Thursday, November 30, 2017
Hi All, As we leave the marina the osprey is flying over head with a huge mass of seaweed. It's so heavy he's not getting much altitude. He flies onto his nest and I picture his wife saying nice coach honey! After passing the remains of the docks destroyed in the hurricanes, I give Scotty and his wife a wave. Scotty drives his jeep to the channel edge every morning pulls up a chair opens up a beer and enjoys life in paradise. After two passes down the coast, we start toward Pine Cay where I hope to see a friend from home who is staying at the Meridian Club. Not to be! I notice Atybera is circling slowly, sure sign of a dolphin spotting. We motor up and I see JoJo, Whizzer and Snipper. I get in and spend a long time swimming around the sail boat with all three. The water is very murky. I think JoJo likes that; all the better to sneak up on me! After the dolphin show ends and the boats that have moved off, I get them all to myself. We leisurely travel all the way to Ocean club then head out toward the reef where finally the water is clear. My cheeky friend Whizzer swims up to me turns upside down and splashes me with his fluke. There's a lot of flipper footsie and stroking. They are more into traveling then playing. Although it looks like they're traveling at a leisurely pace, it's fairly fast for me. I get in the boat so I won't get left behind or wear out my scooter. They travel along for 45 minutes towards Grace Point then suddenly turn right towards the boat and wait for me to get in. They then travel slow enough for me to stay with them. How lucky am I!!
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Hi All, We are heading back from our first pass down the coast. John stops Spy Hop to make a phone call. As I'm looking around, I hear a "pfft" my favorite noise! Right behind our boat is Whizzer and Snipper. Were they in our wake like JoJo? Did they just swim up to visit? In any case I'm going in to join them! It's hard to express how cool it is to have these guys come to the boat because they want me in with them. Whizzer is swimming all over then coming up to visit. He then flips over and does some loud tail slaps. Zoom off he goes. Now he's crater fishing for a little breakfast. He really burrows his rostrum way into the sand before he comes up with a fish. He surfaces, starts throwing it backwards over his head then flips over after it. A few tosses later he eats it. They always make sure their fish go down head first so the scales and fins are easier to swallow. Zoom, off he goes to find Snipper. I climb in Spy Hop and start looking around. He's in a playful mood and I don't want to loose sight of him. He comes up near our boat swims upside down and gets in the bow wave. What a ham! Later, we find them at Leeward. Whizzer is sporting some dolphin "jewelry". He has seaweed on his left pec. It drops off after he shows it off. He then has it in his mouth but not for long. Its now on his fluke! He stops worrying about accessorizing when he notices a ballon fish. Whizzer and Snipper take turns following and poking the fish much like they are playing dolphin soccer much to he horror of the ballon fish! Whizzer is now playing with his jewelry again tossing it around then placing it on his pec. As he swims off, I notice a large ray lying half covered in the sand. I hope you can watch this on a computer so you can really see the dolphin jewelry.
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Hi All, The weather calls for rain but the sky is a brilliant blue and the water a drop dead gorgeous turquoise. A few terns fly over head as they start their morning hunt for fish. A good sized turtle surfacing right near our boat takes one look at us and floats back down out of sight. We don't find the dolphins until afternoon. They are entertaining two boats. JoJo opts to follow our boat. As he gets in the wake I realize there are two more dolphins with him. I get in and he comes right up with Snipper and Whizzer right behind him. After a nice swim with them I climb back in the boat because they are moving along faster than I can keep up. They slow down and I climb in again. The water is now a bit murky and I'm looking all over trying to see a dorsal. When it's murky I look above the surface to try to see where they are. I'm about to give up when JoJo surfaces with a much louder than usual "PFFFT". John has been watching JoJo as he followed right behind me then surfaced with the load PFFFT. I swear I could hear both of them laughing. It is a bit disconcerting that a seven foot dolphin was inches behind me and I had NO CLUE!! Whizzer and Snipper come along to join JoJo and me. Whizzer plays with JoJo and shows off with a few barrel rolls then swims upside down. He then gets cheeky with me. He seems to be swishing his fluke very near my face. If course if he ever wanted to get me he would. I believe if there was anything to worry about JoJo would let me know. They travel down to Leeward Channel where they start to fish in earnest. We decide to head home and leave them to their dinner.
