Losing track of Jack
By Dean Bagley, UCF Marine Turtle Research Group
I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news. We’ve lost Jack, as of Sept. 21, 2019, just five days after the last update. He gave us a great track and some things to think about. I still don’t know what might be in that area in the Gulf, but I’ve reached out to friends to ask if they can help. His last location was 51.5 km (32 miles) due north of US 1 in the Keys, approximately 3 miles west of Lower Sugarloaf Key. His last GPS location is shown on the map, immediately to the left of the date and time. There were a few more Argos locations received before all transmissions ceased. That’s not unusual; we get a lot more Argos hits than GPS, but they are far less accurate. I’ve sent a map of his entire track and also a closeup, relative to the Keys and US 1. I had high hopes for the attachment method that I used on Pamela last year (the lower profile transmitter), and I used a lot more epoxy in a larger footprint, but it just didn’t stand up to whatever he’s doing out there. He transmitted for 120 days.
Apollo is still south of Boca Chica Key and the Naval Air Station, but he did make a quick three kilometer trip out to deeper water and back on Sept. 24. Remember in our last update, he had moved outside the area where he’d been spending all of his time, and I wondered if he was exploring or leaving? Well, it looks like he explored, and then moved west a bit and has remained there since Sept. 15. His last location was on Sept.29, and is shown immediately left of the date and time.
Thank you to Justin Osborne and family and to the STPS Board for making these deployments possible!