Monster After the Storm
"On a 41 foot sailboat in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, with about 7 other men, doing a shake-down/test cruise, planned to be out for about 12 hours. Mid 1980's, not as reliable weather prediction resources. We get caught in a tropical storm, winds gusting into the 50 mph range, just this short of a weak hurricane. We had just barely rigged storm hawsers and storm sails because the one fellow onboard who was the best sailor sensed the storm was almost on us, otherwise we would have died. During the storm itself, I expected to die at any time. In fact we made a "Securite, securite...." call on the radio (if you have time at sea you know what I'm talking about, if not, it's not that important). For what seemed like 15 minutes, we were in a maelstrom, no visibility, but then it passed. We would live!
"This was at about 3pm, and although there was cloud cover of course, the ambient light was such that you could see 2 miles or so in any direction.
"If you're familiar with the sea, you know that such storms, particularly in shallower depths near land masses, dredge a lot of things of the sea floor.
"We're all on deck, working lines, checking damage, etc. and the bay around us is choppy and churning and foaming. Old timey sailors often used the saying 'the sea is confused.' I look about 15 feet of the starboard side and something swims to the surface, breaks the surface, looks at us, then submerges again.
"It was like a thin man, with humanoid shape, arms articulated like a man, a human head, but its skin was covered in scales like a snake. It looked at us, blinked its weird, heavy-lidded eyes, then dove back under.
"So maybe you need to know a few things about me at that moment. No drugs, no alcohol, no injuries. I was elated because I was glad to be alive, but my senses in that situation were sharpened, not dulled. I had, at that time, about 6 years experience on ships and fishing boats, and had seen squid, octopi, flying fish, sharks, skates, etc. all around the world. I was not the type of guy to see a patch of seaweed and call it a sea monster.
"I made an instant decision that I was not going to say anything. What could I say? 'I just saw a strange creature, take my word for it!' The men on this boat were all mechanics and engineers and professionals. Why get a reputation as a flake? At the time it was important for each of us to get 'D' skipper or OOD qualifications, and saying something like that would be frowned upon.
"And as I stood there in my life vest, soaking wet, hooked onto the steel lifeline, glad to be alive, one of the other sailors, a USN Captain J_______ S________, with over 30 years experience in the surface navy, piped up and said,
"'I just saw a brown thing pop up on the surface! It looked like a lizard man, with a scaley face. It blinked at us with these big eyes and then went back under!'
"'Yeah, I saw it too,' I said. No one else said that they had seen it.
"Then we sailed back to the pier later that day and didn't speak of it again."
Stories from Mum's Partner
"Mum's partner is fisherman.
"A couple of things that came to mind:
"The incredible amount of Great White shark encounters they have out at sea - obviously attracted by the bait or something. Stories of being circled and harassed by sharks for sometimes up to days, in at least one or two occasions resulting in them having to go back in.
"Freak waves. Sadly, the amounts of fisherman killed by freak waves is too high. Imagine Mother Nature just unleashing a huge wave out of nowhere that obliterates a fishing boat, killing those on board. He's participated in many searches for bodies and those of lost fisherman at sea - including hauling numerous bodies on board and liaising with police in the searches.
"My favourite though, was something he actually saw on land while out at sea. On an incredibly remote and rugged part of Tasmania's West Coast the crew noticed what appeared to be a dog on the beach. As they got closer they noticed it was sniffing around in some seaweed and walking a bit differently to a dog. As they continued to get closer they also noticed something else - it had what appeared to be the outline of stripes along its back half. Yes, still to this day they believe they saw an "extinct" Tasmanian Tiger (or Thylacine). Regular sightings are still reported in Tasmania and many local fisherman have also reported seeing them in that particular area."
"RAN 2000ish, Indian Ocean on watch maybe 0200. Pitch black except for stars and quiet apart from the diesels. I notice a humming sound, sorta halfway between hearing it and feeling it. This goes on for a while, but all of a sudden it got a lot more intense and suddenly I notice a glow way under the water. I thought it was bioluminescence on a shark or whale or something but it kept floating up and suddenly just SHOT off maybe half a naut mile taking the hum with it in about 1 or 2 seconds.
"Nothing can move that quick underwater. I reported it and it was logged but nothing came off it.
"Heard stories from shipmates about the same thing happening but the glow goes into the air, dunno about that but what I saw I have no explanation for."
Possessions Following a Tsunami
"I was en route to northern Japan after the terrible tsunami happened for disaster relief (Marines). Anyway, I had stepped outside to a catwalk for a smoke after not seeing the sun for a few days. Turns out that it was extremely foggy and snowing, which I had never thought about. The ship was basically reduced to a crawl, it was all very silent and quite peaceful. After chain smoking for 10-15 minutes I started to hear things hitting the ship. Had trouble seeing at first but once I saw the roof of a house and a crib float by, I realized where we were. Ran back to my living area to grab some friends. We all get back out there and silently observed people's lives floating by us. Not super crazy or bizarre, but it's something I'll never forget. Spent the next week and a half dealing with crazy weather shifts doing my part in the clean up effort."