Sunday, January 17, 2016

Does It get Any Better Than This?

Hi All,
Today the weather is supposed to be perfect. We are planning to go to French Cay then around West Caicos to see if we can find any whales and of course dolphins. We however, never leave without a quick check of Grace Bay to see if JoJo is around.
As we come out Leeward the water is flat and gorgeous. I ask John to head over to a bit of trash I see bobbing along in the water. Just as I'm about to scoop it up, JoJo surfaces right beside us and flips over as he passes under the boat. I leave the trash and we start up but JoJo doesn't get in the wake. By the way JoJo flips over and glides under the boat upside down when he wants a ride, scaring you to death that your motor is going to cut him. No matter how many times he has done this, it still gives me a fright. Although he normally either wants to head up to Pine Cay or down toward Grace Point, today, he wants to go out the South Side. I think he knew we always come out Leeward in the morning and that we would turn around and head out the South Side if he wanted!! He's one smart dolphin!
We go and go way out onto the shallow flat bank called the South Side. We now are traveling past the far end of Provo. The shallow flat water stretches as far as you can see in every direction. JoJo starts branching out then returns to the boat. We figure he's calling to whoever he has planned to meet.
He starts heading purposefully toward a small reef. We see a sparking in the water. The sun is reflecting off another dorsal!! Clearly dolphins don't need cell phones to schedule meetings!
I get in to meet this dolphin. I don't think I know him. He has a notch out of his dorsal just like JoJo's. This will be easy to remember if I meet up with him again. He is a bit shy but takes a look at me. I notice he's going down to nozzle a sponge and JoJo's watching. As I'm traveling beside JoJo I see a little fish that's accompanying JoJo. Then the little fish moves over to me and is swimming along between my arms. How fun, I have a little friend! Now JoJo is following an Eagle ray and I decide to take a side trip and follow the Eagle Ray. I'm now a long way from the boat and as I start back the dolphins follow along. So, does my new friend the little fish who stayed with the whole time. I get in the boat for a camera switch. The battery has died. When I get back in the water, JoJo has gone off but "Sponge Bob" is attacking sponges with a vengeance. He swims down pokes his rostrum into the sponge and swims up with sponge draped sometimes on his pec, sometimes on his fluke or in his mouth! I have gotten all this on the video. Look carefully for the sponge jewelry!
Its now 12:30 and we are still only part way to French Cay. We search and find a lone dolphin who is intent on fishing not in any interaction.  We then travel at speed past the wall toward West Caicos looking for whales. As we move along the wall, I see a dorsal surface pretty far out. We find three shy Pilot Whales, one is a calf. As we are watching them, I keep noticing something leaping out of the water even farther far out. We venture out and find lots of playful leaping. It's the huge pod of Spotted Dolphins! They play with the boat as John spins in circles. Then I get in and they are even friendlier than before. About six of them circle me so close, I was scared I'd run into them. They are everywhere having such fun. I think they are the party dolphins! By this time, the sun's heading down and we are a long way from home. John starts the ride back as I sit grinning thinking of what an amazing day we've had.

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