Tuesday, December 31, 2013

This can happen to you!

Hi All.
Actually I am now at home for a few weeks but will be returning to Turks on the 13th of January. I met a very nice lady who has become obsessed by dolphins. This is a condition that is fairly common once you've met one!! I mentioned keeping an eye on the water to look for dorsals and our boat. Here is the email she sent me BTW this is normal behavior once you are hooked!!
 
I was determined to find you this am. I was in the water really early. I was Waving my arms around. I decided to take off a fin with the hope you would see me. I had your book with a pen wrapped in a water tight packet. I decided if I went on the beach you might have a better chance of seeing me. So I wore my fins like gloves flippers actually was waving around the beach.  Searching for jay is comparable  to searching for dolphins.


                                                               Happy New Year

                                                                       Jay

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Short clip of Whitey

Hi All,
Here is a short clip of Whitey John took from the boat. We didn't see him yesterday. After the previous day's encounter, I think he'd had it with tour boats. We again spent the day with Julia and Frisky. They seemed to like riding our wake just not as close to the boat as JoJo. They weren't as interested in interaction in the water but I did get to see them crater fish successfully a few times.
I would have had some footage,  BUT as I was slipping into the water I caught my bathing suit on the swim ladder and was sort of dangling there until John, who was trying to drive the boat and hand me the scooter, saw the problem and unhooked me!! I forgot to start the camera in all the excitement.
video

Friday, December 27, 2013

Enter Whitey

Hi All,
We hadn't seen dolphins for two days and were anxious to find anyone. The day was gorgeous with the a light wind coming out of the south east making for calm seas on Grace Bay. There were very few rain clouds which was a relief after dodging rain on Xmas day. We headed out of Leeward and made our first big circle around Grace Bay. As we came back to Leeward, we saw three dorsals heading out way. The first had a white tip. They all came right toward the boat so I got in to see who was who. I know another dolphin with a white tip on the end of her dorsal but she (I think) has never come close to me so I don't believe it was her. This dolphin came right to me as if I knew him (her). His dorsal had a lot of white on the end and white on the right side of his fluke. His fluke was also missing the very end of the left side as well as being tattered on both sides. His pecs were also tattered. He was a big dolphin like JoJo probably 7 feet and from all the nicks and bruises I'd say fairly old. The other two dolphins were Julia and Frisky. I was getting a very nice swim with Whitey, which is what I decided to call the new dolphin,when the tour boats started arriving. As soon as they got close, Whitey went way deep and I didn't see him again. I then went over to Julia and Frisky who let me swim with them as they negotiated the tour boats. At one point there were 9 tour boats all crowding around trying to get their tourists a good dolphin sighting. I think Julia and Frisky had had enough and swam away from me at speed. I hope they didn't feel I had anything to do with all the traffic.
After all the boats left, John and I followed Julia and Frisky as they made their way leisurely around Grace Bay. I was very sad to have my swim with Whitey interrupted. A few hours later they made their way out to the Club Med Cut, which is where all the dive boats go past the reef and where dolphins sometimes come back from outside the reef. We thought maybe someone would join them because they seemed to be just waiting around maybe calling. After awhile another dorsal did appear!! It was Whitey who once again came right to the boat. Just as I was about to climb in a parasail boat came whizzing by VERY close to our boat and right over the top of Whitey! Whitey again disappeared. GRRRRR JoJo wouldn't care but Whitey is not into boat traffic! We never saw Whitey again.
We followed Julia and Frisky almost  to the end of Pine Cay. I only got a few swims as they weren't into long interaction. We were hoping to find other dolphins when we got there but it was getting too dark and we didn't quite make it to the end. As we were following along we were hearing across our radio that two Humpbacks had been spotted outside of Leeward heading toward Pine Cay. The funny part was that just that morning I had mentioned to John that perhaps the whales would start coming by as they usually show up in early January but so many animals seem to be starting their migrations earlier.
 Whitey

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

JoJo Brings Me to Julia and Frisky

Hi All,
Yesterday we again met up with JoJo, Raggedy Ann, Julia and Frisky.We found them at Leeward Cut again and stayed with them for about four hours.  Most every time I got in, JoJo would lead the way to Julia and Frisky. You can see that in the video. I tried to get the gash on the front of Frisky's left pec on the video, but you can't see it. I'm wondering if that will leave a scar. I imagine he either got it from being run into by a boat or an attack from a predator. JoJo's cuts have always healed very quickly I'm hoping his will too. JoJo took sometime out from escorting to do a little crater fishing. He plunged his rostrum deep in the sand and came up with what looked like two little wiggly worms.
I hope you all have a Merry Xmas
Jay
video

Monday, December 23, 2013

MERRY XMAS

                                                                        MERRY XMAS

                     
                                                                      JoJo and Jay

Sunday, December 22, 2013

JoJo checking out tourists

Hi All,
John has injured his back so we have been unable to go out. In between pacing, I've had time to go through the many many video clips and thought you might find this one amusing!
Kristen my daughter and I were swimming with JoJo last winter when he decided to have a look at some people on one of the tour boats. You can only imagine what was going through his mind!! you will notice that once he's seen enough, he heads off with Kristen and I. Kristen has the yellow snorkel.
video

A Swim With JoJo

Hi All,
I thought you might like to go for a swim with JoJo!! Notice he is waiting for us at the back of Catch Ride!!
video


