This is, I have to say, an awesome year for turtle tracks. Christie, Beverly and Asha are still making interesting moves.
Christie is possibly the most traditional of these tracks at this point. She has obviously begun her trek south, racing down ahead of the others. What I love most about her track is that sharp, almost 90-degree turn she made at the start of November. I am always intrigued by that sudden change—the switch flipping—that we don’t yet understand—that sent her south—that made her determine, Now is the time.
Although Beverly is still really far north as far as our experience of leatherbacks migrating from Canadian waters goes, it is worth noting that she is spending all of her time in water between 15 and 18-degrees Celsius. It is so interesting to see how closely she is skirting the colder water masses just to the north and east of her. Look at the similarity in the shape of her track and the changes between yellow and green in this map.
And Asha remains fascinating, too. If you look at the close-up map below, you’ll see that she swam two huge circles corresponding to the perimeter of a persistent oceanic gyre. And after wandering down the shelf slope and reaching Cape Hatteras, she’s being deflected back north again.
I love that we are wondering every time we check our data what exactly we’re going to find.