Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hit The Trifecta

Hi All,
Underground weather has been predicting all week for today to be a perfect day. I've been really looking forward to a sunny day with flat water. As we head out of Leeward, it's perfect. The sea is flat and sparkling. It's so calm we can see turtle heads almost to the reef, popping up for a quick gulp of air before heading down. I have this wonderful feeling of exhilaration and anticipation that an exquisite Turks and Caicos day brings.
We make our JoJo rounds but fail to see his familiar dorsal. As we are finishing the loop which brings us back to Leeward we see boats acting like they may be with dolphins. People are hanging out and pointing into the water. There are three dolphins slowly starting to head past Leeward. My heart is literally pounding. Please may it be Whizzer. As soon as I get in he swims over. I get a great greeting with much circling and whistling. He is with Bo, his Mom and Raggedy Ann his aunt. They seem glad to have me there or at least I'd like to think so. We stay with them all the way to the far end of Pine Cay. When I wasn't in the water with Whizzer, he would circle the boat as well as other boats that came by to see him. For a while all three dolphins were bow riding.

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Whizzer Bo and RA Feb. 2016
I had been hoping JoJo would meet up with the dolphins. Raggedy Ann is his favorite lady dolphin, but he didn't show. We decide we should make use of this magnificent water and go past the reef to see what we can find. We head out and I notice the "Magnificent Frigate" birds are soaring way above us. We saw them a few days ago and I'm sure it's the same juvenile and male. The flying fish are rocketing out of the water like little fighter planes (Turks and Caicos air force!). Soon I see a dorsal. Then more. Then lots of dorsals! How lucky are we! There are Spotted Dolphins everywhere; leaping, surfing our wake and frolicking all around the boat. Kristen and I slip in. They greet us enthusiastically as only Spotted Dolphins can do! We decide this is not the same pod from the other day. The pair who had been so friendly weren't there. This group seemed to be having more feuds amongst themselves where the others were more peaceful. Maybe there were more juvenile males. At one point a group of about 6 came rocketing by me. I could hear what is called a burst pulse. I could also feel it. It sounded like a loud clicking and I could feel a vibration through my body. I'm not sure if it was aimed at me or I if I was so close I could feel it.

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Spotted Dolphins outside of Pine Cay
The dolphins move on and we climb back in Spy Hop. I mention to Kristen and our guest Melanie that in all the years I've been looking for pods of dolphins outside the reef this year is the first I've ever found them repeatedly and how lucky were they to be in on it!
We decide to keep heading toward Northwest Point putting the hydrophone in occasionally to see if we can hear a whale. Just as we pull the hydrophone up and decide there aren't any whales in the area one surfaces right in front of us! He then starts to do numerous small breaches and climaxes in a full breach. We motor over and turn off the engine and he heads toward us. He then stays near the surface allowing John and Kristen to climb in and have a long swim with this young whale. Apparently he is a silent one or at least is silent today. After they climbed out I also slipped in and got to watch this magnificent cetacean hanging quietly in the water.
I'm sorry for the lack of video but I had a truly bad camera day!

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IMG_8551 courtesy of Melanie who brought her cell phone out

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