Saturday, February 25, 2017
Hi All, Today is the sad day. I have to leave Provo until November. I will miss my dolphin friends so very much. I hope Whizzer will still be with his mom but I think by November he may join up with Lemon Lips or another pod of young males. I hope like Lemon Lips, he'll come by now and again to visit Bo and I'll be there to see him.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Hi All, Weather forecast is awful! Lots of wind, potential rain. At least the kite boarders are happy! As we pull out of Leeward the water looks better than predicted and no black clouds looming. After a pass by the resorts we see a few boats stopped as we go past Coral House. A yellow boat comes by and points toward Leeward. The stopped boats must be with someone. As we approach, JoJo swims over. He wants to go toward Pine Cay so, we oblige. As we pass by Leeward Channel, I see dorsals on the other side of the channel. I know JoJo will branch to join them. I get ready to slip in. Suddenly there seems to be a LOT dorsals! I get in the water and it's so murky I can't see a thing. I'm in front of Little Water Cay where boats fly around the corner coming in and out of Leeward Channel. I hope they can see me! Even with John guarding me, I know I need to pay attention to traffic. The dolphins are whistling loudly. I can make out JoJo, Bo and Whizzer but there's another maybe, Lemon Lips. If they weren't moving so quickly or if the visibility wasn't so bad I could tell! Whizzer and Bo are coming around. Whizzer plays with me. I see a dolphin porpoising toward us at high speed. Yikes, he didn't see me until the last second! Near collision with fast moving torpedo of muscle! I had motioned Kristen to get in but now I'm wondering if it's a good idea! Because the visibility issue, I have to look above the water to see where all the activity is. I assume all the excitement is sexually driven. I have now counted five dolphins, four I know for sure. They are circling, porpoising, tail slapping and rearing up out of the water. It's so confusing sometimes with a mass of 3, 4 or 5 dolphins in a whizzing ball of dolphins! A few boats go ripping by and somehow they don't notice this amazing dolphin show! Bo and Whizzer come up to me. I see a dorsal approaching. Now these three are together and quietly swimming along. This dolphin has a fluke I think I've seen before with Lemon Lips. He or she comes up to look at me. Soon another dolphin arrives. It's Lemon Lips. I think JoJo has left the meeting. I wish I knew exactly what was going on! After frantic intense activity, the dolphins separate and swim very calmly. The visibility is so bad I lose track of them. With storm clouds now approaching and no dolphins in sight we decide to head in.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Hi All, Both ospreys are in their nest as we leave the marina. That I hope is a good sign however the wind is pretty strong as we go out the channel. It's wavy and windy out front. We go up and down past the resorts then out past the reef. The water is fairly rough everywhere. The color by Beaches is a magnificent turquoise as always. We go for a quick snorkel. After another look past the reef there is a big bank of clouds heading our way. John decides to make one more trip to Pine Cay. As we get opposite the Meridian Club, John sees a dorsal! Kristen only spends about ten days a year here and she's thrilled to hopefully get another swim with the dolphins! Bo and Whizzer turn toward Spy Hop. JoJo isn't there so we will see if they'll swim with Kristen without his help. I believe they will because we spent so long with them the other day. Bo also swam beside her for a little bit. ITs murky and the visibility is very bad. They will have to stay near me for me to see them-no problem there! Whizzer is all about playing. I lose sight of them and they come back to find me. The tour boats start seeing the activity. They are looking for something to show the tourists because the weather has curtailed their usual activities. Pretty soon there are about seven boats circling us. Bo goes down and blows a big warning bubble. Does she wish they'd back off? Was she warning whizzer and I to be careful? Some of these captains come so close that when they leave the propellor creates so many bubbles I can't see where the dolphins are. Whizzer spy hops to see where I am. The dolphins, come back and circle me. Whizzer dives deep and brings up some weed on his rostrum. He blows some big bubbles aimed at me! He starts diving deep then racing up toward me then porpoising way out of the water! The boats have now left they missed the last show!
