BroJoe sent me the first headline a couple of years ago, something about Mary Lee hanging around the Outer Banks. Huh? Since then, I’ve received a stream of fun headlines from friends. I prefer the ones that refer to “rock star Mary Lee” instead of words like “massive” and other references to weight.
Mary Lee prowls East Coast
Mary Lee Has Come For a Visit
Great White Mary Lee passing by Charleston coast again
Great White Mary Lee Moves Back North
Mary Lee is back in North Carolina
Mary Lee checking out St Helena sound
You do know Mary Lee, right? Rock star? Also a Great White Shark.
This one was left at my front door a few weeks ago:
Tagging a Great White Shark was a big deal. The SPOT (Smart Position and Temperature) tag attached to her dorsal fin sends data to the nearest satellite and it is passed on to the research team. When she was tagged, she was christened (so to speak) Mary Lee, after Ocearch scientist Chris Fischer’s mother. Still, I feel a connection. Other sharks will always be asking her, “. . . now, is Lee your middle name or your last name?”
The SPOT gives location, water temperature (GWS like waters around 50-70 degrees) and water salinity. Usually they stay in salt water, but Mary Lee entered brackish waters around Cape Cod. That’s close! She has also pinged within 200 yards of the Carolinas coastal areas. Mary Lee prefers her summers around the Cape, winters farther down the Atlantic coast.
A crew of Ocearch marine biologists followed her when she headed down to Jacksonville, Florida, where she began swimming with a smaller, Great White Shark there. That’s how the crew discovered Lydia, who was then tagged and released.
Here’s a video of how she was tagged:
“Mary Lee is a sweet, sweet woman. This is a sweet, sweet shark,” Fischer said. “Now she keeps asking if it’s pregnant, saying ‘I want grand-sharks!’”
Lydia, who has been tracked for more than 20,000 miles, is also rumored to be pregnant. She could continue to swim toward Ireland or she may turn toward the Mediterranean. There is a favorite shark birthing spot near Turkey.
Both of them pregnant? That must have been one heck of a Spring Break in Jacksonville!
Sharks are as tough as those football fans who take their shirts off during games in Chicago in January, only more intelligent. – Dave Barry