Wednesday, May 16, 2018

JoJo's Gash

JoJo has been hit by a boat propellor

Hi All, JoJo has been injured by a boat propellor. He has a large gash on his head. Mark the island vet has seen pictures. He feels it will mend as have many of the other gashes he has sustained. The worry is that he can eat and that sharks aren't attracted to and seepage coming from the wound. He also feels it's important that he's felt alone to heal and people aren't taking advantage of his injury to be close to him. I have witnessed this before but I was there to ask people to give him his space. Please implore anyone with a boat to be careful of JoJo, he's an older dolphin who loves to hang with boats but he doesn't move as quickly as he used to. Many boat captains go way too close obviously this one did. A very concerned Jay

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Last Swim with Snipper and JoJo

Hi All, The front has finally passed leaving churned up water and fairly rough water. As we travel past Grace Point I start seeing Laughing Gulls. This is the first we have seen of them this season. They are flying all around the boats picking the perfect spot land.
They seem to like this boat the best. We turn around and see Snipper surfing what's left of the rough water. He's heading toward Leeward at a pretty good clip. At Coral House where there is a little clear water he slows down a little. I get in and get a quick greetng before he moves on. I figure he's meeting another dolphin at Leeward and doesnt want to be late! As we pass over the lingering waves that hit the sand bar before Leeward, we see JoJo heading right for Snipper. They come together but don't stay together. I get a nice but short swim with JoJo then he makes it clear he wants his Uber ride. We go up and down the coast in front of the resorts numerous times. As we return to Leeward our engine starts acting up. John says our day is done but, he'll cut the engine so I can have one last swim. Unfortunately it's pretty churned up but it appears his mouth is not bothering him. This is a relief to me. We are leaving Provo until November and I will be worrying about him everyday.

Last Swim with Snipper and JoJo for the Season:( from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

JoJo's Mouth May Hurt but He can Still Sneek up on Me

Hi All, This morning a boat Captain calls over the radio "JoJo and his family are at Big Water Cay". We race back from where we are with high hopes that JoJo is with many dolphins. Usually when this happens and we are pretty far away, they have moved on by the time we get there and we don't know which way to go! This morning is no different! However Big Water Cay has some nice cliffs which are attracting the Tropic Birds so despite the lack of dolphins we got to see more arial displays. Back to our original search. I see a dorsal in the very opaque water between Coral House and Leeward. When I get in I notice again that JoJo is opening his mouth. I decide to climb out and hope they travel to clear water. Out by the reef opposite Coral House is gorgeous crystal clear water and they head that way. Some tour boats see us with them and motor up. This again gives me plenty of time with Snipper who isn't interested in the boats especially when they put swimmers in. JoJo visits for a while then when I'm least suspecting it, he sneaks up on me! Seven feet of big dolphin swimming behind you and suddenly appearing by your side is quite something! I know he loves this game of sneak up on Jay and plays it numerous times in between entertaining tour boats. JoJo and Snipper love to roll in the soft sand by the reef. Both dolphins do some crater fishing and catch some little jaw fish that live in holes in the sand. JoJo catches about three fish then his mouth really bothers him. I saw him shake his head and open his mouth really wide. I wonder if he hit the spot that's bothering him? I really wish I could help him but I can't see exactly the problem. Whatever it is JoJo is feeling good enough to take numerous rides in the wake behind different boats. Snipper is left on his own as JoJo goes up and down the coast behind various boats. Maybe this takes his mind of his mouth or maybe it's a way to police his territory with the least amount of effort.

JoJo's mouth is Bothering Him 1 from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

JoJo Sneeks Up On Jay from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Snipper and JoJo in Crystal Clear water from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Monday, March 26, 2018

JoJo and Snipper

Hi All, The wind has shifted to the East making boating on the North side nice again. Unfortunately the blow that came through for the last few days left the water very murky in most places. We are heading out with David and Emily his wife who are hoping to see JoJo. We pass out the channel and I'm relieved to see fairly flat water. After making the usual tour of Grace Bay, we head up to Pine Cay. I hear a distinctive bird call and look up to see a Tropic Bird soaring high in the air. It's magnificent tail stretched out behind, glimmering white against the blue sky. We are all watching as more birds join in until there are eight Tropic Birds all soaring above us. What a great way to start the day!
As they are making their way to the cliffs to pick out their nesting spots, we head off in search of dorsals. It has been working for us to stop along the sand bar between Fort George and Pine Cay. I'm hoping our luck will hold and a dolphin will come along. Our luck holds! JoJo is heading to our boat with Snipper not far behind. I get in and swim in the opaque water trying to follow the dolphins. JoJo sonars a big catamaran yacht and follows it over to the beach near the Meridian Club. Snipper and I wait around knowing JoJo will be back after checking out the boat. Sure enough JoJo appears in his usual stealth fashion. This scenario unfolds numerous times. Of late he seems to prefer the fancy big boats! Snipper and I in the mean time have a nice long swim with me losing him occasionally in the murky water while we wait for JoJo. A few boats start coming by to look at Snipper of course thinking it's JoJo. One boat let swimmers in which drove Snipper and I farther out toward the reef where its slightly more clear. I see a big turtle deep under me and swim down to take a closer look. JoJo comes back again and both dolphins disappear into the murk toward Fort George with JoJo this time in the wake of a Zodiac. We head out past the reef for a nice snorkel where the water is crystal clear. I figure we might see the dolphins heading back toward Grace Bay when we finish snorkeling but we don't. However see them as are starting to turn into Leeward towards the marina, a boat Captain signals that he's seen a dolphin. Off we go past onto Grace bay where I see JoJo and Snipper. JoJo wants to get in our wake, so we take him as far as Seven Stars leaving Snipper behind. The water, other than Sargasso floating around is very clear. I get in and JoJo is staring at our propellor as if willing it to go! He then comes to me and opens his mouth. I think he's showing me something. All I can see is that his front teeth look really worn down. I will send pic to Mark the island Vet and see if he sees something else. JoJo swims off and we return to the marina. David and Emily pretty much spent the day with dolphins with some Tropic Birds thrown in!

JoJo and Snippper Is JoJo's Mouth Bothering Him? from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Dolphins on a Mission

Hi All, What a day! The sun's streaming down and the water is flat and in most places clear. There's barely a boat left in the marina. Everyone's out enjoying this magnificent day. There is a call for 30% rain later in the afternoon but it's spectacular now. The quandary, do we go out past the reef and look for Spotted Dolphins or stay inside the reef and look for JoJo and his friends? I'm down to my last week on island and I want to see the dolphins I know as much as possible. That decides it. As we head past Ocean Club on our pass back to Leeward both John and I spot a dorsal. It's Snipper heading toward Leeward. I get in and get a swim-by through the crystal clear water. It woud be a great day to film on a reef with Snipper but it's not to be. I'm back in Spy Hop as we follow Snipper who's traveling fairly fast toward Leeward. I feel a little guilty at what happen next. The boat captains all know that if we are traveling slowly or stopped, there is a dolphin with us. Because everyone travels in and out of Leeward there are many of boats coming and going. Snipper who is just trying to make his way across the channel gets surrounded by tour boats. At least 15 boats stop by to let their passengers see him. Some are respectful and stop a good distance from him, leaving him the choice of going to their boat or not like JoJo. Others not only ran up to him but right over him and won't leave him alone even after he makes it clear he isn't interested by trying to swim away. When the water is murky it's easy for the dolphins to disappear but today with the clear water Snipper doesn't have a chance. Finally they all go on to whatever activities they had planned. Snipper makes his way across the channel and over a patch of reef and disappears. We head to Pine Cay where we figure he is going. We pass Norm and his wife who are stopped along the cliffs of Pine Cay. They are hoping to see the Tropic birds. We told them about the Tropic bird we saw way out past the reef floating in the water with her long tail cocked up behind her so it wouldn't get wet. Norm is an avid bird watcher and great bird photographer. Once we motor past The Meridian Club John stops and after a brief swim we dove into our lunch. It was short lived when I see a dorsal not far off, then another dorsal in the distance. A boat comes by and one of the dolphins get in the wake clearly that was JoJo. I figure he'll be back because he won't want to leave the other dolphin. I get in and find Bo chasing a trunk fish around. She likes to play with them but doesn't eat them. Pretty soon she starts heading off at a good clip and I get back in our boat. Now I see a third dolphin heading toward her. Snipper has made his way there and both are heading right for the swim area near the Meridian Club. Whenever I see big dives where they propel themselves down I know they are fishing. As we get closer we see one dolphin right near the buoy. JoJo has come back and joined them. I get in and see schools of fish swimming by. No wonder they were heading this way! JoJo seems more interested in the buoy. There's a lot of marine life clinging to the buoy including clams. He sonars it as he hangs vertically. He swims off and makes it clear he wants a ride by swimming out in front of our boat in the direction he wants to go. I find it strange that he wants to leave them but we drive by and he gets in our wake. I'd rather not leave the others but they are darting all over fishing and don't need a slow human tagging along. By the time we take JoJo way far in the other direction past Beaches Resort, the 30% chance of rain is heading our way! We manage to take him back toward Leeward where he branches off and we avoid the rain that is fast approaching.