Another First

Hi All,
I have seen video of dolphins playing with Sargasso (seaweed)but I had never seen it.
After searching around Grace Bay we came came back to Leeward Cut and saw a big Catamaran motor boat (the very one that swamps our boat if we hit the wake just wrong!). They were stopped right in the cut. We figured there were dolphins involved and there were. I got in to find JoJo, Raggedy Ann, Julia and Frisky. JoJo lead me to them at which point another tour boat barged in and got between me and the dolphins :( I climbed back in Catch ride and waited for them to get their pictures, "oh" and "ahh". After they checked it off their "see JoJo" list and went on their way I got back in. They all seemed happy to have me there and were in play mode. Frisky and I passed over a reef with lots of fish, I could hear him whistling even above the noise from my scooter. Raggedy Ann and Julia were swimming next to each other. JoJo was never very far off. After passing over the reef I caught up to Raggedy Ann and Julia. Raggedy Ann had the Sargasso draped over her left pec. No one seemed to notice. We swam along for awhile I'm watching intently to see what would happen! Next she has the Sargasso draped over her rostrum (nose). This gets Frisky's attention! He goes over and tries to grab it off her rostrum. He gets it but drops it. It is floating below me so I figure maybe I can join in. I go down and grab it. They are ahead and just keep swimming but close together as if contemplating this situation. JoJo is coming under me so I try dropping it hoping that he would retrieve it. He however, ignored it. I was really worried that maybe I had broken the rules of dolphin etiquette but they all were fine with me continuing to hang out even though they didn't let me interact in their Sargasso game. Frisky started to swim next to Julia and suckled three times.
This would have been such great footage but I didn't have the camera at the time:( We stayed with them for four hours they made a huge circle and ended up at Leeward again and we opted to go home. These photos are of Julia and Frisky from the other day



 JoJo 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Perhaps they are the same??

Hi All,
I've been thinking maybe the Mom and calf I've been seeing with JoJo is the same mother and calf I saw yesterday. When you are in the water with them they appear much bigger than when you see them from the boat. If only one of the Mom's had a distinguishing mark!! In any case here's a pic of Frisky which is what I've named the calf!

Mom and Calf

Hi All,
video
I'm not seeing much of JoJo. I think Raggedy Ann is keeping him to herself. However we did find the mother and calf who were quite friendly. We were also in clear water which enabled me to take some footage. The best footage I could have gotten was of them coming right toward me but I didn't get them in the screen very well but you'll get the idea!! We spent the first part of the day with them as they slowly made their way up toward Pine Cay from Ocean Club where we found them.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Worth The Wait

Hi All,
We got off to a late start due to some business issues we had to deal with.  I feel the late start throws us off our usual search path. We didn't see anyone through out the day and had pretty much given up the search. It was getting late and we were traveling home from the far end of Pine Cay when I saw dorsals!!!! Not just one but lots. As I started putting on my flippers, we saw JoJo surface. He came right to the boat and I got in with him. The water was really murky making it hard to see anyone unless you were right beside them. He took me right over to the pod then looked right into my face. He was inches from me. I'm not sure if he's saying here we all are; I'm proud of my family or join in we're having fun. There is definitely some meaning to this look. In any case I'm totally honored at the chance to be in the middle of such great confusion (only for me of course!!)
I counted five dolphins and I was  trying to figure out who was who. I saw Raggedy Ann's distinctive fluke. There was a calf  racing around. I'm pretty sure he was the one I met on our last trip. He was everywhere diving, leaping and occasionally whizzing over to see the boat. I think his Mom was there as there was another big dolphin with no markings but she wasn't Bo! I also think maybe one of the juveniles from last year may have joined them but I'm not sure. I spent some time in between Raggedy Ann and JoJo, then I lost sight of them only to have one of them breach right behind me! Another time I was looking up to see if I could find them and the calf was spy hopping to see where I was. I got a good 1/2 hour swimming with them all. The long hours of searching and searching may seem nuts to some people but the pay off is well worth it to me!
video
I am including an old video of JoJo, Bo and Lemon Lips in murky water so you can see what it looks like down there.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Back On The Island

Hi All,
After returning to Turks after a brief visit home to take care of business (run horse show, judge horse show, go to Canada to buy horses. Whew!!) it took a few days to find JoJo. We followed a few leads but didn't find him until yesterday when we passed Beaches and three people in a small motor boat from the resort waved us down. The captain said the passengers had seen a dolphin swim by the beach and they were out looking for it. I asked which way he was swimming and we headed in that direction. Not long after we found JoJo and another heading toward Smith's Reef. John pulled out ahead and I got in. They both swam directly to me then passed by to scratch on the finger coral that is prevalent in the area. The other dolphin was Raggedy Ann, which I suspected. The water was very clear and if I'd had a camera I would have gotten some great footage of them scratching and rolling in the coral. However, the wind has been pretty strong and I didn't think I would have an opportunity to film in clear water. Okay, I will never leave home without my camera!! We followed them way out into Crystal Bay where Raggedy Ann has gone in the past. I have never had JoJo take me there unless they were together. Before we got to Crystal Bay, as I was climbing in beside JoJo I noticed a pile of masks and snorkels that must have fallen off a tour boat. I tried to get JoJo interested so maybe I could retrieve them but he wasn't interested. We tried to find them later but we didn't have any luck!

video