Katharine the Great

Posted in: Uncategorized- Oct 02, 2016 No Comments

Oh Great!

One thing I was always grateful for about living in South Florida was that we didn’t have to worry about great white sharks down here in the Caribbean. We have bull sharks, hammerheads, black tips, and reef sharks but they’re all relatively cordial compared to the “white death.” I’d always believed that the water here was too warm for them and that great whites preferred a nippy surf temperature to be at their predatory best.  Oh sweet delusion.  Sadly, when I learned that a 14-foot great white shark named Katharine was swimming around Miami Beach my naiveté got lost at sea. How distressing to learn that great whites are found in all oceans except the polar seas and not only are they comfortable in the Caribbean but a monster measuring 21 feet weighing 7300 pounds was once caught in Cuba. We know about Katharine’s visit because trackers follow her on the marine research website OCEARCH.  Katharine “The Great,” named after Cape Cod native and songwriter Katharine Lee Bates, who wrote America the Beautiful, was first tagged off Cape Cod in 2013.  Since then Katharine has turned 14 and is old enough to mate and make little great whites.  There is some speculation that her 700 pound weight gain might mean little ones are on the way,  so keep your fingers crossed.  Where Katharine goes next is anyone’s guess, but now that we know that she and her 300 teeth occasionally winter in Miami she could make it a great white Christmas this year.  Thank god we don’t have great whites in the summer.  Or do we?

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