Friday, February 22, 2013

Mary Lee's Bermuda visit

As we know from previous posts, Mary Lee moved back north along the eastern seaboard, nearly to Cape Cod, which is where she was tagged back in September. Then, for reasons unknown to mere humans, she turned south and beelined for Bermuda.

And that's where she is now, between the Bowditch Seamount and St. David's island. St. David's is one of the northernmost of the cluster of small islands that make up Bermuda.

The Bowditch is about 20 miles NNE of Bermuda, rising up from the Atlantic depths. The top of Bowditch is at 800 meters, so it's still quite deep. Mary Lee is between Bowditch and St. David's, and slightly NE.

This time of the year the water temp averages about 63 degrees F. and visibility is usually about 150 meters. The seas tend to be rough now, so sport fishing is at a slack time. Nonetheless, wahoo and tuna are fairly plentiful.

OCEARCH Shark Tracker


Update 23 Feb:

Our pal Mary Lee has seemingly kicked in the afterburner, moving from near the Bowditch seamount north of Bermuda, to ESE of Argus/Challenger in a short space-a bit more than a day.

So... while she was up by Bowditch, she seemed to be 'pacing' back and forth - a hunting/feeding pattern?

Then she hightailed it south, where she seems to be doing more of the same. Now, we know that mammalian predators expend a great deal of energy when hunting and some of them don't have a lot of reserves to tolerate failure - the cheetah being a prime example - the same would seem to apply to piscatorial predators (how's that for a turn of phrase?) - and the mammalians don't like to do that if there's little or no chance of catching the chow. See also: Prey caloric value and predator energy needs: foraging predictions for wild spinner dolphins, a PDF doc that offers some related thinkings on this.

So did she move south for the grits? Is it paying off for her?

Our lack of knowledge allows for much conjecture to be raised. This is some great stuff. So... how well can whites sense across the ocean expanses? Bermuda seems to us to be a long way from Cape Cod, but to Mary Lee, it may be just down the street. Was she up in the colder northern waters, and picked up on wahoos woo-hooing down that way?