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Dolphin & Whale Encounters

The Turks & Caicos Islands are truly blessed given the number of whales and dolphins we see throughout the year, both inside the reef (in the shallows) and off shore (outside the reef) in the big blue.

We make a habit and a concerted effort to always try and get in the water with these amazing mammals.

Dolphins

JoJo
Our most famous dolphin, JoJo, is a legend in his own right and has been cruising our shores, surfing boat wakes, surprising divers and playing with swimmers for close to four decades. He is a Bottlenose dolphin and is frequently seen between Grace Bay and Parrot Cay. His scarred body makes him easy to identify and he has also been seen to commune with other blue water dolphins out in the ocean.

Family
Over the years it seems JoJo has had mates and offspring. Most recently it is very common to find JoJo hanging around a mother and an amazingly curious tiny female calf (Bo and Scooter). The young ones’ behaviour is uncannily similar to how JoJo was in the late 80’s and 90’s, allowing for some truly amazing and extremely close encounters.

Others
There are numerous pods of Bottlenose dolphins that live on the Caicos Bank which we sometimes see on our way to West, French or South Caicos. More common are the larger open ocean pods of both Bottlenose and Atlantic Spotted dolphins which we see on our snorkel and dive adventures.

Guest appearances
In the winter months we sometimes see pods of Pilot Whales, large, muscular dolphins, second only in size to Killer Whales. These deep divers, cruise past our drop offs looking for squid and other denizens of the deep.

Whales

Humpback Whales
By far the most common whales to visit these islands, they pass outside our reefs during the latter stages of their annual mating and calving migration to the tropics, from December to April. At 30-45’ long, these stunning leviathans are the highlight of our season and year. To see them is one thing, to swim with them will take your breath away.

Rarities
Every once in a while, if we are really lucky, we might see Sperm Whales or Bottlenosed whales. Both are rarely seen here, and both are able to dive extremely deeply, hence surface sightings are few and far between.

Encounters – soft in water

We are always on the lookout for dolphins and whales and always want to try and see if we can swim with them. As always, when it comes to mother nature, we don’t always get what we want, when we want. Guarantees of seeing much less swimming with them is pointless. They are wild and that’s what makes any encounter so utterly compelling and addictive.

Our approach is, if we don’t try, we’ll never know. While JoJo and his companions are fairly easy (relatively) to “encounter”, open ocean experiences range from boat only viewing to full on in water encounters. More often than not, dolphins will put on a surface show. In water, they might come to check us out and if interested, stay. If not, they swiftly move on and the show is over.

Humpback whales on the other had are a whole different ball game. During peak activity of the winter months, we “bend” all our snorkel, dive and private boat charter trips to increase our chances of finding and seeing them. Our team are seasoned experts in how to correctly approach whales and more significantly are often able to get our guests in water to see them. There are however, NO GUARANTEES, except for trying. It is a waiting game, that requires patience and respect. We don’t chase whales! We watch and learn to make the right move. Sometimes that means, leaving them alone. Sometimes it means gambling and sometimes it means joining them on their swim. If you get to see them you are super fortunate, if you swim with them you will never forget the experience. Join us.

Best trip options – Edge of the Banks, Snorkel Ecotour, diving or any private charter (half or full day)

What to bring and what to wear

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Mask, fins & snorkel

We provide them (cressi), you can always bring your own

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Wetsuits

Sometimes a good idea in winter,
we also can offer these
before departure

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Rashguards

Excellent sun protection, more reliable than sunscreen as you don’t have to reapply. We sell these

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Sun screen

highly recommended but it must be 100% bio degradeable. We do sell an excellent variety

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Hat

A hat is always a good idea
when on the ocean

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Sunglasses

sunglasses are also very useful in the tropical glare

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Water

Drink lots and stay hydrated.
We provide water

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Camera

Is of course a great way to
capture the magic.
Gopros rock!

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Towel

You can’t have
enough of them.

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Clothing

A long sleeve top to keep you warm is always a good idea after a long day on the boat

  •   My wife & I rode a double kayak through the mangroves. We wanted to get out very early in the morning so the team actually took us through the... read more

    tomsiner
    10/05/2019

      This is our third time with Big Blue. They are the only group we tour with at T+C. Not only are they true to their eco ethics - they have... read more

    Christine D
    10/04/2019

      Had a really great experience with Big Blue. Our guide Duncan was great. Saw some really cool wildlife in the mangroves....baby sharks, sea turtles,etc...Then went to half moon... read more

    Nathan B
    10/03/2019
  •   We did two trips when we were at tci. First one I won’t mention the company it was with another company and was good if you like rum punch.... read more

    tjhostenske
    9/26/2019

      Rico was our tour guide and did a great job. The trip was easy and we saw a lot more wildlife than we expected (lemon sharks, sea turtles, a... read more

    20182017
    9/16/2019

      My bf and I took the snorkeling tour. This tour is all about snorkeling which was we were looking for. Crew were very professional and we had an amazing time.... read more

    Jo_Cui
    9/14/2019
  •   Customer service (5 stars)
    Experience (5 stars)
    Location (5 stars)
    Equipment (5 stars)

    Beautiful day, nice people to receive us and settle is in our kayak, comfortable kayak, the... read more

    Xtinahoule
    8/30/2019

      Customer service (5 stars)
    Experience (5 stars)
    Location (5 stars)
    Equipment (5 stars)

    Beautiful day, nice people to receive us and settle is in our kayak, comfortable kayak, the... read more

    Xtinahoule
    8/30/2019

      We watched other snorkel tour boats drop people off at our resort beach when finished, full of lots of people having a good time partying. Nothing wrong with that. We... read more

    CiCiAnn
    8/29/2019
  •   Loved our paddle board excursion with Big Blue Collective. Duncan was super knowledgeable and just so nice! He made the experience so fun and enjoyable! Highly recommend this fun and... read more

    Joyce Lynn C
    8/27/2019

      The crew was wonderful and very patient. They made sure that we were watched after. They made my girlfriend feel very secure for her first time snorkeling. I... read more

    neyney70
    8/27/2019

      I cannot say enough about this trip. Less crowded than other tours. Tour guides absolutely the best! Like family. They really do al they can to make sure everyone is... read more

    Luv2run2012
    8/24/2019
  •   Great excursion with the best crew, Mike, Cole, Roger! Very knowledgeable, personable, and extremely prepared to provide instruction with regard to safety both in the water and on board the... read more

    d j
    8/23/2019

      My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit courtesy of Big Blue Collective - I appreciated the knowledgeable and polite crew. We spent plenty of time exploring... read more

    justinlD3587WE
    8/22/2019

      My husband and I had a great time. Our guide was so helpful and knowledgeable, definitely a great experience and good upper body work out too 😃

    SarahSchwiet
    8/21/2019
  •   A great trip for experienced snorkelers. Complete circumnavigation of Provo. 3 snorkel spots, including a chance to watch things at the wall drop. Our guides were very knowledgeable and likeable.

    MandN_Texas
    8/19/2019

      We participated in the tour with Rico as a guide. We saw plenty of baby lemon sharks and baby sea turtles. An all around great tour with an extremely good... read more

    johan b
    8/19/2019

      We loved the Kayak Eco tour! My husband and I with our 18 year old daughter and 20 year old son took the tour last week. We have... read more

    jk096
    8/18/2019