Dolphins on a Mission from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

JoJo Finds Bo

Hi All, JoJo made full use of his Uber rides this morning! We see him at Grace Point, he swims past us and takes a long ride with Dream Aweigh II, a large catamaran motor boat. We follow them as they go back to Leeward into the channel, turn around and out toward the reef. JoJo decides he'd rather go back toward Grace Point and switches to our boat! He then follows us up and down the coast to Pine Cay and back. He doesn't stop for any leisurely swims with his friend Jay! Typically when he does this, he's looking for another dolphin and is more than happy to swim with me once he finds his friend. Just as we come to Half Moon Beach, Bo suddenly appears and swims up to our boat. I get in and get a great pay off for all those trips up and down the coast by swimming with them both. JoJo keeps coming up to me. He seems agitated about something regarding his mouth. He keeps opening and shutting it. The last time this happened Mark, the island vet, told me he may have a fish bone stuck in his gum. As I'm looking at JoJo I notice a small fish that keeps swimming right by his side. JoJo rolls in the sand but the little guy stayed very close. Boats start coming up and people get in the water. Bo immediately swims away and I go with her while JoJo does a brief swim-by and comes right back. With no dolphins very close, the people climb out of the water and the boats leave. I have noticed before that JoJo goes to Bo's fluke area and seems to be checking it out. I think he's sonaring to see her status. Is she in estrous? Is she pregnant? Bo also behaves the way she has before when she doesn't want JoJo too close. There's no stroking, flipper footsie or hanky panky. She even lies still on the bottom like I saw her do once before. I'm not sure what that means but it happened when JoJo was around and there wasn't any affectionate interaction that day either. JoJo takes off after a fish and I don't see him for a while. Bo who usually doesn't like me around when she fishes was fine with me watching this time. She whizzes off after a few fish and catches them. I see her use her rostrum to move a chunk of coral to find a fish hiding under it. She catches one rather chubby fish and shakes it violently. I'm not sure why. Dolphins don't chew their food. they swallow fish whole head first. Perhaps she was incapcitating the fish before she turned it around to swallow. I have gotten some great time with no boats to disrupt my time with Bo but now boats are starting to see we have a dolphin with our boat. John tries to tell people that it's up to them but she probably won't swim with them. Some of them try and as predicted she swims away. JoJo will usually do a swim-by if people get in but Bo would rather not! Now we are surrounded by boats and one boat has dogs barking wildly because they can hear the dolphins and sometimes get to swim with them. I watch Bo as she blows a what I think is a warning bubble and swims off. She has done that before when surrounded by tour boats. JoJo is enjoying the boat traffic this time entertaining each of them.

JoJo's mouth is bothering him from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Bo Goes Fishing from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Snipper and Bo

Hi All, Everyday I wonder who I'll find and who will be traveling with whom. Yesterday I left JoJo and Snipper pretty early in the day. I wonder if JoJo minded that. John and I are sitting at the far end of Pine Cay enjoying the sun. I'm snoozing in between looking for dorsals. There's no better place for a snooze than on the water, with the sun beating down and Spy Hop gently rocking in the waves. No one seems to be around so we head back past the Meridian Club when we notice these weird little boats circling around. They are one man boats that look like sit down lawn motors in the water! Of course the dolphins want to check them out! We motor up and see Snipper's dorsal and figure JoJo's with him. Once I get in the REALLY murky water, I see the other fluke and it's not JoJo's. Eventually I get a look at the dolphins side and see blemish below the dorsal on the left side. Its Bo! The water is seriouly murky and I have to look on the surface and hope to see a dorsal to figure out where they are. Snipper is in a playful mood and keeps surfacing right beside me. I'm looking all over knowing he's somewhere and he pops up right beside me! This game goes on for a long time! I think he's totally aware I can't see anything and wants my company! Both dolphins are staying with me despite my losing sight of them every time they dive. How lucky am I to have these amazing dolphins popping up all around me and wanting me to accompany them as they slowly make their way toward Leeward. I go through three scooters as we travel to Leeward. I have to get out a few times so I can warm up and rest. The water starts to clear up in spots as we get to Leeward. There are so many tour boats coming by to see the dolphins but the dolpins really aren't interested. They are milling around Leeward maybe waiting for JoJo to join them. I decide it's time to go in. My scooters are dead and my legs are cramping up from all the swimming! What a great day: to have Snipper and Bo want my company.

Snipper My Buddy from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Snipper and Bo from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

notice big Southern Ray and both dolphins looking up at tour boats then turning the other way!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Good Dolphin Day

Hi All Finally a great water day! As we come out of Leeward, I don't know which way to go; it's perfect past the reef and perfect up and down the coast. Maybe there's one last whale that hasn't made his way past the island on his way to the Silver Bank. We go past the reef and drop our hydrophone to check. Not a peep! I decide going back to find JoJo and see if Lemon Lips is with him this morning is the way to go. We turn around and head in. I see glistening specks coming our way. The sun's catching two dorsals as they make their way through Leeward Channel. As we motor up I see JoJo's distinctive dorsal and Snippers even more distinctive dorsal. I get in and have a long leisurely swim with them as they make their way toward the resorts. Their route lately seems to head toward Seven Stars turn around and head back. Tour boats start seeing us and come to see JoJo. The dolphins aren't one bit interested in greeting this morning. They aren't fishing, playing or interacting with boats. They are just happy to swim along peacefully in no apparent hurry. We have David with us, who's dying to get in with JoJo. I tell him if Snipper gets a little ahead, he should climb in and maybe JoJo will look at his camera. This has worked for Nic and Ted. As predicted JoJo stops to check out the Go Pro on a stick then swims back to me and we head off to find Snipper. Having a seven foot dolphin come look at you is pretty terrific even if he didn't choose to swim with you. The dolphins head out toward the reef and mill around. The water is so inviting past the reef and there is a cut right in front of us. I decide we should leave our friends and see what's out past the reef. I of course have visions of whales, perhaps new whales we haven't seen before and spotted dolphins whirling around my head! David has in the mean time found on his phone a picture of what we think we saw the other day, a Cuvier Beaked Whale. It's head is white and with age more of his body turns white. He has a small dorsal located fairly far back on his body which is exactly what we saw. Mystery solved! Apparently, they can dive really deep and not surface to breath for three hours! This makes it hard to study them. We were so lucky to see one. We head to Northwest Point and drop in the hydrophone. There is only the swishing of water and crackling of shrimp. I want to go back to where we saw the Cuvier Whale. So we head in the opposite direction toward Parrot Cay. I'm so loving the flat glistening water with welcomed sunshine beating down. It's the middle of the day and we stop for lunch hoping to see some activity as we float in this vast ocean. There isn't even a bait ball. Nothing broke the surface of this magnificent flat sea. After finishing our usual P,B and J and tuna fish we are off toward Parrot Cay. Just as I spot the ritzy Parrot Cay Inn in the distance, I see some splashing as a pod of Spotted dolphins heads toward our boat. John entertains them driving in circles and they join us riding the bow wave and surfing the wake. We see some very tiny calves also riding the bow wave. Yikes! Sort of like kids playing in traffic but they are so adept even at a young age they have great fun and don't get hurt. David and I get in and have some fun swimming with our new friends. Once we leave them the sky is starting to cloud up and I'm determined not to get soaked like yesterday so we head in.

