Sunday, February 14, 2016

Found The Spotted Dolphins!!

Hi All,
I don't like to gripe about the weather here when it's below zero at home but it hasn't been good now for a number of days. Very unlike Turks, where usually within a day or two the sun will be shining. In any case, the day is starting out with flat water so grey skies or not we are going to take advantage.
After a quick look for JoJo we head out over the reef eager to try a new fancy hydrophone that I just purchased on the advice from Lian, whale expert. As soon as we put it in we hear far off whale chatting. I also hear dolphin whistling a noise I know well. We  can't see either but start searching around. Once again I see a tern  and start watching to see if there is activity below it. I see a dorsal and then three others. Kristen my daughter and I hustle around the boat getting on our gear before they swim off. We slip in to swim with the three dolphins who eagerly greet us; then there are 5 then there are 6 pretty soon they are everywhere swimming all around us.
Spotted Dolphins and Shark
We notice that two dolphins in particular seem to want to stay right with us. The picture here is perhaps the mother. She has a little notch out of the lower back of her dorsal. You will see perhaps her calf in the next video, as well as under her in this picture. Spotted dolphins have more spots as they age.
Go to video
My Specail Spotted Dolphin Friends

Kristen and I also notice a shark who is swimming along under the dolphins and us. 

Go to video
Shark Checking Out Spotted Dolphins and Us
During the time we were gleefully swimming with our dolphin friends the wind kicked up. After getting on Spy Hop we decide to head back across the reef to calmer water. We don't actually find any calm water on Grace Bay so we head out across the South Side to French Cay to look for whales.
After looking around and not seeing any spouts or hearing any chatter from our hydrophone. John and Kristen decided go for a snorkel and I stay on the boat watching for spouts. Just as they find  two large angel fish, I see a HUGE splash and start yelling for them to get back on the boat! Off we go in pursuit of whoever created the big splash. Of course when we get in the vicinity there is nothing happening. Eventually we do find the whales who are moving fairly rapidly. However we can see rain closing in from all sides and decide to head back. As we are leaving I'm watching out the back of the boat and see spouts and dorsals . Apparently they decided to stick around. If only the rain clouds weren't descending from all sides we would have too!

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