Thursday, December 27, 2018
Hi All, JoJo made quite a hit with all the tour boats Xmas day. He went in everyone's wake. He really was hoping to swim with people on hydrofoils. It seems a lot of boats have them. I suppose I may have to get one, too. My old hang onto the anchor as the boat pulls me along just isn't as fun for JoJo as someone going all over as the hydrofoil is made to do. Seeing he wasn't really interested in staying in our boring wake, we went off to look for Bo and Scooter. As we motor past, Pine Cay and in front of Dellis Cay I see two, better yet three dorsals. We approach and they start heading toward us. I put on my wetsuit and get in the clear water. I am hoping my brandy new camera that our friend Tricia brought down is working. I see Lemon Lips swimming with Bo and Scooter. He and Bo are so affectionate. Bo is snuggling, stroking and playing flipper footsie. As she swims upside down by Lemon Lips, I get a chance to see her cut that looks like it is healing well. Scooter is all over, between them, back to visit me and snuggling with his big brother. Scooter starts whistling short, high pitched whistles that sound somewhat like a bird. When he drops back whistling the others turn to watch. (be sure to turn upp your volumne to hear this!)
Sunday, December 23, 2018
Hi All, I'm not really sure how long JoJo was visiting Bo and Scooter. When we saw first saw them he was there. When I got in he was with swimming right with them for a short time. I would have gotten this on camera but I had two cameras refuse to work yesterday! The good news is that we david our new camera man out on the boat and he got footage of Scooter and me. Scooter put on a great show for him as you will see:)
Saturday, December 22, 2018
Hi All, I have been wondering and hoping that my friend Lemon Lips, who is a male calf born to Bo in 2012 would show up to meet his sister Scooter. Yesterday we were looking around past Pine Cay and along came three dorsals through the murky water. I excitedly climbed into my wetsuit and slipped in. My #@&*camera refused to turn on, not that you could have seen a darn thing at that point! I could barely figure out where they were much less who they were unless I looked above the water for dorsals. As soon as I found them, I saw Lemon Lips's fluke and knew it was him! He was darting all over with Scooter! They were having such fun! There were a few exciting moments when I couldnt see them until they nearly ran into me! Lemon Lips is HUGE, strong and handsome! I also noticed that Bo actually has a long gash under her chin. I would say fairly deep and about three inches long. I hope it isnt making it really uncomfortable to crater fish. After playing around in the deep murky water all three of the dolphins and I moved over to a sand bar where the water is only about two feet deep, perhaps less. Lemon Lips starts racing around like a mad man! All I could see were dorsals going everywhere so fast occasionally coming REALLY close - whoosh. I didn't really think they would want to swim in such shallow water unless fishing but there weren't any fish that I could see. Lemon Lips now and again would come by and look at me close up. My heart was pounding with glee! He and I started to swim in very tight circles in the shallow water around and around we went! I was trying not to get my scooter stuck in the sand it was that shallow! Now usually, he swims in circles under me but with it so shallow we were flying around this tight circle on the surface. It did occur to me as we whirled around that he was really big really strong and thankfully really friendly!!! Now I have had some amazing swims with dolphins but this was my all time favorite encounter!
Friday, December 21, 2018
Hi All, First, to catch up on JoJo. He's been taking rides for short distances between the cuts in the reef. He is very distraught with the remora. He tail slaps and does cork screw leaps out of the wake. Mark, the island vet, says the remora isn't doing any harm to JoJo it's just a nuisance. This morning we aren't finding JoJo so we go up to Pine Cay with hopes of finding Bo and Scooter. It's blowing pretty hard today making the water really murky. I admit to sleeping most of the trip due to a bit of partying the night before! I am wide awake however as we get to Pine Cay and think I see a dorsal in the distance. I see not one but two! As always, they are happy to have me swim with them even though I can't see a darn thing! I do notice when swimming right beside Bo that she has two lumps with jagged edges under her rostrum. I'm wondering if someone bit her? Maybe she got cut while crater fishing? I'm hoping the salt water will help repair them. The wind is really howling making for wavy water, murky but, worse for me IT'S COLD when I get out! Scooter and Bo stay with our boat for over four hours. I did a short video of them trying to entice me back in the water:)
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Hi All, We invited David to come along with us. He hasn't seen Scooter yet and I'm hoping today will be the day. The water today is flat and smooth even past the reef. We see JoJo briefly but decide today is a great day to go to North West Point which is a long way and only doable if the water is flat. We see absolutely nothing on the way there. We see one turtle as we head back with the plan of going to the cut by Pine Cay. We are all straining to see anything even a bait ball or a flying fish. And then - dorsals are heading our way!!!! Spotted Dolphins and not just a few but a lot. They were hard to count and were every where we looked. We estimated 75 - 100! They stayed with us for hours. We swam with them, John spun the boat in circles creating waves which they surfed and then we swam again. They sort of ambled off slowly as if to say if you guys want to play more we are up for it but they pooped us out! Once we got inside the reef we saw JoJo, who wanted a ride. We took him where he wanted and then we headed home!
