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Tracking Bob: Turtle speed record?

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Tracking Bob: Turtle speed record?

After eight years in rehabilitation, Bob the green turtle returned to the wild on 27 January 2023! Since his release, Bob has been exploring the open ocean and with the help of an array of high-tech trackers, we've been able to closely follow his journey.

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Bob's journey so far:

Update #3: 11 February 2023, by Talitha Noble

Bob has been absolutely FLYING southward in the warm fast Agulhas Current (and we couldn't resist sharing an early update)!

On Tuesday Bob was exactly 40km offshore from Durban. But, in the last three days he has travelled just over 200km. Whoa!

If you check out the water current speed map, you can see that he was still very much on the edge of the Agulhas on Tuesday and has been following the speedy tail end of it right down into the Eastern Cape, hugging the continental shelf the entire way.

Bob's rapid move southward

On Tuesday the water current speed under Bob's track was about 2.5km/hr and he stayed at this speed as he zoomed down the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

Bob decided not to hang out in the Aliwal Shoal MPA, doing a bit of a "Hi and bye" to the tiger, ragged tooth and blacktip sharks that find refuge in this reserve.

On Thursday morning Bob had reached Port Shepstone and was entering his third MPA, the Protea Banks. He spent the whole day swimming through the most protected part of this reserve, looking for fish, coral and comb jelly species that he could discover (did you know that the Protea Banks MPA is home to many species unknown to science?).

By the end of the day Bob was REALLY speeding up, sitting in the very fast flowing part of the Agulhas Current, travelling at 3.6km/hr!

At about 10PM he crossed the provincial boundary into the Eastern Cape and with that entered into his fourth Marine Reserve; the Pondoland Offshore MPA and the Wild Coast!

Bob MPA 3

This is such a special part of the coast for Bob to hang out because it's a transition area for the northern sub-tropical waters and the more temperate warm waters of the south. This unique environment houses species that don't exist anywhere else in the world.

Bob had better be lifting his head to take lots of breaths and moving slightly closer inland because he is currently at the site of Waterfall Bluff, a waterfall that drops 100m to the ocean below, what a sight!

It is interesting to think back at Donny and how he missioned down the current and came back inshore once he reached Mossel Bay. Or Caddy, who also rode the current but then followed the eddies into the south Atlantic. It's going to be exciting to see what Bob decides to do!

Catch up on Bob's story

During his eight years at the Two Oceans Aquarium, Bob inspired hundreds of thousands of people to love the ocean and its abundant life just that little bit more. Now that Bob has returned to the ocean, he'll continue to be an incredible turtle storyteller as he sends back data about his adventures. Meanwhile, we'll do what we can to protect his ocean home.

If you missed out on any part of Bob's story, you can catch up here:

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