While information regarding this harrowing encounter is scarce, the key facts in this case were chronicled by the crew and collected decades later by zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans (the legendary father of cryptozoology) in his invaluable tome on anomalous marine fauna: “In the Wake of the Sea Sea Serpents.”
According to his report, on August 31st, 1884, the crew aboard the stream-tug known as the “Churchill” — which was anchored off the coast of Durban (formerly Cape Natal) on the eastern coast of South Africa — bore witness to one of the weirdest and outright frightening SEA MONSTERS ever recorded. The ship’s Captain, a man chronicled in the accounts only as Captain Wellington, described the event in some detail:
“(A) huge beast suddenly appeared level with the bulwarks presenting the most terrific appearance. It seemed covered in large sea shells and to have a big, hairy head; twice it appeared, and as suddenly plunged down again. The second time the whole of its body passed under the ship, and in doing so all aboard assert positively that its head could be seen some distance at one side while its tail was still visible many yards away at the other. It’s length was estimated at 60 feet.”
This creature is just one of many said to have made the South African coast of Indian ocean their home. Some of the other notables include the famous DAEDALUS SERPENT and the utterly bizarre, white haired, lobster tailed, elephantine trunk bearing CURIOUS CARCASS formally dubbed the Natal Carcass, but known worldwide as TRUNKO.
That having been noted, the description of the shell-like entities attached to the Churchill Sea Serpent’s hide bear more than a passing resemblance to the barnacle encrusted beast said to dwell off the coast of Nova Scotia, which the locals have named the CAPE SABLE SERPENT.