JoJo and Snipper 3-18-18 from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Spotted Dolphins outside of Pine Cay from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Lemon Lips and JoJo Meeting

Hi All, The past few days have been difficult for boating with a big swell coming from up North. We are happy to finally be out on Grace bay without bouncing all over! After not finding JoJo in front of the resorts, we head to Pine Cay. I have been hoping everyday that I would see the Tropic Birds coming to the cliffs of Pine Cay and Fort George Cay to nest and have their chicks. Tropic birds are pelegic and only come to shore in spring to have their babies. Today we see lots of beautiful Tropic Birds flying over the cliffs surveying where they want to make their nests.
On our way back after dodging a few rain storms we find JoJo at Leeward wanting a ride. We take him past all the resorts then back to Ocean Club. We had company on board and one passenger needed to climb off at Ocean Club. We drop him close to shore, JoJo branches off and we lose sight of him. With the impending rain we decide to head to Leeward. There were some serious black clouds pretty much everywhere and just as we decide to head in John see's a dorsal. We figure whoever it is must be on his or her way to meet JoJo. I'm happy we are all in agreement to get wet so I can figure out who is meeting JoJo. I get in and get an enthusiastic greeting from Lemon Lips! We are pretty sure JoJo will show up any minute however the rain is closing in and its nasty! We decide to race back to the marina to beat the rain. We didn't make it in time!

Lemon Lips Is Happy To See me from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

I'm adding the picture of the whale or dolphin from the other day. We didn't get the camera out in time to get his white head. He was about 20 feet long and looked just like a Rizzo's dolphin all except the dorsal.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Whales,Dolphins and ?

Hi All, There is lots of activity on the dock everyone knows the wind is down and it will be a good day. The captains and crew are hustling around preparing their boats. There are mounds of food and rum punch being loaded. There is much excitement in the air and everyone is discussing where they are going. They want to know if we are finding JoJo or whales. There's a procession of tour boats leaving the marina hoping for adventure! Ted and Suz our friends join us at 8:15 sharp with their lunch, cameras and snorkel gear. We head to North West Point with visions of whales and dolphins whirling around in our heads! I see some activity on the horizon before we even get there. A pod of Spotted dolphins are porpoising out of the water. One high jumper is a good 10 feet off the surface! I'm hustling around to get flippers and camera for a quick entrance as John entertains them by whizzing around in circles as they bow ride and porpoise in our wake. As John slows down, I hop into the deep dark blue water. Immediately two dolphins come over to greet me. For some reason there always seems to be a mother and calf that want to play with me. They circle wildly as if staking me out as their toys! There are other dolphins around but these two have laid claim! I play with them for a half hour then figure we should get on with our whale search and return to the boat. I see the mother come back wanting her human toy to stay a little longer. As I climb on board, I'm told the rest of the pod had moved on leaving my friends behind.

Spotted Dolphins 2 from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

The wind and waves are coming from the South West making it a bit more choppy than we anticipated at North West Point. After putting the hydrophone in and not hearing any whales, we decide to go back in the other direction past Pine Cay and outside of North Caicos. It's a beautiful smooth ride toward Pine Cay as we glide along with the wind and waves at our back. There are battalions of flying fish taking off as we approach, a frigate bird soaring over head and it's snowing like crazy at home. How lucky are we! We aren't seeing any spouts at all as we pass Pine Cay, Parrot cay and on towards North Caicos. We drop the hydrophone in again and can hear a whale but only faintly. After turning around and heading into the wind and waves I finally see a spout way out on the horizon. John immediately turns to investigate and Ted's very special, favorite hat flys off his head into the water. We have to retrieve it before going out! This turns out to be a stroke of good luck. We don't find the whale but as we are all getting hungry and decide to go to Pine Cay to hang out for lunch Ted spots the most interesting whale? Dolphin? Its head was white as it surfaced and breathed. It stayed on the surface for quite awhile. It looked to be about twenty-four feet long. It had a small dorsal fin. Ted hustles around to take pics before it sinks down into the depths. We are all so excited and are speculating on what we have just seen! We are hoping his pics come out so we can try to look it up. We head back inside the reef to discuss our find and chow down our lunch. I'm wondering if we can find JoJo before the day is done! We head back to Grace Bay and we see a group of boats milling around Leeward. Everyones jumping in to try to swim with JoJo who is nonchalantly swimming up and down one of their anchor lines while Snipper is patiently waiting for his friend. After the tourists all check it off their "to see" list, I get a nice swim with the boys. JoJo goes down to the bottom where there are tufts of weeds swaying in the current. There he finds some fish trying to hide. I am so happy to see him catch and eat them. Now I know for sure his mouth has made a full recovery. He comes straight up to me after eating a few fish. I think he wants me to see that all is well! I believe dolphins use telepathy to communicate and I think we just did the same!

JoJo Fishes with Snipper from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

We are Back and get a Nice Greeting

Hi All, We got out of New England in the nick of time! There's another Nor'Easter heading their way! So great to be in Provo! We gather all our equipment and head to the marina. I bought yet another water scooter and brought back the scooter with the repaired on/off switch. The trick is usually getting through security with a lithium battery. This time however John sailed right through with the battery and a small knife he forgot he packed! I however was pulled aside for a box of raisins! Go Figure! The weather is great especially knowing what's about to happen at home. I'm eager to see JoJo I figure all his cuts and the puncture wound are healed. The important thing is if he can open his mouth wide enough to fish. It was pure luck! I spotted the dolphins quite near the reef along Pine Cay. There is a huge tanker that I am watching just outside the reef. They aren't usually in this area. As I'm looking to see how massive this ship is, I see a black speck which turns out to be a dorsal. We head toward the speck and JoJo and Snipper appear. I got into the very murky water and got a nice JoJo greeting. He seemed quite interested in the new scooter which makes a slightly different noise than the old one.

JoJo and New Scooter from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

I see JoJo open his mouth really wide which makes me happy that all is working correctly again. I really think he knew I was concerned and showed me. The murky water makes it hard to follow the dolphins so, I get back in Spy Hop and hope they will eventually head into clear water. We go all the way past Club Med before it's clear enough to get in. This time I get in and a fish immediately swims between my arms. I look to the right and see a fairly large barracuda with his sharp little teeth glistening as he hovers right near me. He is clearly after the fish that has taken refuge between my arms and my water scooter! This is way worse than the episode in my book with a dolphin after the fish! JoJo swims right under me and I'm asking him to please come take the fish but he's not even slightly interested! Snipper comes along and he's equally uninterested. By this time the fish is now swimming around my legs and I'm envisioning the barracuda mistaking my knee for fish! Dolphins are supposed to come to your rescue but they didn't see any need apparently. The fish swims of or at least I couldn't feel him running into my legs. JoJo goes off to investigate a Hobie Cat and Snipper and I swim along together. I for one was happy to have some company. Snipper turns back slightly and locates the barracuda (I knew that sneaky devil was still following me!). He looks at it then off we go. I haven't seen JoJo for a while and am enjoying Snippers company when JoJo appears right beside me traveling on his side. All seven feet of him appearing suddenly at your side can be a bit startling which of course is his plan!It kind of reminded me of Kramer making an entrance! How vulnerable we are in their world and how lucky I am they are my friends!

Fish takes refuge In My arms from Barracuda! from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

New Scooter from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

how I miss this face when I'm away

Saturday, March 3, 2018

More whales

Hi all, Spectacular day on the water! With almost no wind the conditions are spectacular for anything on the water. Knowing this was the forecast, we had invited David along with hopes of more whale encounters. Whenever it's this great we head to Northwest Point. We are rewarded with two whales. I thought I heard something as we are watching them spout them dive. I asked John to turn off the motor and we could hear them vocalizing right through the boat! As soon as David and John got in the water, the vocalizations stopped. They didn't see the whales. As soon as they got on the boat, the vocalizations started up! David put his Go Pro down for evidence!
We traveled through the blue green water to the end of West Caicos not seeing any spouts but totally loving the crystal clear water as Spy Hop quietly motored along. It was so clear David spotted a school of fish from the boat and I got in to explore. Its pretty clear when you can see schools of fish and barracuda swimming along without even getting in the water! There was a large school of Horse Eyed Jacks, my favorite fish (for watching, not eating). When I dove down I think they felt sorry for me for not being able to stay long! They followed me up.

