Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fish-Geek's Pick-Of-The-Week: Hawaii's Sea Monster

Sea Monster

Meerwunder vnd seltzame Thier / wie die in den Mitnächtigen Ländern / im Meer vnd auff dem Landt gefunden werden (taken from the vignettes on Olaus Magnus's Carta marina), Basel c. 1544, 34 x 28 cm
Latin: Cetus, Serpus Marinus
Greek: Ketos
Hawaiian: KoholaLoa

"A man by the name of Mapua, and others, were out fishing, with their boats anchored. They saw a great thing coming up, rising high above the surf, fire burning on top of it. They thought it was something evil and hurried to the shore, trembling and frightened by this wonderful apparition. They had fled, leaving all they had used while fishing. When they went up from the beach they told the high chief Kaeo and the other chiefs about this strange sight." Hawaiian Historical Legends by William D. Westervelt 1923
Local legends tell of a huge sea monster that has lived on the Kohala Coast for generations, and here, on our Fish-Geek's Pick-of-the-Week, we spill all about this mysterious monster, with legends confirmed by our very own crew. 
What do you think this is? From Bishop Museum, Honolulu
 Historian Geoff Dobson says, "It has been reported that Captain Cook’s HMS Endeavour in the South Pacific was attacked by a sea serpent that had to be beaten off by the crew."
Up the street from our very own dive shop, rises a huge Heiau (temple) by the name of Pu'ukohola- Whale Pu'u... or is it really named as the lookout post for the Sea Monster? Right below it is the "Shark" Heiau, Hale o Kapuni, which was hastily covered over by the US Military, some say to bury the truth about the ritual feeding of virgins to the vicious beast. Further rumors confirm a mysterious pre-Cook Portuguese ship sunk by the monster right off the Kohala Coast. Full of Portuguese gold and perhaps proof of earlier European visitation, it is currently the subject of a massive treasure hunt and Sea Monster hunting expedition.

Obviously the coiled lengths of a nasty sea monster. Photo by Kelleen Lum
 I can see you are skeptical, so let's not rely on proven Historical record: Read, if you dare, the quotes from our own crew about their encounters with the Leviathan:
Captain Bob confirms, "I have seen [it] erupt from the deep- that deep ledge where the huge shrimp are?- with a huge mouthful of shrimp, [it's] breath was horrible!"
Captain Greg nods and adds, "[The Monster] steals our fish right off the hook from our fishing boat lines. Just leaves the bloody hooked head behind!" 
You can believe them: They are fishermen and they always tell the truth.We also know what the Sea Monster eats: Shrimp from the deep, like Bob has witnessed, headless fish right off the line, the occasional unlucky solo kayaker, chewy sacrificial virgins, and yellow tangs by the mouthful- How else to explain how so many have gone missing? The Kohala Coast used to be called "The Gold Coast" because of all the thousands of yellow tangs coloring the waves yellow. Obviously the Sea Monster is eating them all.
From James J. Williams Collection Hawaiian Historical Society
Finally, we know where it is currently living:
Kelleen says, "I heard that there is a sunken Mahukona Sugar train that tumbled off a train trellis into the sea. If we can find it, imagine the wreck dive that would be? But it probably has [a sea monster]...living...in it." 
The many train cars would be a perfect fit for it's huge serpentine coils.
More crew testimonials:
Tina says, "Puff the Magic Dragon, who lives by the sea, was[n't] about a dragon in Hanalei Kauai, [but] obviously a reference to smoking [nostrils] and burning [eyes of] da kine Hawaiian green [sea monster]."
When asked about the Sea Monster, Robyn replied,
"Don't talk about Scott that way!"
Upon reading this list of true and proven facts, Historical record and crew testimonials, Flipper exclaimed:
"This is the biggest load of crapola, mis-information, and downright lies that I have ever seen. Frankly I am shocked- shocked!- that we would allow this pile of bull-[explicative] out there for our trusting divers to read. It is irresponsible yellow journalism! Everyone knows the season for Sea Monsters is summer, not April 1st!"

Kama'aina? Yes. Although relatives have been spotted in Scotland, Vermont, etc.
Size: Ginormous! Like Scary-huge!
Depth: Surface to Davey-Jones'-Locker deep.
White List? No. Not safe for Aquariums.