Posted by: dharmabeachbum | October 18, 2013

Mary Lee and Genie have shown good taste

Mary Lee the great white shark broke surface roughly 70 miles due east of Myrtle Beach at 1:40 p.m. on Oct. 15. She’s been swimming along the slope that drops off the Continental Shelf and that’s where she was when pinged by satellite on Tuesday.

A ping is recorded when the shark’s tagged fin breaks the ocean’s surface, transmitting a signal to a satellite and resulting in data that includes the shark’s geo-location. I’ve written here several times about the organization doing the shark tagging, OCEARCH. Read more about them in my newly created category, Meandering Mary Lee.

Mary Lee aboard the M/V OCEARCH in Sept. 2012. A Global Shark Tracker, where one can observe the navigational patterns of sharks that have been tagged by the organization, can be followed on their website at OCEARCH.org. (Photo courtesy of OCEARCH)

Mary Lee aboard the M/V OCEARCH near Cape Cod in Sept. 2012. A Global Shark Tracker, where one can observe the navigational patterns of sharks tagged by the organization, can be followed on their website at OCEARCH.org.
(Photo courtesy of OCEARCH)

From her Oct. 15 location, Mary Lee headed north and was pinged twice atop the Continental Shelf adjacent to Wilmington, North Carolina, on Oct. 17. She was approximately 50 miles off the coast then. One ping was recorded at 4:12 a.m. and the second was recorded an hour later.

Mary Lee progresses 10.65 miles a day, according to OCEARCH statistics. But sharks lollygag sometimes in the same area — as we’ve all seen on Discovery and National Geographic channels. They circle potential prey. My guess would be that she swims four times that distance, probably more, in a day. The distance travelled between pings is logged in a straight line on OCEARCH’s great graphs. From Point A to Point B.

Our girl had consistently been heading north along the Continental Shelf slope before being located well off the shore of Cape Hatteras on Oct. 1. I wondered if perhaps she was heading back to the waters off Massacusetts where she was tagged in Sept. 2012. Nope. She doubled back. When tagged by OCEARCH, Mary Lee was 16-feet-long and weighed 3,456 pounds. How big is she now?

Speaking of Massachusetts. Another mature female great white I’ve documented here on DBB, Genie, is hanging out near Nantucket. She was pinged there again on Oct. 8. She has twice passed our way, swimming about 15 miles off the coast. Genie had been a little satellite shy, having not been located for seven months prior to Aug. 22, 2013. She’s been coming out of her shell recently. Since August she’s been pinged a handful of times in the same area.

Nantucket. Cape Cod. Cape Hatteras. Myrtle Beach. I must say. Mary Lee and Genie have good taste.

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Responses

  1. Mary Lee was more recently pinged after surfacing while swimming south along the base of the Continental Shelf slope out from Pawley’s Inlet. The satellite transmission was received at 10:31 a.m. October 26. At 11:52 p.m a day earlier, she surfaced out from Pawley’s Island while heading in the same direction along the slope. She was a bit closer to shore.
    Da dunt… Da dunt… dunt dunt dunt dunt dunt dunt da da, dunt dunt…(Jaws Theme)

  2. Well, now I’m just talking to myself. Again. Satellite transmissions have recorded three more breaks of surface since my last update. She was last heard from southeast of Charleston at 11:31 a.m. Oct. 28. Still heading south, 15 or so miles from shore. Like me, she’s a restless wanderer. A zen lunatic without the rucksack.


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