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Hi All, The wind is out of the North making it nasty out front. We bounce around then go out the South Side. I had more video from the other day so I included it. You will see my daughter here and there. JoJo stayed behind her unless visiting a tour boat or playing with Whizzer. This is the first time they have let anyone else swim with them. JoJo's trust plays an important part! Notice Whizzer occasionally nursing. Dolphins have the JOY of life!
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Hi All, Seeing today is really windy and from the West which is not a good direction for whale or dolphin sightings, I thought I'd show you more video from yesterday. I think it will have to occur to you as you watch this video, that dolphins have it all figured out! They love, they play, they enjoy their surroundings without destroying them. We could learn a lot from them!
Monday, February 20, 2017
Hi All, The wind is down and coming from the East! The osprey are eating breakfast as we leave the marina. It has to be a great day! We get the dolphin sign from a yellow boat that there is a dolphin at Grace Point. We find JoJo coming toward us before we get there. He happily takes a ride to Pine Cay. After branching off near a huge yacht we stop and swim with him a little. He wants to check out the yacht and Kristen and I join him. But as he goes under the yacht, we loose sight of him. Back to Spy Hop. We find him again and throw anchor hoping to entice him for some more swims. He is casually circling our boat when a tour boat pulls up. I try to swim over to get him to visit them. They have tourists that wants desperately to swim with JoJo. As soon as she gets in the water JoJo head straight back to Spy Hop and goes to the other side! He wanted no part of swimming with her! I figure he has another agenda this morning so we get back in Spy Hop, JoJo gets in the wake and we're off toward Leeward and beyond. I have been hoping all winter that my daughter might get the chance to swim with Whizzer and Bo. In the past it has worked if JoJo is there and she stays with him while I go to the others. She hasn't met Whizzer but the ground work is laid. JoJo really stayed with her for a long time yesterday so I know he'll help if we find them. JoJo branches at Grace Point. We see other dorsals!! Here's our chance. I get in and see Bo in the reef. Whizzer comes right to me. I'm hoping Kristen has spotted JoJo and is getting in. Soon JoJo enters the scene and I see Kristen off to his side. The dolphins go about their progress as usual. Whizzer and JoJo are spending some quality time together. JoJo is so great with what must be his kid! You never read about male dolphins playing with calves or baby sitting calves! JoJo really is a great loving dolphin! There is a lot of flipper footsie and stroking. Whizzer is in his face and everywhere around him. JoJo is clearly enjoying it. Every now and again JoJo goes to check on Kristen while Whizzer, Bo and I get together. Whizzer takes the opportunity to nurse on his visits with Bo. Along the way we encounter tour boats, paddle boards and Hobie Cats the dolphins take notice but nothing stops them for this great family outing!
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Hi All, It's a nice day the wind is coming from the Northeast creating fairly big waves but not bad! We have a boat full of friends that are along to hopefully meet the famous JoJo. I have my daughter who only comes once a year for about ten days. I introduced her to JoJo years ago the same way he introduces me to his dolphin friends. He remembers her very year! As we come through Leeward Channel, a boat makes the universal dolphin sign and points out past the opening of the channel. How lucky are our guests to find a dolphin within minutes of leaving the marina! JoJo swims up to our boat and gracefully glides into the wake. He wants to go up and down Grace bay numerous times. Many tour boats come by to show their tourists the famous dolphin. Eventually he branches off near the reef. It is murky but I think he may want to swim with us. I know my daughter is itching to see him. I get in and John points behind me. JoJo is waiting to greet me. Kristen, my daughter slips in. It takes a few minutes for JoJo to figure out it's her. He takes long look at her. He starts swimming with both of us a little way from the boat then back. I'm thinking I'll get out and leave them together for a while. Off they go like old friends going for a stroll! JoJo swims right beside her for a long time as they head toward the reef. Occasionally, he leaves her to surf a wave coming in. I decide to rejoin them and watch JoJo rolling gracefully in a beautiful patch of glistening white sand. As he starts to surf more waves which are getting bigger we decide to go back to Spy Hop. JoJo apparently likes this plan and beats us there. We climb in and JoJo wants to go back along the beach by the resorts. Kristen once again climbs in with him and he takes her for another magical swim from Seven Stars To Royal West Indies. The visibility is not very good the closer it gets to the shore. Kristen climbs out and we pick up JoJo and take him to the end of Pine Cay. I don't think my daughter could ask for a better first day in Turks!
