70 years of helping people to care for our ocean

Maryke Musson 

Donny not only found her bearings during the last week, but also managed to pop into the Agulhas current, which is the best place to be for a juvenile turtle.

During the last week she travelled 1160km, that is an astonishing 158km per day on average, thanks to the fast moving Agulhas ‘conveyer belt’.

The Agulhas current is one of the fastest and strongest flowing currents in the world and transports warm tropical Indian Ocean water southwards along the South African coast (at about 73 billion liters of water per second). It can reach a speed of close to 10km per hour, so Donny has had the ride of her life moving at an average speed of about 6.6km per hour, from Durban to about 180km east of George.

She is on the outer region of the Agulhas bank which a very dynamic offshore area with high productivity and recognised as a biodiversity hotspot as the Agulhas and Benguela ecosystems meet here.

Donny finds herself in a lovely and warm 24°C sea surface temperature and she is around the Southwest Indian Seamounts MPA, a 7500 m2 marine protected area that was proclaimed in 2019, which is a great place to be in, especially since we will be celebrating Marine Protected Areas Day on the 1st of August.

This is near the Shackleton Seamount Complex (seamounts are underwater mountains). Shackleton was an explorer and well-known for his remarkable perseverance and survival during his Endurance expedition. Donny has shown true endurance and survival during her challenging rehabilitation time at the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation and is now a proper ocean explorer, what a little champ.

Caddy was released by Bayworld Oceanarium and East London Aquarium off East London, and he seems to be really enjoying the coastal areas between East London and Kenton-on-Sea, while Pan was released by the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation team off Cape Point and he headed straight up the West Coast and has already nearing offshore Lambert’s Bay. 

What incredible journeys. For more information on all 3 turtles click the link