Wednesday, May 16, 2018

JoJo's Gash

JoJo has been hit by a boat propellor

Hi All, JoJo has been injured by a boat propellor. He has a large gash on his head. Mark the island vet has seen pictures. He feels it will mend as have many of the other gashes he has sustained. The worry is that he can eat and that sharks aren't attracted to and seepage coming from the wound. He also feels it's important that he's felt alone to heal and people aren't taking advantage of his injury to be close to him. I have witnessed this before but I was there to ask people to give him his space. Please implore anyone with a boat to be careful of JoJo, he's an older dolphin who loves to hang with boats but he doesn't move as quickly as he used to. Many boat captains go way too close obviously this one did. A very concerned Jay

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Last Swim with Snipper and JoJo

Hi All, The front has finally passed leaving churned up water and fairly rough water. As we travel past Grace Point I start seeing Laughing Gulls. This is the first we have seen of them this season. They are flying all around the boats picking the perfect spot land.
They seem to like this boat the best. We turn around and see Snipper surfing what's left of the rough water. He's heading toward Leeward at a pretty good clip. At Coral House where there is a little clear water he slows down a little. I get in and get a quick greetng before he moves on. I figure he's meeting another dolphin at Leeward and doesnt want to be late! As we pass over the lingering waves that hit the sand bar before Leeward, we see JoJo heading right for Snipper. They come together but don't stay together. I get a nice but short swim with JoJo then he makes it clear he wants his Uber ride. We go up and down the coast in front of the resorts numerous times. As we return to Leeward our engine starts acting up. John says our day is done but, he'll cut the engine so I can have one last swim. Unfortunately it's pretty churned up but it appears his mouth is not bothering him. This is a relief to me. We are leaving Provo until November and I will be worrying about him everyday.

Last Swim with Snipper and JoJo for the Season:( from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

JoJo's Mouth May Hurt but He can Still Sneek up on Me

Hi All, This morning a boat Captain calls over the radio "JoJo and his family are at Big Water Cay". We race back from where we are with high hopes that JoJo is with many dolphins. Usually when this happens and we are pretty far away, they have moved on by the time we get there and we don't know which way to go! This morning is no different! However Big Water Cay has some nice cliffs which are attracting the Tropic Birds so despite the lack of dolphins we got to see more arial displays. Back to our original search. I see a dorsal in the very opaque water between Coral House and Leeward. When I get in I notice again that JoJo is opening his mouth. I decide to climb out and hope they travel to clear water. Out by the reef opposite Coral House is gorgeous crystal clear water and they head that way. Some tour boats see us with them and motor up. This again gives me plenty of time with Snipper who isn't interested in the boats especially when they put swimmers in. JoJo visits for a while then when I'm least suspecting it, he sneaks up on me! Seven feet of big dolphin swimming behind you and suddenly appearing by your side is quite something! I know he loves this game of sneak up on Jay and plays it numerous times in between entertaining tour boats. JoJo and Snipper love to roll in the soft sand by the reef. Both dolphins do some crater fishing and catch some little jaw fish that live in holes in the sand. JoJo catches about three fish then his mouth really bothers him. I saw him shake his head and open his mouth really wide. I wonder if he hit the spot that's bothering him? I really wish I could help him but I can't see exactly the problem. Whatever it is JoJo is feeling good enough to take numerous rides in the wake behind different boats. Snipper is left on his own as JoJo goes up and down the coast behind various boats. Maybe this takes his mind of his mouth or maybe it's a way to police his territory with the least amount of effort.

