Saturday 18 April 2009

canadian sea serpents

Looking at Canadian Sea-Serpents, the native myths and legends about them have existed for thousands of years. Recorded sightings of such creatures date back to the 1700s.

Jacques Cartier, the French explorer who mapped much of the St. Lawrence river, kept a journal of everything he did. He and members of his crew saw what they described as "a giant finned snake" that moved like a caterpillar, using its side fins to propel itself forward in the water. Cartier's crew tried to capture the beast, but it moved too quickly and dove beneath the waters. When Cartier consulted with natives in the region, they called the creature "Gaasyendietha". This was the first recorded sighting of any sea serpent in North America. According to Seneca myths, Gaasyendietha is said to be a dragon that dwells in Lake Ontario. Although it is seldom described, it is said to be quite large. Legends say this dragon could fly on a trail of fire, and it could also spew fire.

A sea serpent has been regularly seen on the Pacific Coast of North America. It is said to have a horse like head, a long neck with tandem bumps, small front flippers and large webbed back flippers, and can be anything from 40 to 70 feet long. It has been part of the Chinook Indians folklore for hundreds of years, but was first reported by white settlers in the 1920s. The first official sighting of the leviathan dates back to 1932, just off Chatham Island. Since then, there have been hundreds of reported sightings among the waves of Cadboro Bay, which sparked the name Cadborosaurus. People who say they have seen it describe a serpent-like creature with a long neck and horse-like head. Some of the sightings are listed here. Just a small selection of over 300 sightings:

1937 July, Naden Harbour
10 foot long "Juvenile" found in sperm-whale stomach, documented in Fisheries Bulletin , Ottawa, Sept. 1937; Vancouver Province , 23 July 1937 (Kermode's quote); Vancouver Province , 16 Oct. 1937; Victoria Daily Times , 16 Oct. 1937; Victoria Daily Colonist , 31 Oct. 1937 (Photo).

1968 August, De Courcy Island, W. Hagelund
Baby Caddy caught, documented in W. Hagelund, 1987; Whalers No More , Harbour Publishing, Madeira Park, B.C.
Times-Colonist , August 9, 1997

1997:Timothy and Laurice Mock, and their 14-year-old son, Christopher, were cruising up Princess Louisa Inlet in their 24-foot powerboat. "Laurice was scanning the shoreline for bears while Tim was at the wheel, watching for logs. The sea was glassy, and since the sun had not risen above the mountains, the channel was still in shade. Tim noticed a large log up ahead and altered his course accordingly. Suddenly, the 'log' split into three pieces." "'As we ran past it, it disappeared,' Tim said, 'And all that was left was a swirl in the water, a mini-whirlpool. The log was gone.'" The second July sighting occurred as the Mocks "were dropping anchor near Homfray Channel, adjacent to Desolation Sound. Once again, the sea was flat calm and the surrounding water was exceptionally deep--in some places up to 700 meters (2,310 feet)." "'We were dropping anchor, and we were all on the foredeck. We had been poking along in the area for hours with no traffic," said Tim. Son Christopher said, 'What's that at the entrance?' When he looked up, Tim saw an unusual wake going back and forth with a parallel set moving along beside it." "'It was weird. It (the wake) wasn't diminishing, and it wasn't in the direction it should have been. It was going along the shore rather than towards it.'" Then Laurice Mock got a close look at the creature with her binoculars. "I got a good look at it," she said, "It had its head close to the water. It was like someone doing the breast stroke, like a snake."

At least one academic has written a book about 'caddy' as it is known , Dr Paul Le Blond.There ceratinly seems to be some belief in it's existence but sightings have been rarer of late. Perhaps global warming is also affecting sea serpents?

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