Expedition Cape Cod: Tagging 'legendary' Mary Lee
Look out, Lowcountry, there’s another great white shark party forming off the coast, led of course by Mary Lee, the Internet’s most popular shark.
Yeti, a young 960-pound, 11-foot female great white shark, has moved closer to shore, pinging her location just east of Hilton Head Island on Sunday, according to OCEARCH’s tracking.
South of the Savannah coastline, another young great white shark was spotted cruising through the Atlantic this weekend. Grey Lady, a 1,372-pound, 12.5-foot female shark pinged her location off shore between Savannah and Brunswick Sunday morning.
Grey Lady was named after Nantucket, Mass., where she was tagged by OCEARCH researchers in late September. Like Yeti, Grey Lady has made a fast track south, travelling more than 900 miles since she was tagged two months ago.
Yeti and Grey Lady could be chasing after Mary Lee, OCEARCH’s most famous shark with more than 102,000 Twitter followers, who has been hanging out in the area since September. All three sharks pinged their location in the Savannah area Sunday.
Mary Lee might not want company, though. The 16-foot great white shark, which weighs in at 3,500 pounds, moved out to sea on Tuesday, just after Yeti entered the local waters.
Every year like clockwork Mary Lee has made her way to South Carolina coast in the fall and winter, according to OCEARCH’s tracking.
Chip Michalove, Hilton Head Island charter boat captain who has studied great white sharks and their behaviors for more than a decade, recently told the Island Packet that it’s normal behavior for great white sharks to visit the South Carolina coastal area as the weather gets cooler.
“Great whites are here in the winter,” Michalove said. “The water gets hot and then (they) move out in the spring and head to Massachusetts. Took me about 12 years of studying this to be the first one to catch or even see one in South Carolina.”
But the population increase is nothing to fear. The state of South Carolina has seen shark attacks, but none on record have involved a great white shark, according to Michalove.
Yeti, Mary Lee and Grey Lady are being tracked by OCEARCH through Expedition Nantucket, an initiative to provide a broader understanding of the ecology, physiology and behavior of the north Atlantic great white.
You can track their adventures through the Atlantic here.