Horse Eyed Jacks from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

We start heading back hoping for more encounters. We find two more whales that were equally as disinterested in swimming with the boys! Still a great day. I am off island for a week. I will miss JoJo and his family more than you can imagine but will be back soon with more updates.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Yahoo Whale and Dolphin Bonanza

Hi All, As predicted, the wind is down and we are out at day break. A King Fisher flies over the channel as we pass by Mrs Osprey who's eating her fish breakfast. All good omens! There are waves coming out of Leeward Channel hmmm. We go past the channel markers and there are big rolling swells that make large waves on the reef. When Spy Hop climbs to the top of a swell we can see way out on the ocean. My favorite kind of day! No chop, no bouncing, no splashing just gentle swells a perfect day for cetacean viewing! We drop the hydrophone in at Northwest Point and feel like we are on the whale thoroughfare. We look and look don't see a spout but, we know they are around! Off to West Caicos with the gentle swells gently pushing us along. We see a Coast Guard Helicopter flying along and John kiddingly goes on the radio and asks if they have seen any whales. They come back with coordinates fairly far out to sea! We go to the location indicated but don't see any spouts. As we head back toward West Caicos I see a spout then that gorgeous turquoise color of the water washing over their pecs as they surface. We get pretty close and John gets in. He gets a brief glimpse as a mother and calf swim by. He gets back in Spy Hop and we find them again. This time John gets in and they swim under the boat and come up beside Spy Hop, before swimming away. I was debating getting in then trying to film but it all happened so fast I didn't get anything done! John gets back in Spy Hop and asks if I'd like to get in. ARE YOU KIDDING!!! WOULD I LIKE TO GET IN!?!?! I've been trying to be a good sport and let him swim with the whales since he always drives the boat and rarely gets the fun part of swimming with the dolphins. I climb in. Whoa! Its deep and really dark blue. Visibility is not great. I see a white pec up ahead, now a whole whale comes into view. She's hanging quietly in the water. I stay a respectful way off hoping she'll be comfortable with my company. Pretty soon her calf comes up to breath and sees me. He sinks down again under Mom's chin but next time he comes up to breath, he comes closer. Every time he surfaces, he comes a little closer and Mom's not minding at all. It's now been about 20 blissful minutes and she slowly surfaces to breath. As she drops back down she and junior start slowly swimming and they are perfectly content having me swim along beside them. She swims with her calf under her just like the dolphins. They start to slowly descend into the deep dark blue. I really think they would have been ok if I had followed them but thought if I wanted to keep my boat driver, I'd better go back and try not to gloat too much :)

Mother and Calf Humpback from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

There was no music that would have been better than the peace of their existence. If that wasn't cool enough, on the way back as I'm grinning reliving how cute junior was coming to check out the human, we see a dolphin porpoise ahead of us. Spotted dolphins start racing the boat, riding the bow wave and porpoising. I get in and a mother and calf take an immediate interest in me. They whirl around me so close it's slightly unnerving! They are whistling loudly as they circle me. I try to swim toward other dolphins and they cut me off and swim right in front of me! I am their human toy and they arent sharing! The mother has lots of spots and her calf doesn't but will as he ages. She seems the most interested in playing with me. The calf gets some one on one with me after she calms down. We've really had a great day and need to head home so I leave my new dolphin friends and head back to Spy Hop. While we are motoring off through the gentle swells I see a boat way behind us making circles! The party dolphins have no doubt found another boat to play with! I don't think we can top today but I'll let you know tomorrow!

Spotted Dolpins Play Play Play from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

JoJo,Snipper,Jay and Nic the free diver

Hi All, This morning we have invited Nic, who is a free dive instructor, and his family to come out and hopefully encounter whales and or dolphins. The water is flat through the channel making me feel a little whale watching may work. Out past the channel marks it's still ok not too flat but not too rough. The hydrophone tells us there are whales in the area and they sound close. We travel outside the reef to Pine Cay and I see spouts. The spouts look a small way off on the horizon. We motor out but never catch up. The girls on board are happy to go look for dolphins! We find them in almost the same spot as we did yesterdday at the end of Pine Cay. They are very interactive. I get to spend a whole scooter battery's worth swimming in clear water. JoJo follows me a lot as the three of us make our way around through the crystal clear water. If I get out they come back to the boat and want me to get back in. Snipper, JoJo and I are going along when JoJo turns back to the boat. Nic has slipped into the water with his long diving fins. JoJo wants to investigate and he watches Nic swim to the bottom. After Nic surfaces after what seems a very long time, JoJo returns to Snipper and we continue on our way. I think they got plenty of dolphin watching in and almost had a whale encounter! Nic now owes me a free diving lesson which I sorely need!

JoJo,Snippper,Jay and Nic the free diver from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Whales and Dolpins

Hi All, The wind is coming down!!! We meet our company, David, at Spy Hop bright and early. As we head out, John sees Bruce a friend who captains a big fishing boat and asks him if he's seen whales. He saw two at Northwest Point yesterday. Clearly our first mission is to check out the water past the reef to see if the waves are down enough for our boat to go to Northwest Point. We decide YES and off we go. Flying fish are zooming away from our bow as make our way there. Of course the waves get bigger and bigger the closer we get to Northwest point. Our hydrophone tells us there are whales but not that close. We decide to go past Northwest Point and circle for a while hoping to see a spout (in my case hoping to see dorsals!!)No spouts so we start making our way back. The waves are significant but not a huge as on our last trip. Right as we come to the same place we saw the whale before, I see the turquoise color of the water washing over white pec just below the surface. I yell above motor "whale get your equipment!" The boys move in as fast as they can but, this whale didn't opt for hanging around. I see a tail indicating a deep dive and apparently John and David saw him disappear under Spy Hop. They weren't able to get footage but had some excitement. I in the mean time am trying to keep track of them between the substantial waves. Seeing John drives the boat 99 percent of the time I'm finding a challenge not to run them over as the waves, wind and current are having their way with Spy Hop! On top of that I'm trying to watch to see where the whale is going. I failed on that count! John takes the wheel (thankfully) and we start lurching back threw the waves toward Sellers Cut and hopefully dolphins. As we pass by Coral Gardens David waves at his family who are spending the day at the beach. I see a small round object bobbing on the water way by the reef we go to investigate. A beach ball perfect for David's young son Charlie. I love sea booty! Now on to Pine Cay. A few captains start signaling that there are dolphins as we near Pine Cay. We start looking and soon find JoJo and Snipper. They are in a totally different mood from yesterday. They are fine with my joining them provided I can keep up. They aren't playing, rough housing or porpoising, just cruising along. First in the murk toward Dellis Cay then back and out toward the reef where it's really deep and clear. Snipper makes sort of C shape with his body then a U shape then displays. I'm not sure what that is about but he does it twice. Behavior is interests me so much and I haven't seen this before. It's getting late and we'd better get David back to his family. We leave the dolphins and head back to the marina.

JoJo and Snipper 2 from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Dolphin Meeting at Pine Cay

Hi All, So happy, the wind is down a little and we are out early! Its at least calm enough to try going past the reef. We don't see any spouts and its still too rough to hang around looking. I'm so glad we had an early start because JoJo is right in Leeward Channel looking for his Uber ride north toward Pine Cay. Had we started the day a little later, we would have followed our usual routine, gone south and we would have missed him. Once we get to Pine Cay, he branches off and is no where to be seen. I'm really hoping he has gone toward the reef to fish. We are looking all over toward shore and out by the reef. Out of the waves shoots JoJo and we see he has company. They are swimming fast and playing. Swimming in circles at speed on their sides. For an old man he sure has a lot of energy. I'm dying to know who he's swimming with. I notice the dorsal is not always standing upright. Could it be Lemon Lips? I get in and it's so murky I can't see much of anything unless the dolphins come really close by. I see his fluke and it is Lemon Lips. He stops racing around briefly to swim with me. I notice he has some horizontal cuts across his trunk or above his fluke. He also has some rake marks maybe from another dolphin.You will be able to see this if you look closely in the video. They are on the move again and not too interested in swimming with their slow human friend who can't see much of anything in murky water. We follow them toward Leeward. They visit a few boats, then turn back toward the far end of Pine Cay. I get in again when the come by our boat but they aren't waiting around. As I climb back in Spy Hop, I notice another dolphin. Easily recognizable, Snipper is heading toward them. Apparently he was a little late to the meeting! WOW they are all excited. Two of them porpoise at least 10 feet out of the water in unison! Of course I didn't have my camera on :( Once they calm down a little I get in but still can't see anything below the surface. They are still rough housing and without being able to see into the water I don't want to get too close. I swim up and stop about eight feet from the excitement where I can watch without getting in the way. I'd hate to have a dolphin porpoise ten feet out of the water and come down on me! I find it interesting that some days they want me to hang with them and others they have their own, in this case, exciting dolphin activity to tend to.

