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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 hand, 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

  • star rating  We had an amazing day thanks to our guides Cole and Colin. My husband is a certified diver, and I am not. They were very patient and encouraging with me... read more

    kmckewon
    6/08/2021

    star rating  We did a paddle board tour of Mangrove Cay with Blue Collective. It was organized through our resort and very easy. They picked us up and took us to the... read more

    travelqueen928
    6/07/2021

    star rating  We wanted to adventure a little on our own and found big blue as a place that would rent kayaks for self guided tours and the experience from start to... read more

    pluierouge
    6/06/2021
  • star rating  We had an amazing time with Lily and Amanda!!! We went on an all day boat ride to west Caicos and it was so fun! Would highly recommend Lily and... read more

    Safari33421631043
    6/05/2021

    star rating  This was our beginners scuba trip. We are not certified in scuba, but Lee and Cole were true professionals who worked with those who may have been nervous about Scuba.... read more

    955nealj
    5/29/2021

    star rating  I went diving two days with Big Blue; we booked it through the Amanyara hotel. I had a great time and recommend diving with Blue Blue on a private charter.... read more

    Eric H
    5/23/2021
  • star rating  Amazing experience! Kind and knowledgeable crew, breathtaking views and overall wonderful experience. Marcia was a top notch mate and the captain was very skilled. Fully recommend this experience to any... read more

    R223GUks
    5/21/2021

    star rating  I was able to accomplish a little portion of my goal of learning to Kite Boarding at Blue Connection in Turks and Caicos only because I... read more

    V4802TJpauld
    5/19/2021

    star rating  We did the Backcountry Eco Paddleboard tour of the Mangroves and it was spectacular and Philip and Mike were amazing as guide and captain. The whole experience was expertly coordinated... read more

    V4802TJpauld
    5/19/2021
  • star rating  Could not recommend this outfit more! We booked an Eco Tour for our family of 10 and had a blast! Jake and crew did an amazing job of preparing us... read more

    feloucks
    5/16/2021

    star rating  We spent an amazing day with captain Cole and Lilly! Snorkeling was astounding and the beach at Pine Cay was spectacular! Wish we could do it every day!

    joannd0109
    5/15/2021

    star rating  Tour went well and guide made sure we felt comfortable. Saw lots of turtles and lemon sharks. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen!

    Mkuz18
    5/11/2021
  • star rating  We rented a tandem kayak for the day. Great prices for rentals and helpful staff! The marina is beautiful and good location for kayaking.

    makaileyjj
    5/10/2021

    star rating  We had a wonderful sunset paddle tour with Bredlyn (sorry if we messed up the spelling!). He was so knowledgeable, and my teenagers also really enjoyed getting to know... read more

    kristinh646
    5/01/2021

    star rating  Did 2 days of diving on 30' cruiser. All staff were very experienced and professional. Our full day included lunch which was very nicely prepared and abundant. Divemasters were very... read more

    Joel B
    4/28/2021
  • star rating  If you are looking to snorkel over some amazing coral, this trip is for you! The sights were amazing and the crew was so knowledgeable. We were able to see... read more

    195emmyb
    4/18/2021

    star rating  The tour was by the best water activity we did during our trip. Going to the edge was amazing! The crew was great and the reefs were beautiful. Well worth... read more

    Traveling_Seb
    4/16/2021

    star rating  We had a great day with captain Jake and his first mate Breadlyn. We were able to choose the areas we wanted to explore. We snorkeled in an area with... read more

    KFAnderson
    4/14/2021