JoJo's mouth is Bothering Him 1 from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

JoJo Sneeks Up On Jay from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Snipper and JoJo in Crystal Clear water from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Monday, March 26, 2018

JoJo and Snipper

Hi All, The wind has shifted to the East making boating on the North side nice again. Unfortunately the blow that came through for the last few days left the water very murky in most places. We are heading out with David and Emily his wife who are hoping to see JoJo. We pass out the channel and I'm relieved to see fairly flat water. After making the usual tour of Grace Bay, we head up to Pine Cay. I hear a distinctive bird call and look up to see a Tropic Bird soaring high in the air. It's magnificent tail stretched out behind, glimmering white against the blue sky. We are all watching as more birds join in until there are eight Tropic Birds all soaring above us. What a great way to start the day!
As they are making their way to the cliffs to pick out their nesting spots, we head off in search of dorsals. It has been working for us to stop along the sand bar between Fort George and Pine Cay. I'm hoping our luck will hold and a dolphin will come along. Our luck holds! JoJo is heading to our boat with Snipper not far behind. I get in and swim in the opaque water trying to follow the dolphins. JoJo sonars a big catamaran yacht and follows it over to the beach near the Meridian Club. Snipper and I wait around knowing JoJo will be back after checking out the boat. Sure enough JoJo appears in his usual stealth fashion. This scenario unfolds numerous times. Of late he seems to prefer the fancy big boats! Snipper and I in the mean time have a nice long swim with me losing him occasionally in the murky water while we wait for JoJo. A few boats start coming by to look at Snipper of course thinking it's JoJo. One boat let swimmers in which drove Snipper and I farther out toward the reef where its slightly more clear. I see a big turtle deep under me and swim down to take a closer look. JoJo comes back again and both dolphins disappear into the murk toward Fort George with JoJo this time in the wake of a Zodiac. We head out past the reef for a nice snorkel where the water is crystal clear. I figure we might see the dolphins heading back toward Grace Bay when we finish snorkeling but we don't. However see them as are starting to turn into Leeward towards the marina, a boat Captain signals that he's seen a dolphin. Off we go past onto Grace bay where I see JoJo and Snipper. JoJo wants to get in our wake, so we take him as far as Seven Stars leaving Snipper behind. The water, other than Sargasso floating around is very clear. I get in and JoJo is staring at our propellor as if willing it to go! He then comes to me and opens his mouth. I think he's showing me something. All I can see is that his front teeth look really worn down. I will send pic to Mark the island Vet and see if he sees something else. JoJo swims off and we return to the marina. David and Emily pretty much spent the day with dolphins with some Tropic Birds thrown in!

JoJo and Snippper Is JoJo's Mouth Bothering Him? from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Dolphins on a Mission

Hi All, What a day! The sun's streaming down and the water is flat and in most places clear. There's barely a boat left in the marina. Everyone's out enjoying this magnificent day. There is a call for 30% rain later in the afternoon but it's spectacular now. The quandary, do we go out past the reef and look for Spotted Dolphins or stay inside the reef and look for JoJo and his friends? I'm down to my last week on island and I want to see the dolphins I know as much as possible. That decides it. As we head past Ocean Club on our pass back to Leeward both John and I spot a dorsal. It's Snipper heading toward Leeward. I get in and get a swim-by through the crystal clear water. It woud be a great day to film on a reef with Snipper but it's not to be. I'm back in Spy Hop as we follow Snipper who's traveling fairly fast toward Leeward. I feel a little guilty at what happen next. The boat captains all know that if we are traveling slowly or stopped, there is a dolphin with us. Because everyone travels in and out of Leeward there are many of boats coming and going. Snipper who is just trying to make his way across the channel gets surrounded by tour boats. At least 15 boats stop by to let their passengers see him. Some are respectful and stop a good distance from him, leaving him the choice of going to their boat or not like JoJo. Others not only ran up to him but right over him and won't leave him alone even after he makes it clear he isn't interested by trying to swim away. When the water is murky it's easy for the dolphins to disappear but today with the clear water Snipper doesn't have a chance. Finally they all go on to whatever activities they had planned. Snipper makes his way across the channel and over a patch of reef and disappears. We head to Pine Cay where we figure he is going. We pass Norm and his wife who are stopped along the cliffs of Pine Cay. They are hoping to see the Tropic birds. We told them about the Tropic bird we saw way out past the reef floating in the water with her long tail cocked up behind her so it wouldn't get wet. Norm is an avid bird watcher and great bird photographer. Once we motor past The Meridian Club John stops and after a brief swim we dove into our lunch. It was short lived when I see a dorsal not far off, then another dorsal in the distance. A boat comes by and one of the dolphins get in the wake clearly that was JoJo. I figure he'll be back because he won't want to leave the other dolphin. I get in and find Bo chasing a trunk fish around. She likes to play with them but doesn't eat them. Pretty soon she starts heading off at a good clip and I get back in our boat. Now I see a third dolphin heading toward her. Snipper has made his way there and both are heading right for the swim area near the Meridian Club. Whenever I see big dives where they propel themselves down I know they are fishing. As we get closer we see one dolphin right near the buoy. JoJo has come back and joined them. I get in and see schools of fish swimming by. No wonder they were heading this way! JoJo seems more interested in the buoy. There's a lot of marine life clinging to the buoy including clams. He sonars it as he hangs vertically. He swims off and makes it clear he wants a ride by swimming out in front of our boat in the direction he wants to go. I find it strange that he wants to leave them but we drive by and he gets in our wake. I'd rather not leave the others but they are darting all over fishing and don't need a slow human tagging along. By the time we take JoJo way far in the other direction past Beaches Resort, the 30% chance of rain is heading our way! We manage to take him back toward Leeward where he branches off and we avoid the rain that is fast approaching.