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Hi all, Disasterous day in paradise! We go out taking the usual route. No dolphins, then we see a HUGE black front coming our way. There was no escaping it! We go back to wait it out. Later in the afternoon we go out again this time the motor (new motor) has a mind of its own and starts going up and down whether John asked it to or not! Clearly we need help again! A call to our fabulous fix it man who comes to the dock and hours later we are good to go for tomorrow morning! I am putting an amazing video that my friend Betsy sent to me! ENJOY I KNOW you will.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Hi All, The weather is going to be tricky today. The fairly high wind is supposed to travel around from the South to the West. I haven't seen JoJo, Bo or Whizzer for a few days. The wind won't help me find them or stay with them. We make our pass in front of the resorts then travel up to Pine Cay. I haven't seen them there for few days and think they maybe there. We still can't find them and the wind is picking up. A yellow boat comes by and starts pointing back toward Leeward. We're off! Bouncing wildly over the ever growing waves. We know they saw a dolphin but we don't know where or how many. I'm hoping we don't fly (bounce) right by them! A boat has stopped along the shore. We pull up and they point toward the reef. More bouncing from wave to wave and it pays off. There we see three dolphins. I get in Whizzer is in travel position under Bo and JoJo is off to the side. I notice JoJo has some new marks at the end of his peduncle right before his fluke. It looks like three stripes. None of them broke the skin. After checking on JoJo's condition, I take position beside Bo and Whizzer. Whizzer is in sleep mode. His eyes are partially shut. Every now and then he must have a good dream, because he becomes aroused! I notice a few boats are coming by to watch as we all travel along. They are very respectful and don't disrupt our progress. I know JoJo is around but can't always see him. He'll suddenly appear and check on us. I expect he's going up to the boats as they come by! Tomorrow the wind is supposed to die down come around from the East.
Hi All, Yesterday brought rough seas on both sides. Seeing we didn't find any dolphins. I'm going to share what the whales sound like from our hydrophone. Don't mistake this with the males singing which is different. This is more whales chatting! Imagine looking at a huge expanse of ocean with only a gentle breeze quietly blowing. We put our hydrophone in and hear all of this! If I knew how to just play the music I would but I don't so! Watch and keep listening to hear the whales after the video stops!
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Hi All, As we leave Blue Haven Marina, I look up at the corner of the roof where an osprey sits each morning. He's preening in the brilliant sun. Soon he'll be bringing breakfast to his mate and chick. They are across the channel living in a big messy nest that sits on a wooden platform. There seems to be everything hanging off the nest from flashy fishing lines to plastic bags. They are clever but messy nest makers! When we went past the fuel station the Captain on "Catch the Wave" asked us if we had seen the whale that was tangled up with fishing net. This was the first we heard about it. He said they had called the authorities to help the whale. We want to see if we can find the whale in case it was still in trouble. We go straight out Leeward Channel past the reef. We think the whale might be along the shelf just inside the wall where it drops off thousands of feet. The dark blue water is sparkling as far as we can see. The flying fish are zooming off on either side of our boat. They go about 50 yards a foot off the water then make what looks like a crash landing. Once we are opposite Dellis Cay we put our hydrophone in to see if any whales are around. Loud moans and squeaks come through the speaker. It sounds like there are three whales somewhere in the area. We start to hear whistles! That can only be dolphins!! Over our radio we hear the captain of "Gwendolyn" a fishing boat telling another captain that he saw a pod of 100 dolphins. John asks the Captain where they are! He tells us and we're off! I see something - a whale quite near us! There is a small pod of Pilot whales very close. We immediately stop and turn off the motor so as not to spook them. They come right at us. John gets in but they dive deep and we don't see them again! Pilot whales look like large dolphins. Was the captain mistaken? Back to the search. John who can see miles away starts seeing dolphins - lots of Spotted dolphins. I get in the water and they are everywhere. They are friendly and have no problem with me swimming with them.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Hi All, The wind seems to be calming down for the next few days much to my happiness. We are returning from our trip past the resorts. John spots some trash in the water as we approach Leeward and he's determined that we get it out of the water. This plastic bag is determined to stay where it is! After numerous passes with it floating just out of reach, I snag it. Ha! Perhaps we have saved a turtle from getting entangled with this bag. I look up and see a dolphin swimming by the boat. Now I see two dorsals. I'm thinking maybe it's a new mother and calf. Bo and Whizzer would normally come to the boat and surface in greeting. I get in and after catching up find Bo and Whizzer in travel mode. Bo is traveling pretty fast and is looking around. She carries her head up a little. She then swims down and scoots along the bottom on her side. She is hunting for fish. She takes some time out for stroking and caressing Whizzer. They are so affectionate.
