Monday, June 20, 2016

Last Day of a great Trip

Hi All,
This week has gone by so fast with so many dolphin encounters. I'm hoping my last day can measure up! We head out with Captain Terrell at the helm. After our usual dolphin circle we head up to Dellis Cay where we have found Bo and Whizzer almost everyday. I really wish I would see Raggedy Ann with them. She is Bo's best friend. I either see her with JoJo and or Bo. She lost her calf late last summer.
As we approach the channel between Dellis and Parrot Cay, I see one big dorsal and one little one. It is Bo and Whizzer but no JoJo or Raggedy Ann. Once again swimming with them is hard because of the murky water. We see some weather heading our way and decide to head back. I bid them goodbye and hope to see them upon my return in November.
When the weather clears, my friend James and I decide to head out past the reef. We are hoping to find another pod of dolphins. We get lucky as we are heading back from North West Point and see dorsals heading our way. There's a pod of seven bottle nose dolphins. They rivaled the fun loving spotted dolphins with their aeriel feats. They weren't quite as good at racing our boat but gave it a good effort.
For anyone wondering when to come to Turks and Caicos, I strongly suggest summer! I will be counting the days until I come back to see my friends in November.
video

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Summer in Turks and Caicos

Hi All,
Despite some equipment issues. We get out on the water with a healthy engine. After our usual dolphin loop, we head toward Pine Cay where we have been finding Bo and Whizzer. As we pass by the cliffs of Pine Cay, we see many Tropic Birds with their long tails swooping down to check on their chicks. They are pelagic birds who have come to nest in the crevices of the cliffs that line the beach. They have their babies then when the chicks are old enough they return to life on the ocean.
As we come around Fort George and head toward Dellis Cay I see a dorsal, then two more. We motor up and I get. The water is really murky and almost impossible to see even an arms length. Then disaster hits! Not just one but both water scooters are totally dead. I swim like mad without. It took awhile for Whizzer to realize the swimmer with flailing arms is me! In the video you will see how murky it is.
We watch as JoJo suddenly flys along toward Bo. They start fishing with a vengeance. I think they were waiting at the entrance to the channel between Parrot Cay and Fort George for fish to swim by. They quiet down again and our boat Captain, Terrell points out a dark shape coming our way. It's a nurse shark heading toward the dolphins. JoJo takes off to ward it off. He loves to harass nurse sharks. The nurse shark changes direction. JoJo has completed his tasks:herding fish to Bo, warding off nurse sharks entertaining various tour boats. He is ready to go back to Grace Bay. That's where we come in! I see him heading away from the others toward Fort George. I ask Terrell to pass him so he can fall in behind our boat. He does and off we go to Grace Bay with JoJo. He branches off

before Beaches and we find him playing with another boat. I get in and drag behind the boat holding onto a line that is attached to the stern the boat, JoJo comes beside me. When my arms get tired,.  I let my guests take a turn. It's now late and Terrell has another job to get to. I don't think my guests will soon forget today! https://vimeo.com/171253045

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Spotted Dolphins-party dolphins

Hi All,
Another absolutely gorgeous day, no wonder there are so many tourists in the tour boats. I'm thinking JoJo might meet us in the same place as yesterday but apparently he has other engagements. After a few trips up and down Grace Bay, we venture out toward North West Point. I have been able to find large pods of dolphins in that general direction before.
I'm sure my friends are wondering why we are going so far with nothing insight but the big blue ocean. Our Captain who is excellent at spotting sees something ahead. Everyone perks up. First one dorsal comes in sight then many. We start racing them, then circling they are leaping out of the water so close and so high you could touch them! Everyone going nuts trying to film. Of course you are always pointing your camera where they just leaped!
I try getting in but this pod isn't as friendly as the last pods I'd met. Two of them seem to take to me one has a remora attached to his belly. In the past many had surrounded me but this pod really liked racing the boat best. We obliged and played with them for hours before heading home. https://vimeo.com/170931427<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/170927688" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Whizzer!!!!!

Hi All,
This is the first trip since Feb. I'm flying down thinking how much I miss JoJo and how I'd love to see Whizzer who would be almost a year old.
It always starts the same. Scooters, radios and cameras to charge. There is usually some glitch with something, this trip Jet Blue informed me at 4:30 am that they didn't take boxes. I had a water scooter that needed repairing all packed up with various bathing suits wrapped around it. I asked if I could store it somewhere seeing they wouldn't let me check it. They replied "NO call someone and have them pick it up!" Now I have some pretty terrific friends but that would be pushing it. I ended up repacking everything, checking my suitcase and attempting to carry the water scooter with me thru security. Despite some pretty weird looks, I made it on.
Summer in Turks is positively glorious. The water is delightfully warm and usually calm. I'm in my element. I've hired a boat Captain and brought along a few friends who are anxious to see JoJo.
We pick up the boat from Caicos Marina where we keep it stored and make our way out Leeward Channel. I've been dreaming of this since February. As we head out and turn left to motor down Grace Bay I see some trash bobbing in the water and we head over to retrieve it. Just as we start up I notice a boat captain pointing toward shore. There's a familiar dorsal heading our way. I get in as fast as humanly possible to greet my friend. I always check him out first to see if there are any new cuts. I see a gash on his back that doesn't look to deep and one in front of his pec that is a little nastier. He also has a scrape on his dorsal. Dolphins heal amazingly quickly and I've seen much worse. JoJo seems to want to take a ride so I climb in Spy Hop and JoJo gets in his usual place behind the boat.
After a few trips up and down the island he opts to play with another boat. Then he goes to another boat, I'm wondering why he isn't staying with us until I see him swim off toward two dorsals. He was biding his time until they showed up.
I don't think I have animal communication skills but it seems pretty amazing that after 5 months of being away I can step off the plane, get in a boat and see my two favorite dolphins within hours of leaving Rhode Island! Whizzer has not forgotten me. He's flying around me in tight circles then zooming off to Bo his mom. This is quite the beginning to a week in Turks! I tried to keep the video short enough so it would publish but there was so much great stuff to choose from because the water was clear and the dolphins so friendly! Notice Whizzer is definitely a boy!!
https://vimeo.com/170869394