Meeting JoJo+L Lips+Snipper from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Everyone Loves Snipper

Hi All, Weather wise its pretty much a carbon copy of yesterday without as many rain showers. As soon as we hit Leeward Channel the waves start mounting. The good news is all three dolphins are just arriving at Leeward. Bo is off fishing, her dorsal popping up here and there all over in the caulky water. She is one fast dolphin! She must have to fish a lot in preparation for her calf! JoJo and Snipper are peacefully swimming along close to our boat. I get in a little before we reach Leeward and am thrilled to see JoJo crater fish for he first time since he got all those cuts and the puncture wound. The water is really murky but I think he has success. I don't think he's comfortable opening his mouth very wide, though. I hope this improves as time goes by. As we reach Leeward the water's wonderfully clear; the bad news is we are in boat traffic. I imagine you all have noticed that I look up frequently when taking video. The other day a girl got off a boat and was swimming as fast as she could go to catch up to JoJo, who was slowly swimming along three boat lengths ahead with no intention of waiting! There was a tour boat with everyone hanging out to watch JoJo. She was heading right at it going as fast as she could go. The boat captain is yelling at her to stop - CLUNK right smack into the boat. I've been there! It's a hands on experience or in this case a head on experience.(she survived!) JoJo wants to visit the boats and Snipper comes over to me to play. John who acts like my escort is trying to keep me from getting run over by blocking. This is all pretty exciting when the waves are rolling in. Soon they all check off "see the dolphins" from their to do list and we are left in peace. As we head off, Snipper notices a sort triangular shaped tube in the water. I don't know what it is but it probably fell off a boat. I notice there is an antenna coming out of it! A lobster has made it his home. The dolphins now speed up a little and head to the reef. I eventually lose sight of them and decide a trip into the channels to get out of the wind and have lunch is a good plan. My plan for the afternoon is to head back to the condo where I've been working with my new website whizz, Max, to upgrade my website! I think it will be on line by tomorrow I hope you take a look! www.jojoandjay.com

Everyone Loves Snipper from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

How Lucky Am I

Hi All, With the wind between 20 and 30 knots I'm not totally looking forward to a day of boating. The big tour boats sit way above the waves and don't bounce around as much as our boat. I'm not complaining, just sayin. We make a pass for the second time by the resorts. We have escaped two major rain showers and it looks like there's another one coming as we bounce our way toward Leeward. I mention to John that if we don't see a dorsal lets call it a day. We have friends coming over tonight and the condo could stand a cleaning. Not To Be! We see two dorsals heading our way. I get in expecting to find JoJo and Snipper. JoJo comes through the chalky murky water. I can barely see him. I lose sight of him and am about to climb back in Spy Hop when I see two dolphins coming toward me. Thinking it was Snipper and JoJo I hurry over. I notice the fluke with the slight tear and realize it's Bo. Apparently there are three dolphins in the murky water. Bo is startled by my fast aggressive approach (actually more of a Mrs Magoo moment because I can't see anything). She slaps her tail in my face. Oops, too close too fast. I'm worrying I've annoyed her. JoJo comes right up as if to reassure me all's okay. Soon Snipper and Bo come by, Bo makes her signature whistle as she passes me as if to say this is how you approach. She is a wealth of dolphin etiquette. I lose sight of them in the murk and get into Spy Hop. (When watching this video turn up the volume and you can hear Bo's signature whistle. Watch for the bubbles coming out her blow hole at the same time.) There's an annoying motor boat whizzing around dragging a red inflatable called Big Mabel. He's dragging the inflatable past and over the dolphins. The dolphins are not interested and dive deep. I'm now shivering on the boat still sort of thinking of the warm condo. All three dolphins surface right together near the boat. First JoJo spy hops looking right up in the boat; then Snipper and Bo spy hop looking expectantly into the boat . This is an invitation I can't refuse. I get in with all three and we make our way into clear water as we come to Leeward.

JoJo Snipper and Bo from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

There are lots of tour boats coming by but Bo and Snipper aren't one bit interested. They clearly want me to join them as they head toward the bleached out reef. They love each other so much as they snuggle and play flipper footsie. I keep noticing how wide Bo is getting. I'm more and more convinced she's pregnant. They disappear briefly and as I look up, I see a dolphin in the distance porpoise way into the air. Shortly, there after they are all close to me again. Hmm did one swim off and leap or was this a dolphin from across the reef? The water is clear and the dolphins are having so much fun. My video got a little long but I just couldn't take any more out!

Bo and Snipper in Reef from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Day In The Life of JoJo

Hi All, We get out a little late due to a bit too much dancing and a feast at the Cabana Bar. Ocean Club, where we have our condo, has a great restaurant that over looks beautiful Grace Bay. They serve perhaps the best cracked conch on the island and live music a few nights a week! The wind has already picked up as we head out Leeward Channel and we go with the wind heading toward Beaches. As we pass, a big catamaran motor boat we see people aiming their Go Pros toward their big wake. Clearly, they have a dolphin with them! JoJo hears our boat and comes right over. We seriously didn't try to steal him! He knows we will take him where ever he wants to go. We head back to Leeward and towards Half Moon Beach where he branches. I hope he was fishing but I don't know. He turned around and reappears on the other side of Leeward. We motor out toward the reef where he is swimming in the big waves. He comes to Spy Hop and swims a little way off the stern which usually means he wants company. As soon as I get in tour boats start coming up. JoJo and I go to visit them. One boat was playing with the anchor trying to attract him. (Actually we were coming over anyway!) Dropping the anchor was really what he wanted. His puncture wound and scratches are healing and itchy. He enjoys rubbing on the anchor line for a while before moving off to visit another boat. He's ready to move on for more activities. As we get to Seven Stars, he branches off to check out a water skier. The driver had seen JoJo and stopped the boat so the skier could meet him. JoJo was hoping the skier would get pulled through the water rather than on the water and hung around waiting but they weren't fast enough and he lost interest! On to the next activity; a swim with me in front of Ocean Club where there's a nice buoy. We play bang the buoy until a motor boat dragging a plastic shark comes by. There are lots of shark riders all oohing and aahing over him. In addition, a lot of people from Club Med are now swimming out from shore. JoJo has no interest in meeting them and starts to swim away staying a couple of boat lengths in front of the crowd. We do pick up a nice Canadian lady who had been trying to catch up to JoJo and in the process has swum fairly far out. I asked her to get on the boat so she can see JoJo from the boat and not get run over when she wants to go back to the Club Med. It's been a busy morning and JoJo swims to Spy Hop to take a long nap as Spy Hop drifts with the wind pushing us toward the reef.

JoJo's Day from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Naps done. What's next? Uber ride to Pine Cay please. We now drop off our new friend at the beach before JoJo's Uber ride gets underway. He's fine with that. We are now heading into this relentless wind and annoying waves. John's getting tired of getting splashed in the face, he wants to turn back at the Meridian Club. I have now changed into a dry suit and want to see what JoJo's next adventure might be, always hopeful it will include another dolphin. We do stop near the Meridian Club so John can eat his PB and J and see what JoJo does. JoJo travels slowly away from us. I'm watching him while John's off duty chowing down. I see another dorsal heading his way! Its Snipper! No going back now! JoJo and Snipper are happy to see each other. I get in and they let me swim in between them. JoJo seems to want me to hang with Snipper so I get a long swim with The Snip! It's interesting to me that JoJo always wants me to swim with his family. How Lucky am I! They come together again and speed up. A sail boat is coming by for them to check out and they start to ride the wake and bow wave. Its starting to get late and this is our moment to leave them.