Monday, February 13, 2017
Hi All, The wind has come up for the second day and the water is rough. We take a quick look out front and don't see any dorsals. I'm thinking maybe the South Side will be better. We head back into Leeward channel. One of the "Island Vibes" boats flags us down, points toward the other end of the channel and yells that JoJo is in front of the Conch Farm. We go through the channel passing Leeward Marina where the water taxis call home. Right after the marina we slow down as we approach the Conch Farm. Luckily it is high tide so we can travel slowly without getting stuck. I see a dorsal and JoJo comes right to the boat. He gets in our wake and we head south past the wreck and continue on almost to the end of the island. The waves are getting bigger the farther out we go. JoJo starts branching off. We repeatedly pick him up but he doesn't seem to want to travel very far. I suggest stopping to see what he wants to do. He just hangs by the boat. He then starts to float with the waves that are traveling south, circles then does it again. His circle go right by our boat. He is in sleep mode. Dolphins rest half their brain while the other half tells them when to breath and watches for predators. JoJo usually takes short naps around our boat but today he stays in sleep mode for over an hour. I now notice he is starting to travel away from us. He has come out of sleep mode. We lose sight of him for a while then see him off in the distance. We head over and he flips upside down as we pass over him. This is his usual behavior when he's about to get in our wake. This time however he doesn't get in our wake and we can't spot him. Gone! Just like that. He has taken us to the South Side before to meet other dolphins but apparently today he just wanted to have snooze where he could count on peace and quiet!
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Hi All, The wind has kicked up as predicted. We decide to take a pass by the resorts in case any of the dolphins are there. The waves are getting bigger and bigger as the wind picks up. On our return trip from Beaches, Whizzer comes rocketing up to our boat. Apparently they all know the new motor! I can't wait to slip in despite the rough seas. He circles around gleefully in greeting. There are people watching from shore as he cavorts around porpoising and spy hoping. Now he's diving deep and playing around in the sand. He's chasing a little fish. Now he's digging around with his rostrum and seems to have gotten a piece of coral stuck in his mouth! Bo comes up as if to check on the situation. Whizzer is shaking his head trying to dislodge it. He sticks his rostrum back in the sand and that seems to do the trick. He sees some seaweed floating on the bottom. He starts swimming through it trying to adorn his body. The dolphins move farther down the coast and the water gets too murky for me to see them. I get back in Spy Hop and watch as Whizzer checks out a kayak (who is totally oblivious to his visitor) then he's off to check out a Hobie Cat. He periodically comes to check on us. I'm so glad to see Whizzer in his usual wild man state.