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Hi All, I'm sitting on my porch where I have my desk away from home. I hear a tap tap tapping on the palm tree right in front of me. I see a woodpecker working his way down the tree tapping away. I haven't seen a woodpecker in the Caribbean before but apparently they are here too. I take this to be an excellent sign that we will have a good day! We find JoJo just leaving the "Big Blue" catamaran, White Sands. We motor past JoJo and he gets in behind our boat. We take him to Leeward where he branches off going toward the reef. I slip in and see the remora is still fastened to his peduncle. There are numerous marks where the little rascal has unhitched and hitched. As he crosses over the reef and into the deep blue, we lose sight of JoJo. We decide to continue North up the coast outside the reef. I'm searching the calm, dark blue water for dorsals. None to be found. Once we get to Pine Cay, we turn in through the cut in the reef. Almost immediately, I see two dorsals. They have heard our boat and are speeding our way! How cool is that to see your dolphin friends hurrying over to greet you! I get in and Scooter swims all around me in circles clearly happy to see me! She takes minute to nurse from her ever so patient Mom ,Bo.
Monday, December 17, 2018
Hi All, I'm sitting at OC trying to get my cameras to work! I dont use a go Pro I tried but they didnt work for me! However mark from Wake to Wake does! He and JoJo are famous! Look at this! JoJo maybe getting older but he still loves to play! https://lovinturksandcaicos.com/news/turks-and-caicos/the-tcis-very-own-wake-2-wake-have-been-featured-in-the-gopro-million-dollar-challenge?fbclid=IwAR0WdjBs3U7ftnLPbCiHcYMKM5gWX-aEthq--bB813-3xVQpUKbfiN2Jbi8 Hope he wins the challenge! Good Luck Mark!
Sunday, December 16, 2018
Hi All, I went for a short trip to visit my daughter in Arizona. We are now coming out of Leeward on the search. Is that a dolphin I see coming straight for our boat? JoJo is coming right up. He must have missed his Uber rides for the past few days!! We start his itinerary of traveling up and down the coast. He branches off at the cuts through the reef, I presume looking for friends. I'm hoping he'll take us to Pine Cay where we seem to meet up with other dolphins the most. On our second pass by Leeward he keeps going to Pine Cay. The water is quite choppy with strong winds out of the Southeast. He branches off as we get opposite the Meridian Club. We wait watching diligently to see if there are any other dorsals. Three head toward us through the waves. One is small. Yay Scooter, Bo and JoJo are all coming right to the boat! I'm scrambling to get on my flippers and mask with camera. As I sink into the murky water, John drops the water scooter in beside me. Scooter and Bo are happy to see me. I am having a hard time with murky water figuring out where they are. I can hear lots of whistling as they circle around me. John said he could see me following Scooter and Bo following me. Every now and again, I could see JoJo come by. They travel out toward the reef where the water is much clearer. Now, I can see them clearly. Scooter in usual calf manner, is darting all over. Bo leaves for a while and Scooter and I are left to play. I twirl around in circles as she zooms around me. Scooter now seems to like traveling right beside me at times. Bo returns and JoJo comes by. I can now see his persistent remora is still clinging to his peduncle. As soon as JoJo comes by me, Bo takes off in the opposite direction. Scooter swims with JoJo. Soon JoJo leaves again and Bo returns. JoJo has gone off to entertain a catamaran sail boat. Bo and Scooter head over to check it out. I notice the people in the boat are all putting on gear to get in the water. Bo and Scooter are looking intently toward the boat. I'm wondering if I'm going to lose them if the swimmers get in. No problem, the dolphins just swim far enough away so they aren't quite with them. John goes over and picks up a father and daughter. They desperately want to see the dolphins. He puts them in right near us and they get a few minutes to see Scooter and Bo who a very quick drive-by. Scooter is whistling and looking at them! We move off. They are overjoyed at the chance to see a calf and mom in the wild. I'm seriously cold and pooped as I wear out my second water scooter. They are moving off. Time to head home.