Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Really Big Pod

Hi All,
We headed out of Leeward on a spectacularly beautiful day. Both John and I feeling much better after arriving on the island with the flu. I was really thinking today might be a whale sighting day. After traveling toward Turtle Cove and not seeing JoJo or any of his friends, we decided to go out through the cut where the big boats come in on their way to Turtle Cove. This is called Seller's Cut. Just as we went through the channel markers and passed into the deep blue water we saw a few dorsals. We found three friendly dolphins one with rake marks all along the length of his body. Some predator must have made them. They let me swim right along with them. After they pulled out in front, I climbed back in Catch Ride and as we pulled ahead, they followed the boat . Seeing they were coming along right behind us, I asked John to stop and  got back in again. After the bubbles cleared from our motor I could see them all right there as if waiting for me to  swim with them again. I was quite excited to finally swim with dolphins across the reef.
We came back in to pick up some friends who were hoping to see JoJo. The water was so perfect I thought we should go outside the reef again of course hoping to see a whale or more dolphins. We did see a whale but couldn't find it again after one blow and dive. It was still fun for them to be out in our little boat knowing there was a huge whale somewhere near!! We went back inside the reef and toured the beaches along Pine Cay. Our friends were feeling very hot and a little seasick so we headed back to Ocean Club and let them off at the beach. I'm not too superstitious but, it seems that every time we drop off some friends we have a GREAT adventure:)
We decided to go out again through Seller's Cut with hopes of seeing another whale or more dolphins. John spotted some activity way out and we motored out to see what was going on. There was a HUGE pod of dolphins!!  They were everywhere. I got into the water and was struck by how little I could see around me.  It was very deep and very dark. I got over the slight fear of looking down into the deep blue and seeing nothing by focusing on the dolphins. All was great!
There were at lease seven moms with young calves as well as many individuals.  The calves as always liked whizzing up to take a look at me, circling and then returning to their moms . Quite a few other dolphins came up to check me out as well. There was one dolphin with a severely cut dorsal, looking like it had been sliced into fingers at the top. There was one who had a damaged beak (dolphin nose). They gradually moved in closer to the reef much to my relief, where I could see the bottom. They didn't mind my coming along with them at all. I was able to keep up with the scooter as well as getting this footage without the scooter. We traveled all the way from Seller's Cut, past the Club Med cut and past the Leeward Cut to and area outside of Pine Cay. As we were coming along outside of Leeward there was a plastic bag in the water.  One of the calves went for it and poked it with his rostrum. A moment later, he passed me with it on his pec, it then dropped off and floated away. I would like to put a spin on this to say how bad plastic bags are but, in this case it looked more like he played with it like the Sargasso game from our friends inside the reef. By the time we got opposite Pine Cay, it was getting late, John was getting really hot and I kept getting cramps in my feet from so much flittering!! We'd been with the dolphins for almost four hours. It was time to call it a day - a GREAT day! We left them as they were making their way toward the end of Pine Cay.
Late that afternoon back at Ocean Club, we heard JoJo had been observing some swim lines being installed near Grace Point. Perhaps we'll spend tomorrow with Him!!!

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