The day didn't start so well with big waves crashing by the shore forcing us to pick up our equipment at Leeward Marina. The engine was acting up so we decided to go back to Caicos Marina to have them work on it. It was a good move as the piss valve was not pissing! As most of you know I'm seriously electronically challenged but if the P. Valve isn't working then the engine's cooling system isn't working. That means to me the engine could blow up!! They tell me it just shuts down either way not good!!
The guys at the Marina were so great. They went right to work on the motor and after performing to my way of thinking magic, they got the valve working (pissing like a race horse:).
Off we go on the search. We added in a little snorkeling and saw two big schools of Horse Eyed jacks. One with juveniles and the other with seriously large older fish. Also saw Spade fish and one Permit who we have seen with the Horse Eyed jacks before.
We headed to Pine Cay ever hopeful that the pod would be there. We saw a boat stopped but they were looking for sand dollars and then I noticed a dorsal! There they were!
JoJo came right up and brought me to the pod through the very murky water. JoJo was very amorous with Bo he stroked her belly with his pec and went belly to belly with her. I don't know if he got the job done but I hope so! They didn't mind either me or Lemon Lips hanging around watching! Lemon Lips was particularly rambunctious as he circled me, darted off, whizzed back, circled the boat porpoised and fell over backwards. At one time I was with JoJo, Bo and Raggedy Ann. They were all so friendly and Raggedy Ann didn't even mind my swimming beside her.
Now, I'll give you John's perspective from the boat. He said at one point the dolphins were heading away from us but fairly close and when I got in they all turned back and came to me:))
He then said all the dolphins had split up to fish and do what dolphins do. He watched as I swam from one to the other, none of them cared at all that I was with them.
His last observation was that Lemon Lips was circling me then zipping over to the boat then zipping back to me circling then back to the boat!!
There were times that other boats came to watch. Many times when I'm with Bo and Lemon Lips they will circle slowly with me right beside them. However when other boats come along they speed up and change direction. If I'm filming it puts an end to that! One boat came along when Lemon Lips was really energetic. He swam around them tail slapping and spy hopping.
I am so lucky to have JoJo as my friend as he has made all of this possible.
I thought you might be interested in this, be sure to scroll down to last video to see the whole video.
There have been may reports of how dolphins save swimmers from sharks now this is an example of how dolphins also know that some humans can come to their rescue.
We found JoJo as we were coming out of Leeward. He wanted a ride toward Grace Point which we off course gave him. He branched off there and I got in with him and had a nice long swim. I tried again to get footage with our GoPro and this time there were no camera snafus only a few photographer issues!! It's hard to get him in the frame when he's so close!! and he wanted me to lead which would mean no video so I waited for him to take the lead. At one point he swam way in by the beach right inside the swim lines by lots of oblivious people!! We humans have no idea whats going on mere feet away from us in the water! Later he followed our boat back to Leeward and stopped, I think he was hoping some others would join him as there is a cut thru the reef there. No dolphins joined him but lots of tour boats came by to uh and ah at the famous JoJo. I got to hang with him during all this. He then started to follow me toward Pine Cay. I got back in the boat as we knew he wanted a ride, which he took only to have a tour boat come along side and steal him away!!!and after I told them he was with us!!! We never saw him after that!!
Later that night our good friend Opie the cat who sometimes sleeps in our condo came to our door he had had an accident and was very lame and sore. His hind leg was very swollen and he couldn't use it. We got a hold of his real owner who came right over to take him to the vet!! I missed having Opie spend the night and will find out how he is today! His owner was very aware that Opie has many friends at OC.