Shark!-JoJo+Snipper Great Friends from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

JoJo Puncture wound is Healing

Hi All, It appears JoJo's punture wound is healing as Mark predicted. The white matter has fallen off and I think the wound is healing. He scratched on finger coral which is a good sign that his wounds are itchy and healing. I still haven't seen him fish. I will be looking for that today.

JoJo Follows Me Then Scratches in Coral from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

JoJo, Snipper and a Dolphin Waggle Dance!

Hi All, After yesterday, we are happy to be heading out toward Grace Bay. The ospreys are sitting in their messy nest. They have added a red plastic wrapper to the twigs. We make a half-hearted attempt to see whales but decide we really want to see how JoJo's wounds are doing. On our way back from Beaches, Snipper and JoJo head toward Spy Hop. I get in and Snipper and I hang out as JoJo goes off to entertain a tour boat. They come back together and play a little flipper footsie before JoJo and I go to play bang The buoy.

Snipper and JoJo my two dolphin friends . from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

JoJo clicks loudly as I run my scooter into the buoy. Then I start swerving back and forth with the scooter. Jojo joins in looking like he's doing a waggle dance! After we exhaust the game, JoJo opens his mouth and comes close to me. I think his mouth is sore and he wants to show me. I wonder if it's hard for him to open his mouth more at the moment. This isn't the first time he's shown me an injury. The yellow strands from the other day are gone. I think this means the infection has cleared up some from the cuts on the underside of his rostrum. The punture has clearly broken open and there isn't any more swelling. The white stuff is called fibrin connective tissue. It is a healthy sign of healing. I imagine it's still sore but hopefully he will be able to fish soon. I swim toward Spy Hop figuring JoJo may want a ride to Snipper who wasn't interested in bang the buoy and has headed toward Beaches. JoJo wants to take an Uber ride toward Pine Cay. Where he branches and we leave him.

Waggle Dance from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

WHALES

Hi All, I've been looking forward to taking a long trip around the islands. Today, is supposed to be the best day in sight for the long trip. The wind however is much higher than predicted earlier in the week. We have invited David who is dying to see a whale. I met David through JoJo. I actually have quite a few friends that I never would have met if it hadn't been for a common interest in JoJo. Even as we leave at the crack of dawn, there is already quite a bit of wind. I thought we might at least get a start on our journey without wind and waves. We head out the South side and travel 22 miles leaving sight of land before seeing our first destination, French Cay. It is a bird sanctuary and I am so happy to see birds swarming around the island. I was worried about what damage hurricane Irma might have caused. The water calms down a little on the lee of the island. We see a lone dolphin rocket under Spy Hop. There is almost always a dolphin or two to meet you when you arrive at French Cay. We head out past the wall where the water's a dark blue and the waves start mounting. We hear some faint whale vocalizations with the hydrophone and decide to head to West Caicos with hopes that we will find quiet water and whales on the West side of the island. The waves are getting bigger and bigger but we are going with them so no worries. I'm thinking how JoJo would love our wake if I were to stand up they would come to the top of my head. David sees a spout! A Pilot whale swims right near our boat. The water is an emerald green as we reach West Caicos. We put the hydrophone in again, There are definitely whales in the area, but where? John radios a dive boat captain that is motoring by after their first morning dive and asks him if he has seen any whales. He hadn't but shortly there after he radios us to say that they have two whales in front of their boat. We motor over to watch these whales for quite a long time but they keep diving showing lots of tail. We want them to hang on the surface so John and David can get in. They seem to be traveling farther away with each dive. We leave them and head into the marina for lunch.
I've added a big bag of Cheetos to our usual menu. We watch a small turtle popping his head up for a gulp of air. I start getting antsy. We have whales to find! We head out with renewed energy to find an adventure, hopefully with a humpback whale. This time when we put the hydrophone in you would have thought it landed on their heads their vocalizations were so loud. I have put in a recording from the whales but wasn't clever enough to do it without video which is clearly from a calm day! Please ignore video and enjoy vocalizations!

My Movie from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

We still can't find them and think we'd better head home. The ride is going to be long and I know it won't be an easy one. I tell David not to give up we may see more whales yet. We are now heading into the wind and waves. Once we pass the end of West Caicos the waves start building. John does a great job navigating over the mountainous waves. As we go around Northwest Point I yell above the churning engine "stop I see a spout" There are two whales not showing their tails as they blow at the surface. I yell to the boys this is your chance. I take the wheel and tell them to hurry into their masks and fins. The whales are coming to Spy Hop. David gets in right as both pass under the boat! I almost backed up over David not wanting to run over the whales. John climbs in. The whales swim around them for a while before moving off. The boys get back in the boat exhilarated from their encounter. David had his Go Pro and John used a Liquidimage. Both got some footage. We see a few more blows but we are in the area where the waves are the biggest. We actually had water come crashing over the deck from a few of those mountainous waves. We all agreed we'd best head home. No wonder there weren't any other boats out here! The only boats at West Caicos came from the South side not past Northwest Point for good reason.

Juvenile Humpbacks from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

This great footage is courtesy of David Green not only seeing whale from a boat for the first time but swimming with them! John did a masterful job captaining the Good Boat Spy Hop through some seriously heavy seas.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

JoJo Snipper and Bo

Hi All, The ospreys are happily sitting on their messy nest. There are pieces of twine and green plastic bags mixed in with an untidy assortment of twigs. I recognize the green bag from the IGA! Apparently they feel the same way I do about interior decorating! We have invited four people to come out today. The pressure's on to find cetaceans! After passing through the channel markers we drop the hydrophone but again only hear whales in the distance. JoJo has been in the same place for the past few mornings and I want to get there at about the same time, so I suggest motoring around out here a little before heading inside the reef so as to arrive on schedule. We find no whales and head back inside the reef. We head down the coast and two dorsals pop up near a sail boat that is anchored near Ocean Club. I figure JoJo may have slept around that boat last night. Snipper and JoJo come to visit but it is so murky I can't see a thing when I get in. They pop up around me but I'm having trouble staying with them. Snipper does let me have a short swim with him before he disappears into the chalky turquoise water. I get back in Spy Hop and JoJo gets in our wake. We are his Uber driver! Snipper heads off in a different direction. We head out to clear water and I get in again. This time JoJo wants to follow me. I'm trying to film him swimming behind me which is almost impossible. I decide maybe he'd like it if I dive up and down with the scooter as I swim. He zipps up close behind me. Then I try swerving back and forth. I look back he's imitating me!!! We have a new game! Unfortunately a sail boat comes by and JoJo swims up to it. I think maybe he'll follow it. I get in Spy Hop so we can keep up. He decides to come back to us, his Uber ride continues. We go past Beaches, turn around, head all the way past Pine Cay and on to Dellis Cay. John doesn't like to motor too far past Dellis Cay because of the coral heads and shallow water. Apparently JoJo felt the same way because he branched right as we were discussing when to turn back. He went into sleep mode enabling Ted, one of our guests, to climb in with the famous JoJo. A boat came by and put their anchor down so JoJo could scratch. He swam over and entertained them for a while then came back to Spy Hop to continue his Uber ride. We take him down the coast right to where he branched yesterday in front of Seven Stars Resort. I see another dorsal and realize why he branched. Bo is darting from place to place. She's clearly fishing. I get in with JoJo and we watch as she chases down some Bar Jacks. I am careful to stay with JoJo. I've learned my dolphin etiquette lesson. Don't interfere with fishing dolphins! She comes racing under us and nails a Bar Jack. I wish JoJo would get a fish. I haven't seen him fish since he got the puncture wound. I usually see him crater fishes off and on whenever we are swimming. The puncture does look better today. The swelling is way down and the wound looks like a little volcano that erupted. I however have noticed that under his rostrum there seems to be some abrasions and yellow strands of perhaps pus near his mouth. I really hope all this resolves quickly. Dolphins eat 20 lbs of fish a day and I'm not sure he's eating anything. I will be watching closely everyday. There's a rain cloud heading our way despite the 100% prediction of no precipitation. I'm pretty sure our guests got more cetacean activity than they ever imagined! Time to head in.