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Hi All, It's a grand TCI day. The water's flat, the sun's shinning brightly on the turquoise water and I am getting in with JoJo and the remora. He dives to the bottom and tries to roll that little hitch hiker off. The remora just unhitches and waits around to clamp on again. I see our friends from Wake to Wake have motored up. They have water skiers hoping to get a glimpse of the famous JoJo. I start to get out of the water thinking JoJo may go visit them and John points into the water in the opposite direction. Bo and Scooter are on their way over! JoJo goes off with Wake to Wake and Bo and Scooter stay with us. Bo, Scooter and I head toward Beaches where the water is amazingly clear. There are times Bo looks at me as Scooter bombs all around. She clicks at me. I wonder what she's saying maybe, "its not easy being a dolphin mom" or "how patient am I". I pretty much got to swim with them from before Grace Point to Smith Reef and back. For those of you haven't looked at the map on my website it's a really long way!! I wore out three scooters and my camera (to say nothing of me!)Bo actually brought Scooter and me in a huge circle ending back where we started. I'm sitting in the boat watching Scooter whiz around. She comes to the boat repeatedly - dolphin for "please get back in"! There's lots of great activity, spy hoping, porpoising, attempt at tail walking. I see another dorsal heading our way. JoJo is back!! I have to get in pooped or not. He comes right over with Scooter (and the remora). I get to swim with both of them (or all three depending on how you look at it). How I love these dolphins! Bo is off I presume fishing. She still doesn't want to swim near JoJo. I'm not quite sure what's wrong there but he sure is great with her calves.
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Hi All, Unfortunately I'm not clever enough show you the GPS route! However, it was pretty much the same scenario except! JoJo wanted to go to the end of Pine Cay where he branched off. John needed to cool off with quick dip and we took the opportunity to eat lunch. I was keeping an eye on JoJo's where abouts as we munched. As we started to pack up, I lost sight of him. He's sneaky like that! We got a call from a friend of ours who had her guests out at the end of Fort George Cay. She saw what she thought were three dolphins fighting. When we got there, it appeared to be JoJo and one other. I think the other dolphin was a female! She was small and had a very wiggley dorsal. John named her Trixi:) I think they were having a little hanky panky. I got in the water but it was so murky, I couldn't tell for sure what was going on. Whether its fighting or mating it usually comes with a lot of activity! After all the excitement, JoJo headed back toward Grace Bay and she headed out the channel between Fort George Cay and Dellis Cay. We followed. I always thought Lemon Lips came from the South side when he comes to visit. I'm dying to know more about who lives out there! It is however very shallow with tricky boating. We followed her a long way luckily without running aground! She headed in the direction where I saw Lemon Lips years ago! She however went over a fairly shallow sand bar and we couldn't follow.
