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.
Friday, February 23, 2018
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
Thursday, February 22, 2018
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.
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
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.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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.
Sunday, February 18, 2018
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.
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.
Saturday, February 17, 2018
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.
Friday, February 16, 2018
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.
Thursday, February 15, 2018
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.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
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.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
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!
Monday, February 12, 2018
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:)
Sunday, February 11, 2018
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.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
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.
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Hi All, Just like yesterday the wind is down early in the morning. We take advantage of the calm water and leave early. We find JoJo and Julia in the same place as the day before. Julia is way more interactive today. She surfaces right by me and blows a nice bubble. JoJo wants to visit various tour boats but then follows me as we go to catch up to Julia who isnt very interested in visiting but very interested in fishing. I thought because she was more interactive that I'd follow her as she was fishing if I could keep up. She found a school of fish over a small reef head and stayed there for awhile chasing various fish around. I watched from above knowing from past experience not to get in the way. Apparently, she didn't feel I should have been there at all or wanted to warn me that these were her fish! She slapped the water hard with her tail to get her point across!
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Hi All, It's a beautiful day but windy. Too windy for our boat to spend much time looking for whales. JoJo is traveling with a female who I would guess is Julia but it's so murky I am not sure, plus she's darting all over fishing. She isn't spending much time with JoJo. Once we get out of the murk I get to swim with JoJo. He's very interactive wanting to visit every boat that comes along. She's having nothing to do with any of them. JoJo heads off to visit another boat and we decide to head to Pine Cay. Just as we come to the end of the island I look up and see what I think is a dolphin but it didn't surface to breath. We follow this black shape which clearly is a shark for quite some time. He is just as long as JoJo and right where I swim with the dolphins all the time. This seems to be the week of the shark!
Hi All, We have been hearing whales with our hydrophone for awhile but today, we finally saw four! We went through Sellers Cut and dropped the hydrophone in the water. We heard what sounded like quite a few whales and not too far away! There were the usual slightly eerie noises and some barks and grunts in the mix. We headed out past Northwest Point but didn't see any. After putting the hydrophone in again, we decided they were around but not as close as the first time we put it in. As we started for home, I saw what looked like white dive buoy, then a spout. The sun had hit the whale as it surfaced making it look like a buoy from afar. We motored up and two whales dove shortly after we got there. Then John saw a full breach in the distance! I caught the huge splash at the end. We motored over there and saw two more whales!
Monday, February 5, 2018
Sunday, February 4, 2018
Hi All, I am back on Island this time without the flu. Everything seems much better without the flu! Our first mission is to find Opie who is our kitty friend. He comes running when we call his name, eats lots of tuna fish then plops down on his Chaise and ignores us!