We were sitting at the end of Fort George Cay thinking it was pretty windy and lumpy and maybe not a great day for swimming with dolphins when we noticed a boat stopped at the end of Pine Cay. We motored over to find JoJo and four others. When I got in I saw that they were Raggedy Ann, B.B. Tip, Bo and Lemon Lips. I again tried the Go Pro on my wrist. JoJo was very helpful bringing me to the pod. He actually stays behind me sort of guiding me toward them. It's pretty cool to be swimming along thru the murky water and suddenly having four flukes materialize! At one point I was with Bo and Lemon Lips and they were swimming in a slow tight circle with me right beside them, maybe so I could keep up! I thought I was getting great stuff on the GoPro (thinking Nat Geo!!) however the battery had crapped out:((( SO disappointing. Lemon Lips had also come over by himself to say hello and that didn't come out either. The good news however is I think I'm on to something and can get some great stuff while still using the scooter. We were with them for 5 hours before we lost sight of them while changing to another tank of gas!!
An even better dolphin day. With the help of a boat Captain we found JoJo by Leeward Cut. He was with a catamaran sail boat. I got in and he came right over and wanted to follow me toward OC. We swam for a long time until he wanted to sped up so I climbed in Catch Ride and he stayed in our wake all the way to Grace Point where he branched off. We had brought along a friend, Kit the owner of a great hotel on the Island called South Fleet. Kit has been living here for twenty years, had met JoJo many years ago and was keen to meet him again. I was waiting for the right moment for her to get in when JoJo would stay around our boat. This was the time. I knew he would want to visit a buoy that was not far from our boat which would also keep him around. Kit got to swim with JoJo until the Beaches catamaran came by and he wanted to visit it. He and I swam over and he hung out under it for awhile as everyone oohed and ahhed. We eventually swam back to Catch Ride to head back down the coast toward Leeward again. My water scooter's battery was starting to run low and I wanted to keep some battery in case we met up with the calves so I got back in catch Ride and JoJo fell in behind us. We gave him a ride back to Leeward where he branched off. The water was really clear and I was trying to get the GoPro camera mounted on my wrist to see if I could get some footage when two other dolphins appeared. JoJo was close to the boat so I figured it was okay for me to get in. There was Raggedy Ann and Baby Black Tip! They were fairly friendly for not having Bo and Lemon Lips around. Per usual I fell in behind them and JoJo followed me until I got too slow than he over took me. That apparently is my designated spot in the pod for as long as I can keep up! I did get some good footage although it came out sideways ! I had the camera mounted on my wrist and as I used the scooter my wrist was turned. I contacted my "tech guru" and he said he could turn the videos right side up. It looks like I can get the videos on the blog after some "fixing".
We are back in Provo and back on the hunt! Two days ago the water was very lumpy and we went out back into the channels and later learned from Andy who was the Captain of the Club Med snorkel boat that JoJo was alone and hanging in front of Grace Bay Point for a good two hours!!
However, luck was with us as we got a report that Reef Peepers saw him by Leeward. We hurried to Leeward but couldn't find him. We thought he was making his way to Pine Cay so we went that way but didn't see him. We figured if we waited long enough he'd show up but there was some dark clouds heading over Parrot Cay and it was starting to get late so we started on our way back. As we got about half way down Pine Cay I saw a dorsal. It was a very small and curious calf. Then we saw four more one of whom was JoJo. I got in as the calf was quite close and he took a look but didn't hang around. JoJo looked quite involved in an amorous way with one of the other dolphins and the calves were spy hopping and cavorting all over. It was quite wavy and the visibility was very murky. We are pretty sure there were two very young calves and maybe two moms and JoJo but its so hard to tell from the boat. I was hoping JoJo would help with an introduction and eventually he did! He came to the boat and waited for me to come in, gave me a quick hello and headed back to the other dolphins with me behind him. UNFORTUNATELY I had a mask malfunction and had to stop before drowning! By that time I couldn't catch up because of the big waves and bad visibility.We hung with them for a while. The calves kept looking up to see if we were there! One of the calves fell over backwards and lay upside down with both flippers extended. I'm hoping to find them all again and maybe see if I know any of them besides JoJo.