Bob the green sea turtle had, as of last Thursday, been in the ocean for 41 days since his much-publicised return to the sea after spending eight years at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town.
By: Garrin Lambley
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In that time, he had managed to swim 2 000km from the KwaZulu-Natal coast where he was released, and at last update, was 85km offshore of Hermanus.
Prior to his release, Bob was fitted with four tags to help track his movements.
Talitha Noble monitors Bob’s travels and is responsible for detailing his journey.
The latest update – which can be viewed here – was the seventh since his journey started.
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Noble wrote: This week, we are celebrating our wonderful Bob on his 41st day at sea! After zooming south in the Agulhas Current and hugging the continental shelf, Bob has been exploring the waters near Hermanus most recently. We are excited to catch up with our ocean-faring boy!
This week, we are celebrating our wonderful Bob on his 41st day at sea!
When we last checked in with Bob, he had started to move in a westerly direction after his speedy journey south in the Agulhas Current. During this time, Bob stuck to the edge of the continental shelf. At 200km south of Cape Agulhas, we were very curious about what Bob’s next steps would be!
Over these 41 days, Bob has travelled on average 54km per day – our fit boy is doing an ultra-marathon per day.
Bob meeting up with Pan and Turbo?
In the last seven days, Bob has continued to move along the continental edge, staying on the outer edge of the Agulhas Bank and moving in a northerly direction – towards the Cape Peninsula!
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Bob is moving in the same direction as the current, which is moving at about 1.5km per hour. However, he is sticking to a slower-moving part, possibly to stay within the boundary of the continental shelf. Currently, he is swimming over waters about 200 metres deep and about 22 degrees.
The edge of the continental shelf, where the shallower waters allow sunlight to reach marine life, is abundant in nutrients and fish species. Perhaps Bob is enjoying the delicious algae and saying hello to all the fish along the shelf!
Most lately, Bob is only 85km offshore from Hermanus, where our turtle team is based for the Turtle Rescue Roadtrip!
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If Bob decides to continue northward, he may bump into Turbo and Pan soon! How amazing would that be?
Pan is a special loggerhead turtle who spent three years in our Turtle Rehabilitation Centre before being released off Cape Point in 2022 with a satellite tag. He has enjoyed the West Coast, spending lots of time there before heading offshore into the Atlantic Ocean. Turbo, released in December 2022, is a green turtle – he’s spent solid time hanging out around the West Coast National Park and the broader west coast waters.
Is Bob keen to head in the direction that many of our turtles have taken before? Does he also want to go to the colder waters of the West Coast for abundant food?
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Days since release: 41
Distance travelled: 2 000km
Distance from shore: 85km
Nearest town: Hermanus
Water depth: 600m