"I thought it was a passing cloud at first," kayaker Emma Hawthorne said. "But when I looked up it wasn't the shadow of a cloud, but the shadow of a monster!"

Hawthorne, still visibly shaken when she speaks of the incident last Tuesday, says she believes the monster was the Owen Sound Serpent.

"Although I've never heard much about the Owen Sound Serpent this monster certainly  seems to fit. That's what I would have named it," she said with an awkward laugh.

The encounter happened last week while Hawthorne was enjoying the unseasonably warm weather with a kayaking trip north of Wiarton. Some believe that the Serpent has an underwater cave carved out of the escarpment in that very area.
"I saw it and froze," Hawthorne said. "I couldn't paddle, I couldn't scream. All I did was stare. It must have been 20 feet long, and it was covered with shiny green scales."

"It wasn't looking at me, just swimming along beside me. Then it turned its head and, I swear this is true, before it dove down under the waves, it winked at me!"

The legend of the Owen Sound Serpent is said to date back to before settlers moved into the Georgian Bay region, but it's not a very popular legend, mostly because there are few sightings.

Social media has been spreading the stories of the serpent the past couple of years, but the increase in sightings you might expect has not materialized.

Still, local cryptozoologist Huey Packard says, "Forget the Loch Ness Monster. If there are any fresh water lake monsters in the world they're in the Great Lakes, not that Scottish puddle."



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