Friday, February 10, 2017
Hi All, I have been looking forward to this day because the weather forecast is perfect! Brilliant sunshine and flat water make for good sightings! We leave Leeward with a boat full of friends. On our way back from Beaches, JoJo joins us as we go past Seven Stars. He is looking for a ride to Pine Cay. Once we get there he branches but comes back to Spy Hop and stays around our boat. This is a nice opportunity for people to get in and swim with him. A few boats pull up and he visits each of them. Unfortunately, it's Melanie's last day on Provo and we need to bring her back to Ocean Club so she can catch her plane. JoJo doesn't choose to accompany us so we leave him with his admirers. After dropping off Melanie, we make a quick check to see if any other dolphins have joined JoJo. He was following a boat which means he's by himself. My other friends are real whale enthusiasts and toady is a perfect day to see them. Once over the reef we see a mother and calf. Unfortunately there are a number of other boats have seen them as well. We follow at a respectful distance but clearly the mom wanted no part of the humans. On the Silver Bank where most of these Humpback whales are headed there are only three boats allowed at a time. If you are trying to watch a mother and calf and they turn away from you three times you must leave the alone. There is actually a warden on board one of the boats that enforces these rules. Here however, I have seen a lot of pushy behavior from boats. I really think some of the whales are okay with humans getting in to swim with them however if they clearly are on the move then it's disrespectful. We leave these whales and head toward Northwest Point. I spot something in the water that I think might be trash and we go to pick it up. As we get near, we see it's a bird with a very long tail sitting on the water. As we turn to go it flys off showing it's beautiful long tail. I realize it's a Tropic Bird. They always show up at this time of year to nest and have their babies. The rest of the year they stay over the ocean.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Hi All, My friend is on board again and we are hoping to find Bo and Whizzer. I'm getting more and more nervous that Whizzer isn't ok. He spent the whole day without playing on Sunday, VERY unlike him. Today, we find JoJo right off and he's very interactive, unlike the day before. He wants to scratch on a tour boat's anchor line. He follows us up to Parrot Cay and back to Beaches where I get some great swims in the beautiful clear water. He follows me around some of the boats at anchor. He swims ahead of me as he aims for the swim area. We go under the swim line and I see a submerged buoy. I head over with my scooter, dive and run into it. He loves "bang the buoy"! He whips around to come watch clicking at me as the buoy swings wildly on its line. JoJo loves the game. We then go back to Spy Hop and he gets in position behind the boat indicating he wants a ride. We take him to Leeward and then on to Pine Cay. He shows off for a few more tour boats on the way. The tourists clap and cheer as he comes up to breath. I know he likes that. Now we are off to the end Pine Cay. I'm hoping Bo and Whizzer will join him BUT not to be. JoJo leaves us to swim in Big Blue's wake and after 6 fun hours with JoJo we head home.
Hi All, We come out on the water hoping that the forecast will prove wrong. The predictions is for thunderstorms. We have brought a great horse friend from Tennessee with us. She has been coming for a number of years and met JoJo a few times. She's dying to see Whizzer. She's dedicated her whole life to animals, primarily to horses so she gets my passion. We see two huge catamaran motor boats coming our way. There are people in the back looking into the water on the first boat. The second boat is following closely behind. A sure sign of JoJo in their wake. He is there alright! We follow along waiting for them to go somewhere he doesn't want to go! He gets a little behind and changes to the second boat's wake. We still bide our time. Success! They turn into Leeward and JoJo comes to us. He stays in our wake until Half Moon beach then branches for some serious fishing. This can take some time. Dolphins eat about 20 pounds of fish a day. When he fishes in this area he isn't crater fishing, he is chasing after fish. It's easy to tell because when he dives he uses his tail to propel him down. Just like whales this gets this gets him deeper in the water. If you are watching whales and you see their tail (fluke) they are about to do a deep dive and you probably won't see them for a good twenty minutes. With JoJo he will pop up pretty far away from his spot of entry. We keep a close watch so we don't lose sight of him. This is not a good time to swim with him because he's flying through the water in hot pursuit of fish. A tour boat comes along with scores of people all hanging out of the boat trying to get a glimpse of JoJo. He can't resist. He has to put on a show. They are all dancing around the boat, hooting and hollering (rum punch will do that to you). Soon, they have all checked, "seeing the dolphin" off their to-do list and we are left alone with JoJo. He now wants to head to Pine Cay. He branches off before we reach the end of the island. He is milling around and this may be a good time to get in with him. I slip in and he comes right up. Melanie hops in and he starts heading out toward the reef. I think he wants to fish more. We lose sight of him. I'm hoping we will find him again and perhaps the others will be joining him. However those storms that were predicted are heading our way and we're off dodge the rain!
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Hi All, We are getting a very uncharacteristic late start. The super bowl had a lot to do with this! The sea is a little churned up today and there are bans of rain coming frequently. I think I'll use this as a catch up day! Last month we made a trip to French Cay on an absolutely lovely day. There was no wind the seas were totally flat. We met up with dolphins just as we were leaving and I have included video that includes the most wonderful noise of their surfacing. I get to hear the "pfffs" a lot it. They help me find them if the visibility in the water is poor like on this day.
