Bioluminescence and cello music

2024 Jul 7

Melanie was talking with a friend about the bioluminescent microbes that are in the waters of the Puget Sound. On a whim, she checked our favorite kayak tour guides. They had a nighttime tour for Sunday from Bowman Bay at Deception Pass State Park! New moon was only the day before, so it would get quite dark and the viewing would be good.

I booked for two people not knowing if the time would work for Melanie’s friend. It did. But then when I went back to see if I could add myself, there were no more empty spots.

Melanie and friend ready to go paddling

With our long summer days, it would be a late start and a late return home. Driving so late would be difficult for Melanie, so I offered to take them. I brought along things to keep me busy while they were out: books, a bike and my cello.

I hung around with the kayak group while they were getting ready to go. Then after they left I went on a hike in the Park. It provided spectacular views of the sunset.

sunset between rocky outcroppings

The moon was a tiny crescent.

sunset over the bay

When I got back I decided to play the cello. Initially, I was thinking to set up inside one of the picnic shelters, however, they were somewhat distant and I wouldn’t be able to notice the kayakers returning. Since the night was warm, quiet and dry, I set up by the bay out in the open near a picnic table.

There was no light around. My iPad with all my sheet music was self-illuminated. I put a headlamp on the top of my cello case to light my area. And so, I picked some favorite pieces and played. My fingers worked well and the music substantially came out as I heard it in my head.

The kayakers were out in the bay and started hearing something. “What is that? Is that a cello?” Melanie replied, “Yes, that’s my husband.”

They had been having a great time. They had seen some harbor seals, and a porpoise had gone by. They also watched the sunset, and the sliver of moon when it also set. When it got dark, the water sparkled when splashed. They could see flashes around little fish that were swimming beneath them.

It was a beautiful evening all around and Melanie said she heard quite a few comments which included the word “magical” when the music was added.

After a while they got back and so I packed my stuff away. Everybody thanked me multiple times for the music, again commenting that it was magical to be moving quietly on the water and hearing the cello music out over the bay.

Occasionally I will come on someone playing music outside, so I knew what they meant. But I also enjoyed the music. When the people in the group thanked me, my first reaction was to thank them back for their appreciation. They seemed not to understand this, so instead I said, “You’re welcome”.