Thursday, January 28, 2016

Spy Hop Taxi Service

Hi all,
The weather has finally started to settle down enough where we can go out past the reef. We are heading down the coast passing all the resorts as we look for dorsals. Apparently JoJo didn't want to go out the South Side because he wasn't at leeward waiting! As we turn back from Smith Reef and head towards Club Med, I see a huge splash past the reef. There are still huge waves crashing on the reef so I'm thinking it may have just been that however, the waves aren't hitting that spot. Out we go into the rough blue water. It might be a whale. We don't see any spouts so we drop the hydrophone deep into the dark blue water. First we hear squeaks then deep rumbles. The further out we drift the louder the noises but still no spouts. We continue outside the reef all the way to Pine Cay dropping the hydrophone periodically. At times we seem to get closer to the source but we never see a spout. I can certainly see why in the past before people knew about whales and their "singing", they thought they heard sirens. The sounds they make can be haunting, squeaky, high to really low.
We bounce our way back over the reef to quieter water and head back along Pine Cay. As we are passing Half Moon Beach we hear "Spy Hop" over the radio. John returns the call and is told JoJo is in the area. We see Sail Provo a big sailing catamaran and head over. As we are approaching, JoJo is traveling right toward us. He clearly wants a ride. Off we go past all the resorts to Smith Reef and beyond. Along the way numerous tour boats sidle up with tourists craning their necks to see the famous JoJo. For some reason they always clap wildly, cheer and laugh when he surfaces for air. He really is a legend. He's been doing this for almost 40 years. He wants to head back and we take him back past Half Moon Beach again and almost to the end of Pine Cay where heads off perhaps to fish.
I think he is searching his pod members when he goes up and down the island without stopping or interacting with anyone.
I haven't seen Whizzer since that day the pushy kid followed him with a Go Pro stuck on a stick. I had been swimming along happily with them until this kid leapt out of his boat and swam up aggressively. They all swam away but he did get quite close. That day we were at half Moon Beach and it took until the end of Pine Cay for them to settle so I could get in and swim with them. I have not seen that mother and calf on Grace Bay since that day. I feel she decided she'd best keep her wild son away from all the tourists before he gets hurt. I have no problem with anyone getting in to swim with JoJo he's an old hand and knows who he wants close. However, it's taken me years to get the trust of the mothers and calves and I wish people would use dolphin etiquette if they feel they really want to try. Better yet don't get in with them! I feel dolphin etiquette means you drop in the water ahead of the dolphins if they chose to come to you then by all means swim with them. If however, they avoid you then they don't want to! Swimming aggressively toward them is not showing dolphin etiquette.

No comments:

Post a Comment