JoJo,Snipper and Bo from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Friday, February 16, 2018

JoJo Day three of Punture wound

Hi All, Finally the wind is slightly down and the water is quieter as we pass out between the channel markers. We drop the hydrophone in and hear whales in the distance. Today, Melanie, our guest, has to fly out and only has until mid-morning before heading to the airport. I'm thinking the water's good, lets scout around more for whales. If we travel inside the reef, I'm worried we will find dolphins and have to leave them to drop Melanie off on the beach. Note to friends - it's all about the dolphins! We travel outside the reef to Pine Cay and back to Sellers Cut - no whales. After coming back inside the reef we drop Melanie off in front of Ocean Club. We find JoJo 5 minutes after we drop her off. I was right! He's right at Leeward entertaining a few boats. He joins us wanting a ride to Pine Cay with a few stops to check out other boats along the way! I really want to swim with him to check his puncture wound hoping the swelling from the infecion is the same or less. I get the chance at the end of Pine Cay where he branches off. Once in the water I try desperately to swim under him and look up at his wound. I dive, hit the bottom and run my scooter right into the sand, OOPS. JoJo looks at me like "you really are an oaf in the water"! My scooter shuts down briefly but starts right up. The things I do for this dolphin! I think the punture wound looks about the same. JoJo hangs out for a short time then of course wants a ride back down the coast. I drag beside him for a while behind the boat then climb in and we take him back. I mention to John that I have a lot of things to do at the condo and maybe he'll branch off so he leaves us instead of us leaving him. I try calling Mark to see if he's in the area and has people on board that want to see JoJo. Mark's at the far end of Pine Cay and will head toward us. We are now in front of 7 Stars and JoJo decides to go check out a reef. We head in to take care of business and leave him hoping Mark will find him.

JoJo punture wound third Day from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Valentines Day Dolphin Style

Hi All, The wind is still here and perhaps even a bit stronger. This will not stop us from our whale watching attempts. We head out to what looks like quiet water (not!) past the channel markers to drop in the hydrophone. We hear whales but not as loud as yesterday. After scanning the horizon trying to see a spout, we start to head up toward Pine Cay which is directly into the waves. A whale breaches not far off and we head in its direction. If the water weren't so rough getting to them would be easy. The big waves make the going wet and slow. Once there we see two whales. They travel along the surface for a short distance. Their white pecs just below the surface make the water look a stunning turquoise as they swim along. We are hoping to see a pec display but why would they, when they can dive deep below the rough surface to where the water is quiet and peaceful. A few more blows and they are gone. We bounce our way back inside the reef hoping to find dolphins. We haven't been along Pine Cay for a few days and I'm sort of hoping we don't see anyone on Grace Bay so we can go up there. It's heading right into the wind again but I love looking at the pristine beaches as we travel North. There's a little shelter from the wind near the Meridian Club, the prefect place to break out lunch. Most of which is left overs from a great meal at Hemingways. With the exception of course of John's PB and J! Quentin was playing there last night which did lead to some wild dancing:) Just as I'm topping off my lunch with a giraffe from a box of animal crackers, I see a dolphin heading our way. I hurry to get in wondering who is coming to join us. It's murky thanks to all the wind but I follow the signals from the boat and finally get to a beautiful dolphin with no markings except one small blemish on her left side below her dorsal. I'm pretty sure it's Bo but she's a bit shy at first about my swimming with her. Luckily, we are swimming with the waves and I can keep up as she swims toward Half Moon Beach. She speeds up a little and I get back in the boat not wanting to wear down my scooter especially when she's staying a few dolphin lengths ahead of me. Once we get to Half Moon Beach, she slows down and entertains a few passing boats. She visits them then comes right back beside Spy Hop. Now's my chance to swim with her again. I get in and she is traveling in a small circle at the bottom. She's fine with my staying right above her. My mind is racing. Is she in a holding pattern waiting for others? It certainly appears that way. I get out again to save the last scooter. I'm now on my second one. We hear from a boat captain that he has seen dolphins at the otherr end of Pine Cay. John wonders if she'll stay with Spy Hop if we maKe our way back North along the Pine Cay coast. We try it and she parallels our boat as we slowly head back. I look off toward the reef and see two dorsals. I ask John to take me over. I see JoJo and Snipper heading our way. I figure Bo will join up shortly. JoJo comes over and appears to show me his puncture wound. I don't think there's any change from yesterday. Snipper and JoJo are very affectionate. When Bo arrives, Snipper and Bo seem over joyed to see each other with a lot of touching and flipper footsie. There is lots of dolphin love on this Valentine's Day.

Bo is Waiting to meet JoJo and Snipper from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Bo Meets up with JoJo and Snipper from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

JoJo has a Puncture Wound

Hi All, This weather pattern just won't give up. I'm not complaining I could be shoveling snow! However, I do wish the wind would calm down! The ospreys are both out this morning, perhaps they are fishing together. We head out Leeward through the channel markers and the waves are all but washing over our bow. We get the hydrophone in the water, what a racket! They must be right really close. Melanie our guest gets to hear how eerie they sound from low grunts to high pitched squeaks. We look all over and circle slowly but don't see a spout. The big waves are not helping us spot them. We decide it's best to head in before our friend turns green and doesn't want to come out with us ever again! Now, to find dolphins in the somewhat quieter water. JoJo appears to be waiting for us right past Leeward. He wants a ride toward Beaches. Once we get there he branches off but stays near Spy Hop. That usually means he wants company. I get in. As we are swimming along I notice a protrusion along his throat. I can see something has happened but I'm not sure what. I'll need him to turn over so I can see what is going on. He takes me over to Beaches where there are lots of boats milling around. He wants to circle our boat right in the middle of all this. Perhaps a short nap. I'm waiting for a good opportunity to see the wound and more importantly to get some footage so I can show Mark, the island vet who helps me with dolphin questions. I get my chance when he goes down to scratch on our anchor line. He's very careful not to rub the wound. I can see swelling and a punture about as big as a quarter. JoJo and I then swim off to explore a buoy. JoJo apparently sonared and knew something was going on. When we got there a kayak was right near it with tools. There was also a diver in the water holding a wrench. JoJo dove down to inspect. He then came up for a little "bang the buoy" but I think he was more interested in what the diver had done to the chain attaching the buoy to a block at the bottom of the ocean. I got a better look at JoJo's punture and good footage to send Mark. I think it was a good sign he wanted explore and scratch on the anchor line. As soon as I got back to the condo I sent off pictures to Mark. He said that it was a punture wound that was infected and ready to pop out the foreign body. He thought it might have been from coral or a ray barb. I imagine coral seeing he is always rolling in it. I have never seen him have any interest in a ray but who knows! In any case Mark thought it should resolve on its own but wanted me to keep an eye on it which of course I will.

JoJo has Punture Wound from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

JoJo is curious about what's going on with the buoy from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Snipper and I Play!

Hi All, Another copy of yesterday - sun and wind with rain in the afternoon. We pass through the channel and both osprey are sitting in their nest. They look quite content. They must have had a nice fish breakfast. We head out Leeward Channel and with our hydrophone hear whales way off in the distance. Back through the channel to look for dolphins. We do the loop then head to Pine Cay, still no dolphins. A needle fish is surprised by our boat and takes off on the surface bouncing from wave to wave going as fast as he can to get away from us. He looked like a mogul skier. We have company coming and are thinking we should head back. We thought one more pass from Leeward to at least Ocean Club. Just as we're about to head back, I see two familiar dorsals heading toward our boat! I get in with JoJo and Snipper. They are such good buddies. They pass under me playing flipper footsie and stroking each other. JoJo comes up beside me and I see an abrasion at the front of his dorsal. I wish he'd be more careful. I think he wants me to swim with Snipper so I cross over and Snipper seems just fine with my swimming beside him. Snipper starts to play with me. He dives then comes at me flips over and does it again. Snipper and I have gone a long way together. We continue to travel along and I think JoJo is behind us but I don't see him anywhere. I notice John isn't following along in Spy Hop, either. Maybe JoJo is with him. A boat comes by dragging some girls in a raft behind his motor boat. The girls just figure I'm out in the ocean swimming with my dolphin friend which is actually correct. She then asks if I'm riding the dolphin!! REALLY? John sees a boat coming toward me and catches up. He tells me JoJo was with him. He didn't want a ride but did want to sleep. He caught a quick nap before John had to move off to protect me from the boats. The water was so murky and I was having a hard time following Snipper. He even had to circle back to get me one time! Its so hard to see that I decide to get out. Both John and I start looking for JoJo. Between the abrasion and his being tired we are concerned. Moments later JoJo comes along, Snipper swims right to him and they head towards Leeward together. All is well. Now we can go meet our company!