Dolphins on a Mission from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

JoJo Finds Bo

Hi All, JoJo made full use of his Uber rides this morning! We see him at Grace Point, he swims past us and takes a long ride with Dream Aweigh II, a large catamaran motor boat. We follow them as they go back to Leeward into the channel, turn around and out toward the reef. JoJo decides he'd rather go back toward Grace Point and switches to our boat! He then follows us up and down the coast to Pine Cay and back. He doesn't stop for any leisurely swims with his friend Jay! Typically when he does this, he's looking for another dolphin and is more than happy to swim with me once he finds his friend. Just as we come to Half Moon Beach, Bo suddenly appears and swims up to our boat. I get in and get a great pay off for all those trips up and down the coast by swimming with them both. JoJo keeps coming up to me. He seems agitated about something regarding his mouth. He keeps opening and shutting it. The last time this happened Mark, the island vet, told me he may have a fish bone stuck in his gum. As I'm looking at JoJo I notice a small fish that keeps swimming right by his side. JoJo rolls in the sand but the little guy stayed very close. Boats start coming up and people get in the water. Bo immediately swims away and I go with her while JoJo does a brief swim-by and comes right back. With no dolphins very close, the people climb out of the water and the boats leave. I have noticed before that JoJo goes to Bo's fluke area and seems to be checking it out. I think he's sonaring to see her status. Is she in estrous? Is she pregnant? Bo also behaves the way she has before when she doesn't want JoJo too close. There's no stroking, flipper footsie or hanky panky. She even lies still on the bottom like I saw her do once before. I'm not sure what that means but it happened when JoJo was around and there wasn't any affectionate interaction that day either. JoJo takes off after a fish and I don't see him for a while. Bo who usually doesn't like me around when she fishes was fine with me watching this time. She whizzes off after a few fish and catches them. I see her use her rostrum to move a chunk of coral to find a fish hiding under it. She catches one rather chubby fish and shakes it violently. I'm not sure why. Dolphins don't chew their food. they swallow fish whole head first. Perhaps she was incapcitating the fish before she turned it around to swallow. I have gotten some great time with no boats to disrupt my time with Bo but now boats are starting to see we have a dolphin with our boat. John tries to tell people that it's up to them but she probably won't swim with them. Some of them try and as predicted she swims away. JoJo will usually do a swim-by if people get in but Bo would rather not! Now we are surrounded by boats and one boat has dogs barking wildly because they can hear the dolphins and sometimes get to swim with them. I watch Bo as she blows a what I think is a warning bubble and swims off. She has done that before when surrounded by tour boats. JoJo is enjoying the boat traffic this time entertaining each of them.

JoJo's mouth is bothering him from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Bo Goes Fishing from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.