Monday, December 3, 2018
Friday, November 30, 2018
Hi All, A front has moved in making the water really rough. I'm thinking as we bounce our way toward Beaches, the day might be better spent catching up on business from home. We didn't go out yesterday because the water was even rougher. JoJo seems to be getting into his long rides behind our boat and I don't want to let him down! On our way back JoJo shows up in front of Seven Stars. He then wants to go WAY past the reef where the waves are seriously HUGE. We leave him out there afraid we won't make it back! After a big circle inside the reef, he once again heads our way. Off we go now to Crystal Bay. This time when he branches off he doesn't ditch us. As he's traveling over a reef he slaps his tail hard in the water. Perhaps he's trying to get rid of his Remora? I've only seen him slap his tail a few times. Once he was admonishing a younger and perhaps naughty dolphin. The other time he had something irritating his mouth and I think he slapped the water hard in frustration. Now he starts heading toward Spy Hop. Apparently he wants to go North toward Leeward. John fights the waves as we go past Leeward and on to Pine Cay. There's barely a tour boat out it's so rough today. JoJo branches off and John gets in for a quick and bouncy swim. I have totally lost sight of JoJo, so we decide to make a circle in case he wants to find us. He does and he's in the company of Bo and Scooter! I haven't seen them for days and am thrilled lumpy seas or not! When I get in JoJo takes up his old position right behind me. This really makes me happy! Scooter is so friendly making all sorts of wild circles around me. There is only one tour boat that comes along to watch. It's a catamaran with a few hardy passengers! By this time JoJo has gone off somewhere but Bo and Scooter are very interested in looking at the boat. I think Bo is showing off her calf. I think Scooter is way to busy flying around me to really care about them! I know if you are up North reading this you will have little sympathy but I get really cold if I'm in with the dolphins a long time. When I get out because either I'm really cold or my scooter has died Bo and Scooter come right to the boat. They are wondering why I'm leaving them and seem to be inviting me back in.I'm of course quite flattered and have to get back in. We found JoJo around 9:30am and it's now 3:30 pm. John is pooped from driving through the rough water and I have worn out two water scooters and working on a third! Time to go! Thank you, thank you dolphins!
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Hi All, JoJo may not be taking me for long swims yet but he's back to staying behind our boat for long distances. We are looking out toward the reef in front of Pine Cay where we had found Bo and Scooter a few days ago. As I turn to look inland I see a dark shape heading right to our boat. This is where JoJo left us yesterday afternoon. Apparently now he wants a ride back toward Provo and Grace Bay. John heads Spy Hop in the direction JoJo wants to go and JoJo gets right behind our boat to get the maximum drag effect as well as surfing the wake. We are off! As we are motoring along, I signal to boat captains that he's in our wake so their passengers can see the famous JoJo. I point to him in the water and they all look at me like I'm nuts until he surfaces for to breath then they all clap and shriek with delight! He's still at the back of our boat as we pass Smith Reef and into Crystal Bay. He branches without so much as a thank you! I don't get to see if the nasty little remora is still there, perhaps tomorrow!
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Saturday, November 24, 2018
Hi All, Yesterday, while eating an amazing feast with our good friends the Levays, it was mentioned that in Turks, the Turks islanders give thanks on the Friday after our T'Giving Day. Apparently the dolphins do the same. It is absolutely the most gorgeous day ever. The sun is glistening off the water. We see five flamingoes fly over head making their funny honking noise. The water is absolutely flat. I'm hoping to find JoJo and that the remora will have found a new host. I haven't had a really nice swim with him yet. We go to Beaches, turn back then motor all the way to Pine Cay. John is always hoping to fit in a snorkel in between dolphin searches. I say lets snorkel inside the reef out past Pine Cay. Just as we start heading that way I see a dark shape in the water I hope it's JoJo. As we motor over to take a closer look. We see a shark peacefully making its way to the reef. On a normal Pine Cay day the water would be so murky we wouldn't have been able to see this shark. Once he travels over the dark reef' we lose sight and continue on to find the perfect reef to snorkel. Two dorsals appear traveling parallel to the reef. So much for the snorkel! We are off to follow the dorsals. We are sure it's Bo and Scooter. Bo is having her Thanksgiving feast as she dives deep doing some fishing. It appears she's teaching Scooter how to do deep dives. Her cute tail is coming way