From a distance, with our pink, orange, and green lights bobbing on the water, we might have looked like visitors from outer space, or perhaps a floating disco.
Our leader was Paige Bakhaus, a certified stand-up paddleboard instructor and owner of Hooked on SUP in Englewood. We’d been transported by boat from her shop at the Cape Haze Marina to a drop-off point near the park, our plain-looking boards stacked in two piles.
Once we were on the water and Bakhaus flipped on our switches, our boards glowed like neon artwork. With soft lighting underneath us, we had a new perspective — and the ability to see sea creatures in their natural habitats.
I should clarify that most of us were standing up. As someone new to the SUP world and not yet agile on the board, Bakhaus had assured me I could do this trip kneeling and sometimes even sitting, because the bulk of the tour (and the highlight) was traversing through a winding mangrove tunnel, where it would be impossible to stand. Indeed, this factor makes the tour available to anyone who can swim (just in case) and is comfortable paddling a board.