18 February 2018

Hi everybody – herewith the latest Yoshi update.

Yoshi has been back in the ocean now for 64 days, and she is making great progress up the West Coast. She has traveled 1860 kilometres already. She is currently about 130 km offshore from the Hardap region of Namibia. She is actually in line with Sesriem – straight West, and heading towards Walvis Bay.

We have seen 390 satellite passes.

Yoshi’s straight line distance from release site is now 1224 km at a heading of 336 degrees, which means she has done more than 600 kilometres of exploring along the way.

Her average daily distance covered remains about 29.5 – 30.5 kilometres which is really impressive.

Water temperature is getting a bit warmer, and is a lovely temperate 19.5 – 20’C at her current location. Her satellite tag sends a signal every time she surfaces.

The ocean floor is about 1050 meters below surface – so she is in the proper deep and open ocean.

2 months, 2 countries – only another 16 countries to go before she gets to loggerhead nesting sites at Cape Verde off Senegal.

I wonder whether she will settle at Cape Verde, or possibly cross the Atlantic and head for the nesting populations around the Bahamas, Florida and Mexico. Or will she venture to the Mediterranean sea?

Only time, and thousands of kilometres, will tell. Let’s hope we get satellite transmission for as long as possible.

Loggerhead Sea Turtles have two lineages, which diverged approximately 3 million years ago: one in the Indian and Pacific Ocean basins, and the other in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. There have been two effective transfers of matrilines between the groups, likely through the waters around South Africa. These rare events have been sufficient to prevent the two lineages from developing into separate species (Bowen 2003; Bowen and Karl 2007).

Yoshi is swimming strongly and doing well. What an adventure.