Transcripts

The Elcie Diaries: From The Eastern Shore To A 'Bioluminescent' Bay

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:09
For the past six months or so we've been checking in every now and again with a Maryland family that's been getting to know the big wide world quite well, by sailing around it. When we first met Jessica and Richard Johnson and their daughters, Emma and Molly, they were about to depart the Eastern shore abroad their catamaran, Elcie.

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:27
Since then the family has traveled thousands of miles on a trip that will eventually take them all the way to New Zealand. Today we catch up with them in Puerto Rico.

MS. JESSICA JOHNSON

00:00:37
This is Jessica on Elcie. Elcie's anchored on the south coast of Vieques. It's an island that belongs to Puerto Rico and it's not too far east of the main island of Puerto Rico. We're here for a reason. We came down to this part of Vieques because we want to go and see the bioluminescent bay.

MS. JESSICA JOHNSON

00:00:57
The bioluminescence is caused by thousands of tiny zooplankton, dinoflagellates that light up when you touch the water either with your hand or a kayak paddle or just the wake of the boat. And so in a little bit we're going to get in our dingy and we're going to motor around to the entrance of the bay but once we get to the entrance of the bioluminescent bay we're going to have to turn off our gas outboard engine and we're going to row in. They don't like to have anybody take a gas engine into the bay because it's harmful to the organisms that live there.

MS. EMMA JOHNSON

00:01:44
Oh my gosh, it's right there. Look, it's right there. This is so cool.

JOHNSON

00:01:52
It doesn't even look like particles like plankton or anything. It just looks like the water is lighting up, you know. Today with the stars overhead.

MS. MOLLY JOHNSON

00:02:01
Wow, this is amazing.

JOHNSON

00:02:10
Apparently the bay here is the brightest one in the world and apparently it's a really good time to be here and see the bioluminescence because yesterday was the new moon. So tonight it's almost completely dark.

JOHNSON

00:02:27
I think it was really cool was when you put your hand in and my hands are still sort of sparkly with the bioluminescent thingy-mabobs.

JOHNSON

00:02:36
This is probably one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. It's like really awesome.

SHEIR

00:02:51
That was Jessica, Richard, Emma and Molly Johnson along with shipmate Annie Ray. This story was produced by "Metro Connection's" Tara Boyle. You can find earlier stories about the Johnson's sailing expedition and get a preview of the tropical locales they'll be visiting in the months to come on our website, metroconnection.org.

SHEIR

00:03:22
And that's "Metro Connection" for this week. We heard from WAMU's Kavitha Cardoza, Jacob Fenston, Jonathan Wilson and Tara Boyle along with reporters Heather Taylor and Emily Cup. WAMU's managing editor of news is Meymo Lyons. "Metro Connection's" managing producer is Tara Boyle. Lauren Landau is our editorial assistant. Our intern is Robbie Feinberg. Thanks, as always, to the WAMU engineering and digital media teams for their help with production and the "Metro Connection" website.

SHEIR

00:03:50
Our theme song, ''Every Little Bit Hurts" is from the album "Title Tracks" by John Davis and used with permission of the Ernest Jennings Record Company. All the music we use is listed on our website, that's metroconnection.org. Just click on a story and you'll find information about its accompanying song.

SHEIR

00:04:05
Also on metroconnection.org you can read free transcripts of stories and if you missed part of today's show you can hear the whole thing online anytime. You can also find us on iTunes, Stitcher and the NPR news app.

SHEIR

00:04:19
We hope you can join us next week when we'll celebrate Mother's Day by devoting an entire show to motherhood. We'll hear from a brand-new mother who actually recorded her very first days with her newborn child. We'll meet single moms who've adopted children from overseas and we'll talk with families about how to parent fairly when one of your kids has autism.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN

00:04:39
I really feel like as their mother I absolutely had to change the way the family was going.

SHEIR

00:04:46
I'm Rebecca Sheir and thanks for listening to "Metro Connection," a production of WAMU 88.5 news.
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