Saturday, November 25, 2017
Hi All, There are a few dark clouds and occasional thunder booms in the distance. I'm good with that because the sea is flat! Spy Hop glides along while I strain my eyes hoping to see a dorsal. As we get to Grace Point, I see dorsals cruising over the reefs fairly far from shore. As Spy Hop motors over I slip into my fins and grab my camera. I can now get in the water with all my equipment faster than any human if there is a dolphin involved! JoJo, Whizzer and Snipper are making their way toward Pine Cay at a fairly fast clip. They are happy to have me with them but they are on a mission. Only Whizzer separates from the pod long enough to take me over a reef. They really aren't into entertaining tour boats this morning. If a boat approaches they dive deep and stay submerged until the boat passes by. We oblige them by not letting on that we are with dolphins. Once we get to Pine Cay everything changes. JoJo hears the Parrot Cay water taxi and surfaces so they notice him. The boat turns around so the tourists can ooh and ahh. JoJo falls in behind their boat and the Captain revs up the motor making a huge wake. JoJo and one if not both of the other dolphins start rocketing out of the big wake wave. The are spinning and flipping as they fly through the air! Rapid fire leaping! Whoa, JoJo you are the man! After the taxi leaves they all settle down and I get in hoping for some tame swimming! I am getting good video of JoJo sonaring. You will see him swing his head back and forth as the beams of sound leave his melon, find a target and return through his lower jaw giving him a three dimensional picture of what's ahead of him. I am hoping he's looking for Lemon Lips, Whizzers older brother. Instead he finds Whizzer and Snipper who had gone off on their own. More boats arrive and we are now close to Fort George where the water is very shallow and amazingly clear. I get in with Whizzer and Snipper. They go close to the boats but then veer away taking me with them. I get a nice long swim with them before they head off. All three dolphins go in a different direction. Whizzer is off on his own JoJo and Snipper come together again and head back toward Grace Bay. We loose sight of Whizzer and head for home only to have JoJo come join us!
Friday, November 24, 2017
Hi All, After two dolphin-less days, Eureka!! We motor out of the marina where we see the houses lining the canal missing roofs and palm trees with barely any fronds. The hurricanes have reeked havoc on the island. There are many men scurrying about fixing roofs. The people of Turks and Caicos are coming together to put their island paradise back together. We pass the pole where a family of Ospreys had built a massive nest. Now there is a small messy nest with strings and plastic bags hanging off the sides. We come out into Leeward Channel where all the yachts were once docked. There are a few pilings left but most of the docks have been swept away. I see a blue heron walking along one remaining dock where once the massive yachts were tied up. I'm elated that it's a beautiful day with flat seas but also relieved that people can work on their roofs without dodging rain showers. We make our usual trip down the coast and find two dolphins near a tour boat on the way back. I get in to find JoJo swimming with a dolphin that has had her dorsal partly snipped off. They are quite amorous. Lots of flipper footsie and stroking going on. JoJo is a lover and he hasn't lost his charm. When I get in they come up to greet me. The dolphin with the injured dorsal I've named Snipper. I must say she did come to me the way Bo greets me - hmmm. As most of you know Bo is one of JoJo's favorite female dolphins.I get to accompany them as they slowly make their way to Leeward Channel. They travel close to the shore giving observant beach walkers a chance to see them (and a snorkeler:)) They spend a long time at Leeward milling around and visiting various boats. Eventually they start making their way toward Pine Cay. We get a radio call from Andy our buddy that is now the captain of Privet, a large yacht that has managed to find a temporary slip. He tells us that there is a dolphin by his yacht which is anchored in front of The Meridian Club on Pine Cay. This makes me sooo excited that maybe Whizzer, my cheeky dolphin friend who would be three years old this year, is with him. Most calfs leave their moms around the age of three. I have been worried that he might have left Bo and as a result, I might not see him. We decide to leave JoJo and Snipper and see if its Whizzer. We also figure they are planning to meet since they are slowly heading toward Pine Cay. As we pull up we see a single dorsal heading our way. I get in and Whizzer comes right up. He has grown a lot. He's almost as long as JoJo and very handsome:) We spend a long time swimming together. I get out fearing my cameras, scooters and body may give out before the others show up. When I get on Spy Hop, he swims right next to us. Eventually he swims off and we briefly lose sight of him. Then there are three! JoJo and Snipper have arrived. They all swim happily together and head to the boat! I get back in. There seems to be some sort of hanky-panky going on! Its quite murky and hard to see exactly what's happening. At one point Whizzer blows some huge bubbles that come to the surface right in front of my mask. Is he warning me that they were getting rambunctious and perhaps I should back off? It seems that way because he then shot out of the water! It's hard to say because they kept coming to me when I can't find them in the murky water. We've been with them all day and I feel its time to head home. As we head into the marina, the osprey is carrying some new material for his nest! The dolphins are good, the ospreys are good and the resilient people of Turks and Caicos are safe.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Hi All, I have been waiting for this moment since last February. I think JoJo feels the same way. After finding him near Leeward and getting a nice greeting, he spent the day behind our boat. He took a few side trips to visit various Hobie cats and a few boats. We got thoroughly soaked before heading in! Occasionally paradise has its cloudy rainy days but I'll take it!
Sunday, November 5, 2017
Hi Truly it's killing me not to be there. Fifteen days! David Green has been keeping me up to date on JoJo. This a video or JoJo (notice right pec is damaged).The the dolphin with snip off top of dorsal may well be MoJo who I haven't seen in a number of years. I hope it is him. he is very friendly. JoJo Mojo and I spent many hours swimming together. I'm including video link courtesy of David https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SEITrGuwJE&feature=youtu.be Jay