JoJo and Snipper 1 from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Monday, February 12, 2018

JoJo

Hi All, It looks like the same sort of day we've had for a week sunny, winds building through out the day. We are decidedly late leaving the marina. The osprey are sitting together in their nest. They have clearly had their fish breakfast. There are no whales outside Leeward. Our hydrophone tells us they are far away. They probably know the tour boats all come out about this time with lots of loud tourists and they have moved on:)
We head out toward the resorts to look for dolphins. JoJo is hanging out, waiting no doubt for a ride. All his friends and family have gone. He is alone. Now he can take a ride in our wake. I sometimes think he's checking out his territory when he wants to go up and down the coast. Today is that day. We head a little past Beaches resort and he branches off. I figure while he's looking around he might like company so, I get into the crystal clear water. We look around, visit a tour boat or two then JoJo wants to get back behind our boat. This time he wants to go all the way past Pine Cay to the front of Dellis Cay. The wind has picked up and the waves are rolling in making it wet and bouncy. JoJo branches off perhaps to fish or just have some alone time! We leave him and head to a calm spot along Pine Cay's long beautiful beach to eat lunch. It seems like no matter what you bring for lunch it tastes great on the boat! John has eaten a PB and J everyday we have come out on this boat for the past 20 years and relishes every bite! With the wind up, the dolphins apparently not around, and rain heading our way, we decide to go back.

JoJo and Me from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

JoJo's Pod Comes To Visit

Hi All, I'm getting kinda used to this seeing a whale each morning at Leeward and I like it! Just like yesterday, we drop the hydrophone, hear lots of great vocalizations, motor a little way and there's a humpback! He once again blows then dives deep with his tail propelling him down.
Also, like yesterday, we go back inside the reef to look for dolphins. After traveling past resorts, we start heading up toward Pine Cay. After a lot of dancing last night, I was planning a little snooze figuring we wouldn't see a dolphin until we reached the end of Pine Cay. There was a little debate at Ocean Club's Cabanna Bar regarding the music. Quentin who's clearly my favorite musician on the island was approached by a guest and asked to play quiet background music (read that as "Elevator Music"). I on the other hand was hoping for loud dancable music! I got my way and perhaps over did the dancing part. I've found that a short nap on the boat does the trick. It seems the bouncier the ride the better I sleep. Deep into a dream John slows Spy Hop down. I'm instantly awake. He says there's a dolphin ahead, no there lots of dolphins ahead all coming right to our boat. I scramble to pull on my flippers and mask drop into the incredibly murky water and all the dolphins are right there! I'm desperately trying to figure out who's who in the murk. More than anything I want to see Lemon Lips who I haven't seen since last February. He should be recognizable even in the murk because of the little slit on the right end of his fluke.
A dolphin approaches. Its Lemon Lips! He now has an abrasion on the front of his dorsal and of course the distinguishing slit. I'm so happy to see him. He brings me off for quite a few swims away from the others so we can spend some quality time together. I notice Snipper and JoJo coming by a lot. It seems everytime I get in the middle of this pod, Snipper and JoJo or Lemon Lips are closest to me. There are so many boats coming by to watch as the dolphins make their way toward Leeward. Most all respectful of the dolphins and they briefly visit most of the boats. However, one boat pulls up, drives quickly in between all the others interfering with everyone. Then, this HUGE man in a bright yellow suit cannon balls into the water right where the dolphins are. What was he thinking!?! These are wild animals that have graciously come by and not only is this rude to the dolphins but dangerous for him. They just swim off leaving him behind. We get to Leeward and for a brief moment there's some clear water. I notice that two of the dolphins have fluke markings I've never seen. Later, when I study the video, I see that these two also came by me a lot.

JoJo's Pod from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

I have now used up both scooters and the dolphins are scattering - some fishing, some heading back towards Pine Cay. Time to head home. We motor through the channel into the marina and I see one of the osprey drying his wings. We get as close as possible and he turns to look disdainfully at us "this is not my best moment".
We have had a great day I'm forever grateful to the dolphins for their friendship.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Whales and Dolphins!

Hi All, After dodging rain and basically giving up yesterday, we are out at the break of dawn today. The osprey is flying over head carrying a big fish to his mate for breakfast. The water looks flat at the moment. We know the wind will be coming up as the day goes on. I'm thinking a quick trip past the reef at Leeward for a whale check. We pass through the channel markers and head out. There's a little rain coming our way just enough to make a beautiful rainbow.
We drop the hydrophone in and WOW they must be close! We don't see any spouts. We motor a little way off. I look back toward Leeward cut and the whale breaches then breaches again, blows, dives his tail pushing him down for a deep dive.

IMG_8551 from Jay Sargent on Vimeo.

We don't see him again. As we are heading toward the cut, a big hawksbill turtle raises his head and takes a deep breath then sits at the surface until he notices we are watching. Sploosh down he goes Now this is a great way to start the day! It isn't even 9am and we've listened to a whale chatting loudly then breaching and watched a turtle floating along at the surface. Time to look for dolphins before the wind really picks up. We make our usual loop in Grace Bay then head up to Pine Cay. By this time it's approaching noon, the wind is starting to blow and I'm thinking about the tunafish I'd made up for lunch. I was envisioning a nice spot tucked away in a channel where the wind wasn't blowing and the sun would be beating down. As we pass the Meridian Club where a few boats always bring people to the beach, I see a dorsal then another. They hear our boat and immediately start heading our way. I love the dolphins and the dolphins love me! I recognize JoJo's dorsal and figure Julia is with him. I'm hoping she isn't still miffed at me. They both come to the boat and wait for me to climb in. The water is so murky I seriously can't see them unless they are right beside me. I swim for a while in between them before Julia is off, probably to fish. Apparently she's forgiven me. I lose sight of JoJo and swim around like Mrs. Magoo not being able to see anything until I hear John yelling "he's right behind you".
He must think humans are so pathetic when they clearly haven't a clue what's going on around them especially when it's murky. Luckily for me he wants me around. We lose sight of Julia and think JoJo has gone off to find her. With the wind whipping around Fort George Cay making it pretty nasty, we decide to head back in the other direction which is with the wind. Perhaps now for the tunafish! Just as we start back, JoJo surfaces right by the boat. He must have been under us but it was to windy to hear him surface to breath. We give him a short ride behind Spy Hop and he branches. Now for sure we are heading back to quieter water, less wind and the tunafish! We find a scenic place halfway down Pine Cay where we have some quiet water. I peel down my soggy and cold wet suit and enjoy the sun warming me up. We are thinking it's been a great day and we could get back early. I have a call I need to make to Apple to try to figure out more confusing things on my computer. Hopefully I will get it before they change everything again. Why do they have to constantly update when I've just barely got a grip on things the way they are? Evolution in electronics is going way too fast in my opinion! We start heading back when a dolphin aims right for the back of our boat. Now I know it isn't JoJo because we just left him at the far end of Pine Cay. So who is it? I'm trying to zip up my cold soggy wet suit so I can get in and see who's here. I see a cut off dorsal. Snipper has joined us with a friend. I get one opportunity to see Snipper as he races by. He and his friend are traveling so fast there is no chance of swimming with them and unlike JoJo they don't wait for me. I'm so happy to see Snipper. I had just remarked to John that we might not see him again for a long time like before. The last time I saw him was in 2011.
It's so handy to have a distinguishing mark that you can see from the boat like JoJo's notch in his dorsal. I of course, certainly don't want any harm to the dolphins "just sayin".