She likes us. She really likes us.
Mary Lee the great white – nearly two-tons of grace and beauty — came back our way again, surfacing within a half mile of the Grand Strand on Dec. 19, adjacent to the Dunes Golf Course in northern Myrtle Beach. She’s visited us several times since being tagged in Cape Cod by OCEARCH, a non-profit research organization that’s following her via satellite.
I was awestruck as I stood on the beach early this morning, looking out over the grayish, glassy ocean, wondering if she were near.
I know. I’m obsessed with Mary Lee. This is my fourth straight blog about her. I promise to quit writing about the great, great white shark for awhile. Well, if she were to mistake a surfer for a seal, I’d have to give it a mention (that’s sarcasm, I would never hope for such a terrible thing).
It’s not going to happen. Humans are more likely to be trampled to death by pigs than they are of being killed by a shark. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, an elderly Oregon farmer was eaten by his own hogs several months back. They found the poor man’s dentures in the sty. That’s all they found.
For the record, Genie, the other great white that I’ve written about, is still submerged somewhere out there. She hasn’t been “pinged” since Dec. 9 — in the waters off Savannah.
Man, I’m already getting withdrawal shakes, just thinking about the idea of not documenting Mary Lee’s every move. I’ve grown very fond of her — thanks to OCEARCH.
It helps me, though, to realize that sharks are always out there. I see them in the surf more often than the average tourist would like to know. My brother and I were once standing waist deep in the water when a fairly large shark swam straight at us. It was too late to hightail it, so we stood still. The shark got within 15 feet, saw us, used it’s cartilage body to full advantage, did a 90-degree turn and bolted for greater depths. It was most likely a sand, bull or black tip shark.
Ten years ago I stood with friends on Springmaid pier and watched as a seven or eight-foot shark swam along a cresting wave toward a woman holding her child. Thankfully, she had no idea the awesome creature was so close to her. My friends suggested warning her. I told them not to. The worst thing the woman could have done is splash about. The shark saw her and the kid, turned around and swam away.
Sharks like sushi. Great whites like seals and sea lions. Tiger sharks like sea turtles, but, they’re like me — they’ll eat nearly anything.
In closing, I offer you, my friends, two pictures of our girl that I’ve previously used and a graph of her location. Enjoy.