Making tracks south
By Dean Bagley, UCF Marine Turtle Research Group
I hope you all had a great 4th of July! Here is a brief update on our two migrating turtles.
Jack has continued on down the Keys, and has made a definite move inland to shallow water, which I find odd at 1:30 in the morning on the Fourth. If he were trying to get to the Gulf side, he has overshot several places to do that, and is just east of the Vaca Cut at the north (east) end of Marathon. He was at the south side of Hawk’s Channel over reef at 4:42 p.m. and was at the north side of the Channel at 1:30 a.m., but still half a kilometer from shore. I can’t tell you what he’s doing, but I can tell you that when we conducted transects there in March, we didn’t see any turtles at all in that area. It will be interesting to see what he does next.
Apollo has continued down the coastline, and was just north of Fort Pierce Inlet at his last hit at 7:33 a.m. on July 3, 2019. The four closely spaced hits are probably where he slowed down to rest a bit. They were roughly two hours apart, but so is the last hit, just two hours after the last of the four, which indicates to me that he was swimming very slowly during the four locations we got.
Stay tuned; I’ll send another update soon.