Monday, February 6, 2017
Hi All, I am thinking the dolphins will be at Pine Cay but we stick to our routine and head out on our usual tour past the resorts. I'm also thinking they now know our new motor which should help in finding them. As we make our return trip, I see a dorsal in front of Club Med. They are all there - JoJo, Bo and Whizzer! JoJo comes right up and seems to want a ride. He wants to check out our new motor's wake! I however want to swim with all three. Bo and Whizzer come up. Whizzer is staying in travel position under Bo's belly. If you look carefully his eyes are partially shut perhaps he's sleeping. Half his brain is in sleep mode while the other half is still active telling him when to breath and where to stay with his mom. When I look up, I see that there is a large group of sail boats from Club Med heading our way. Bo checks them out as well and opts for going to the other side of our boat so that Spy Hop blocks them from the Hobie Cats. This I'm thinking is good because I don't want to get in the middle of a crowd of sail boats! The plan doesn't work however because some of them see the dolphins anyway and come over to look. The first one gets too close and with a pump of her fluke Bo and Whizzer are off! After they settle down I catch up to them.JoJo is now with us as well. He however wants to visit a sail boat. A lady drops into the water from the boat and JoJo checks her out before catching up to Bo, Whizzer and me. As always Bo keeps away from other swimmers in the water. Oh no, I see another boat and it's bearing down on us, near miss! John's yelling at the lady sailing because she almost hit me! Finally, all the boats head off and we swim leisurely past Ocean Club and on to Leeward. It's so great to see JoJo, Bo and Whizzer together for such a long time. We decide to venture out past the reef to do a quick whale check. No spout and no noises or singing in our hydrophone. We come back in and the dolphins are still at Leeward. They come to meet us and swim around our boat inviting me to join them but I am pretty cold from swimming with them for so long and both my scooters are dead. I'm not sure if Whizzer just out did himself the day before or what but he was mellow all day. I'm sure there was a lots of snoozing going on with periods of flipper footsie and nursing.
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Hi All, After a quick trip home, we arrive in Provo anxious to see how are new out board motor is going to work. I drop John off at the shipyard where the motor has been installed. He has to drive around and pick me up at Blue Haven where we keep the boat when we are on island. After all that, we are finally out on the water with the new motor humming along. The first thing we have to do is of course find the dolphins. This will be a little harder than usual because they know the sound of our old engine and will come to us if they hear us in the area. Dolphins have a great sense of hearing. We start out past the resorts. A couple at the Shipyard told me JoJo had taken a ride behind their boat to The Royal West Indies, a resort right down from Ocean Club. As we head toward the resorts, we pass a Big Blue boat. John notices that they have stopped. We radio and they tell us they just saw two dolphins. We must have just passed them. Again, because of the new motor they didn't show themselves. We go back and look all over but can't find them. We continue on making the loop to Beaches and back. As we approach Leeward, we see two boats circling slowly. Definitely dolphin sighting behavior! We motor up and I get in to find Whizzer, Bo and JoJo they hardly react to my presence. I don't think they expected me because the motor was different! I get out for a moment and Whizzer "spy hopped" way out of the water. Dolphins can see above the water as well as they can below. He was definitely looking into the boat to see me. Hopefully, now they will associate the new motor with us. I get back in and they all come to greet me! Whizzer is now under Bo's belly. He is getting bigger and bigger and is almost as long as Bo. Whizzer reaches under his mom's belly to nurse. She has a slit on both sides where her milk is stored. There is nothing protruding that would slow her progress down in the water. Dolphins are built for speed. JoJo appears and Whizzer and JoJo play flipper footsie, an affectionate greeting. They come visit me a few times then start playing. JoJo opens his mouth just like Bo did. It appears to be mock fighting. Whizzer starts to get aroused rubbing himself against JoJo. He is such a teenager! All of this activity is taking place in Leeward Channel where the huge yachts are traveling in and out! I decide maybe I'd better get out! Start the day in Boston, end the day swimming with dolphins how cool is that!