out of the water to propel her far down into the deep blue water. They are traveling fast and I figure they will fish for a while then turn toward shore and hopefully come to the boat so I can swim with them. After a half-hour or so, they start heading away from the reef toward Pine Cay. They head toward Spy Hop. (How lucky am I!!!!) I get in with them but Bo isn't done fishing. They are whizzing around under me and I see why. There is a nurse shark minding his own business but this always causes great excitement for the dolphins. I don't see her poke him with her rostrum but I'd say she probably did. In any case, he swims off glad to get away from this pesky dolphin. Bo has found a fish along the bottom to chase at speed. Scooter is swimming around watching all this unfold. Bo and Scooter eventually come to the surface and I join up with them. I however make the mistake of swimming to Bo's left side. Now for the 20 odd years I've been swimming with dolphins I've always swum on their right sides. I always attach my camera to the left side of my mask so you can see them. As soon as I got right by Bo's side I knew I'd made a mistake. Perhaps even broken dolphin etiquette! Scooter is on the other side of Bo and comes hurtling over her and crashes into me!! They bolt! I feel dreadful and hope I haven't spooked Scooter and or pissed off Bo. I look up into Spy Hop and tell John what happened and ask where they went. He points them out and to my relief they act like nothing happened at all! Bo is still enjoying her T. Giving day dinner as she crater fishes along the bottom. Scooter is circling me and darting all around. A yellow tour boat comes up and respectfully slows down a good distance from us. Bo crater fishes as Scooter goes to look at the boat then circles me perhaps showing off. We are lucky not too many boats come by and all are respectful. After swimming with them for many hours (killed two scooters) we leave them. I'm looking forward to a nice meal at Ocean Club with terrific music by Quentin Dean!
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Hi All Banner Thanksgiving day! Had a long swim with Bo and Scooter and got in before the rain!! Bo seemed to want to hang around Leeward for a long time. Luckily, no boats came through for a good 45 mins. I had them all to myself! Scooter is more and more interested in where I am! If I get out, she comes to the boat as if wanting me back to play so, I get back in! After awhile too many tour boats came by. If they follow too closely it makes Bo and Scooter speed up. Eventually, they all left and we made our way up the coast. All was going well until I watched Bo look back then fly off with Scooter. YIKES!! I almost got run over by Beluga! We found them a little way off but the sky was seriously black and we opted to come in! Good move as it poured as we got to the dock! A Happy T Day to All
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Hi All, I'm indebted to the yellow boats today! John looks behind us just as we are passing Leeward and notices two yellow boats stopped. We turn around to find JoJo in front of their boats. He wasn't putting on his usual JoJo show so I figure the remora is still hitching a ride and making him crazy. He comes right behind our boat for a ride toward Ocean Club. Once he branches off I slip and sure enough that remora is still there. If you look closely at the video you can see the marks where it attached itself to JoJo then moved to another spot. JoJo comes by to greet me but moves on not waiting. I really feel the remora is affecting his behavior (do you blame him!)John spots more dorsals and Bo and her young calf show up. I try to follow JoJo but he heads at speed in the opposite direction. Maybe Bo isn't so keen on her calf swimming where there is a remora attaching itself to dolphins. Just speculation on my part. We stay with them as they head up the coast toward Beaches and beyond. The calf is rocketing past me like a small torpedo. I think she's a female and the name Scooter seems to fit! She seems to like to whistle. She emits lots of bubble streams as she whips around. Both Bo and Scooter are totally cool with my being there. When I got out, Scooter came spy hoping and pointing her cute little rostrum out of the water right toward the boat! With an invitation like that I had to get back in! Various boats came by to see the new calf. Most were respectful and kept their distance. One however herded them then drove right over them. One hobie sailed right over them. Please if you are out on the water be respectful. Bo wants to show her calf off but not get her hurt!
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Hi all, JoJo spent most of the day behind our boat. The remora is still attached to him. He appeared to be trying to get it off by spinning around in the air. He porpoised repeatedly but that remora stayed attached. It's been on him at least since Tues and probably before that. I think perhaps that's making him keep his distance when I've gotten in to swim with him. Hopefully he'll find away to rid of the remora tonight!
