Consequently, the National Trust launched a new drive called ‘Families in the Wild’ to make it fun and easy for everyone to get more active.”  

This month’s activity is a bioluminescence tour, run by Sea Elements, offers a ride along the glowing tides of the North Sound.  

“We’ve already hosted a mangrove boat tour and a guided bird walk,” said Ms. Childs. Regarding the latest tour offering, she notes, “Cayman is home to one of the few bioluminescent bays in the world and it’s an amazing place to visit.”  

Cayman is home to one of only 12 such bays worldwide, she said, and the tour has something for all ages and activity levels.  

The bioluminescence tour is on a pontoon boat and only during the darkest nights of the year as that is when the plants glow brightest.  

Ms. Childs described seeing “tiny organisms in the water glow a bright bluish-green after dark.” During the tour families will learn about the ecology of the glowing plants and animals, and can enjoy onboard refreshments while viewing millions of glowing creatures.  

The tour, which leaves from the Cayman Islands Yacht Club in Governor’s Harbour near Seven Mile Public Beach, runs from 6:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Participants are asked to bring masks, snorkels, towels, drinks and snacks. The tour costs $30 for adults and $20 for kids.  

Other activities  

If you happen to miss the bioluminescence tour, the Trust is hosting an array of events, including an event for divers on March 1 – a “Dive In Sea Safari.” Trust members will receive the automatic advantage of a two-tank dive for $35. “Divers can expect to see a plethora of beautiful corals and colourful fish, and of course there’s always the chance of encountering a turtle, eel, or stingray,” said Paul Watler, environmental programmes manager of the National Trust.  

If you don’t feel like getting wet, the Trust offers a chance to put on your dancing shoes to rock out for a good cause to ‘60s music at “Don’t worry, be hippie,” at the Yacht Club on March 15. The dance will run from 7 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are $25; complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be provided.  

For more information, visit www.nationaltrust.org.ky

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Many marine creatures use bioluminesence as a warning, to confuse predators or to attract mates.