Sea Cows, Sharks and Storms, Oh My!

Stranded sea cow on a Core Banks barrier island.

It’s been an interesting week here on the Outer Banks. Right now there’s the first of the true nor’easters of the season moving in and it looks as though it’s going to be a heck of a storm.

A great white shark pinged fairly far west of Oregon Inlet.

But we’ll start with the coolest story of all—the sea cows.

Ok, they’re just cows, but given how remarkable their story of survival is, maybe sea cow is the right word.

When the 8’ mini-tsunami swept across Cedar Island, it took with it a lot of feral and wild animals, including 28 horses and most of a herd of wild cattle that live on the island.

There was little hope that any of the animals would or could survive. The horses didn’t. And the thought was the cattle didn’t either. And most probably didn’t.

But earlier this week, just south of Portsmouth Island on the norther end of the Core Banks one of the wild herd was spotted. And when park personnel went to investigate—it’s on NPS property—two more were discovered, munching away on sea oats and sea grass. 

The NPS is planning on sedating them and returning them to Cedar Island. The barrier islands of Core Banks are very unstable.

The Shark. Cabot the Shark.

It seems Cabot, at 533 pound male great white shark that has been tagged, pinged pretty far west of Oregon Inlet. Actually he was a couple of miles into the Pamlico River.

There’s a couple of things about Cabot being where he was that is a bit odd. 

He’s really active and moving very quickly. On Wednesday evening he pinged in the ocean east of Duck. By yesterday evening he was in the Pamlico River. To reassure anyone who is concerned about an encounter with Cabot, his last ping was this evening (Friday) east of Avon.

Most odd though, great white’s very rarely venture into fresh water, and that far west of Oregon Inlet, the water is fresh. They need salt water for their survival, so there’s probably a good reason why Cabot didn’t stay in Pamlico Sound very long.

And then there’s the nor’easter. The winds are picking up pretty well, and it looks as though we’ll have some overwash in areas prone to it. 

Should be interesting.

But then it’s always interesting on the Outer Banks. Plan your stay with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates and see for yourself how interesting the Outer Banks really are.