Sunday, February 21, 2016

JoJo encountering two nurse sharks while having brunch

Hi All,
The wind is gusting 20 knots and out of the Northeast. This is terrible for boating because the wind is now coming straight down the island making it rough out front and on the South side. We have guests on board so going to visit iguanas and snorkel in the channels seems like a good idea. We anchor by Donna Cay and sneak onto the island (you aren't supposed to go there). I do a great deal of trash pick up as we are looking for iguanas but can't find even one! We get back on Spy Hop and decide to snorkel in the mangroves. It is a nursery for lots of juvenile fish. They are all winding in and out of the mangrove shoots. There is an occasional barracuda lurking about occasionally darting in  to snatch one. As we climb back onto Spy Hop, I notice movement on the island. A female iguana has come down to see who's there. Pretty soon we have three hungry iguanas looking expectantly onto the boat for raisins, which we happily provide.
Time to check if the sea is passable on the North side. Not too bad! We start our usual loop and as we get back to Leeward I feel we should continue toward Pine Cay. I have a feeling JoJo will be around today. We haven't seen him for a few days. Soon a dorsal appears coming right at our boat. JoJo flips over as always giving me a fright as he slides under the boat upside down. We turn around and bring him back in the direction he wants. He keeps branching off once we get to Grace Bay, so Kristen and I get in to see if he wants company. He takes a good look at Kristen before heading slowly off to crater fish. The wind has whipped the waves up so much the bottom looks like clouds rolling in! No wonder it can get so murky with a strong wind. None of this bothers JoJo as he pokes along grabbing some little fish along the bottom. He is echo-locating the whole time. You can see his head going back and forth in the video. I see a dark shape approaching. It's a nurse shark that is swimming along and JoJo goes to inspect. In his youth he would torment it by goosing it with his rostrum. Rumor has it he used to herd nurse sharks into groups of divers to watch the pandemonium that ensued. I totally believe it. JoJo has a good sense of humor. Now we have swum into an area where the waves are huge. They are pushing me along. I rather like feeling a little like a dolphin surfing the waves. JoJo notices there is an another swimmer that has gotten off our boat. He goes over to inspect Jeremie who is respectively watching and not swimming like a mad person to come look at him. After checking out both Kristen and Jeremie, we are off for more fishing and encounter another nurse shark! We eventually climb back in Spy Hop to find everything sopping wet. Apparently one of those huge waves broke over the bow leaving everything drenched. Time to go in and dry everything out!

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JoJo Encounters a Nurse Shark or two while Crater Fishing

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JoJo from Kristen's perspective

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