Monday, August 20, 2012

Sea Monsters: Sea Serpent of Portland

Arrived here, schooner Maxamilla, Freeman Smith, master, from Lubeck, with 44 Irish passengers, for New York. Captain S. states that on Thursday about 40 miles S.E. of Monhegin [Island], the weather moderate, he discovered as he judged, about two miles ahead, something he took to be a small boat under sail; but finding it soon disappeared, the conclusion was that the object was the area’s noted sea serpent. In a few moments anticipation was realized: as the monster was discovered about a quarter of a mile to the leeward with his head about 15 feet out of the water, and his tail at the same time about 10 feet out, his breast, or body, near the water, was encircled with a clear white stripe, the diameter to appearance about 6 feet. In this position the monster remained two minutes, as if attentively viewing the vessel; and he then began thrashing the water, with his head alternately upon either side, with the most fury.

~ from a brief article in the Portland, Maine Eastern Argus dated August 21, 1818

Header: Moonrise on the Coast by John W. Casilear via American Gallery


Timmy! said...

All right! Sea monsters, Pauline! Woo-hoo!

Pauline said...

See, that was my thought too. I'm sure it was some sort of school or large fish or whale, but Captain Smith's description must have made for a riveting story. Certainly more so than this little piece in the Argus...

And I'll bet that sea monster got bigger and bigger every time the good captain told the tale.

Munin said...

Hi Pauline. I hope you are well. It's been too long since I stopped by for a pleasant read. I noticed you hadn't posted for a while last month. Glad to see you are back at it.

Anyway. I dig this little post. I always enjoy reading the shorthand of ship logbooks. Sometimes I like to get out my atlas and pinpoint (as best I can) the positions. Sometimes it is tricky as the names of places have changed, or local names are used. Good fun though.

Pauline said...

Good to hear from you, Munin, and it is good for me to be back. I start radiation in a couple of days so there may be another blip or too but hopefully not much.

That is good fun, I agree. Such pursuits are easy to get lost in, I find, and then the whole day is gone. But you feel fulfilled all the same.