For most students, Sunday night means holing up in a favorite study spot to crank out work, but two weekends ago, 12 of us in the Outing Club took advantage of the waning moon to head to the Coastal Studies Center (CSC) for a moonlight stroll. 

The drive to Orr’s Island provided a stunning view of the last light playing over the water in Lombos Hole. The moon hung low in the sky at first, providing little light for our walk through the woods, toward one of the CSC’s many trails. After a few giggly scares from motion lights and unnerving stories about strange nighttime encounters in the outdoors, we arrived at the dock. 

It was low tide, and the water was still. We stood taking in the silhouette of the opposite coast and the conversation died down. In the silence, a thought came to mind. 

“I wonder if there is any bioluminescence!” I blurted excitedly. We worked our way down to the water and, sure enough, as we splashed our hands in the water we could see tiny flashes of fluorescent light emitted by phytoplankton.

From there, we hiked along a trail that follows the perimeter of the island, heading up to the northernmost point. By the time we reached the end of the trail, the moon had risen significantly and lit up the landscape.

We marveled at our moonshadows and began the trek back to our van. Though it was a brief trip, we returned to campus relaxed, ready for the week and looking forward to the next full moon.