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Hi All, Of course the day Dave has flown down to get video,it pours harder than I've ever seen it - all morning and into the afternoon. The swimming pool is starting to over flow! The good news is that when it finally stops the water on Grace Bay is flat. I hurry John and Dave out the door. I'm hoping to have Dave meet JoJo before he has to head home. People are always surprised at how far we go trying to find the dolphins. We motor down to Beaches and back to Leeward where John spots JoJo. I try getting in but JoJo keeps his distance. I explained to Dave how sometimes when he's meeting another dolphin he is aloof and ignores my attempts to swim with him or give him a ride behind Spy Hop. We decide to leave him and go up to the end of Pine Cay with hopes of meeting up with Bo and ______to be determined! Even with the calm water and clearing skies, we don't see a single dolphin. As we returned to Leeward, two dolphins erupt out of the water! I scurry around putting on flippers, mask and camera. Dave is filming all the activity in the boat as well as the dolphins! I slip in and JoJo comes right up. You will recognize him with the remora attached to him. The other dolphin and JoJo are very excited swimming all over and rubbing against each other. The other dolphin comes up to me and I see it's Lemon Lips! If you look hard at the right side of his fluke you can see it's ragged. John can see from the boat that his dorsal falls sightly over to the side.That is his other distinguishing mark. JoJo puts his melon right under Lemon Lips fluke, getting a sort of head rub! They are rambunctious enough that I back away so as not to get in their way. Two seven foot dolphins frolicking around is impressive and a bit intimidating! Lemon Lips swims by me and I can see him looking at me while whistling his signature whistle. He then swims under me and looks right up at me. He's so handsome. Lemon Lips is Bo's calf born in 2012. I'm so lucky that he not only remembers me but gets excited to see me when we meet a few times a year. I was worried about JoJo after I saw him the other day. I even said to John that I'd feel much better if I saw JoJo behaving with more energy. NO problem here! He was full of energy and having a great time playing with Lemon Lips. Dave got to see a dolphin meeting and even though it was only from the boat, its still a treat! I decided to publish without music this time. If you listen carefully, you can hear JoJo and Lemon Lips whistling!
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Hi All, We had a successful dolphin day! This time when we found Bo and her new calf my camera worked that was the good news! The bad news was the water was very murky! Bo's new calf that will have a name as soon as I figure the sex. Today the calf was much more interactive. He was flying all around. Lots of darting off and darting back. Circling me at speed. He or she almost swam into me a few times. This would not be the first time a calf ran into me! It's sort of like having a torpedo whizzing around you. JoJo was around and the calf visited him. Strangely enough he and Bo didn't swim together. At the end of the video JoJo comes by me. You will see he has more scrapes from boats I imagine. There is also a remora attached under his belly. We left them early because I'm in the process of creating a video which will be my protest of captive dolphins. We were meeting Dave who has helped me with all my videos.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Hi All, For the first time since Feb we are out on the water. The weather is not great with lots of wind and scattered showers. As always there are those equipment glitches!! Flat tire, camera malfunction to name a few. We motor up and down the coast dodging showers. On our last pass I see two dorsals!!! That's when I realized the camera had somehow frozen up! None the less I got in to meet a beautiful little calf with BO. I got to swim with them a few times. JoJo came around the second time and came by to greet me. Bo seemed to want me to meet her new calf and the calf took a look at me. I hope to get lots of video when my camera is in working order!!! I will be able to sex the calf once we get better acquainted. Even though I've been swimming with JoJo for 21 years I'm always grateful and a little amazed that I can get off the plane after months away, head out on Spy Hop, find my friends and carry on our friendship like I hadn't missed a day!
Monday, October 29, 2018
Hi All, It seems like it's been forever but the day is finally approaching!I fly to Provo on Monday the 12th!!! I have seen a pic that Mark from wake to wake took of a very young calf! Apparently JoJo was with the Mom and calf. I imagine it was Bo's calf. I will let you all know in two weeks! I'm a little sorry to say that apparently you aren't supposed to use the music I have been putting my videos to! I had to take all those with pirated music down. This season the music wont be as much fun but legal:) Stay tuned just two more weeks! Jay
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
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
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.
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
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.
Monday, March 26, 2018
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!
Friday, March 23, 2018
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.
Thursday, March 22, 2018
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.
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
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.
Monday, March 19, 2018
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.
Sunday, March 18, 2018
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.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
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.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
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.
Saturday, March 3, 2018
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!
Friday, March 2, 2018
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 :)
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
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!
Monday, February 26, 2018
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.
Sunday, February 25, 2018
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.