1931-34: sightings of the fish-god, the Dakuwaqa

When I came to Fiji the famed fish-god, the Dakuwaqa, was very much a reality. The Government ship, the Lady Escott, reached Levuka with signs of an encounter with the great fish, while the late Captain Robbie, a well known, tall, and very erect Scot, even to his nineties, told of the sleepy afternoon as his cutter was sailing from his tea estate at Wainunu, under a very light wind, with most of the crew dozing. A great fish, which he described as near 60 feet in length, brown-spotted and mottled on its back, with the head of a shark and the tail of a whale, came up under his ship, almost capsizing it.

The crew, instantly awake and concerned, followed the ancient pattern, pouring a strong libation of kava into the sea, which, it would seem, was just the right idea for placating fish-gods; the monster slowly submerged, the breeze gradually gathered the cutter away, its keel dragging along the monster’s back, making the skin pale.
PACIFIC IRISHMAN WILLIAM FLOYD Pacific Irishman, William Floyd Inaugural Memorial Lecture, given in Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral Suva, Fiji, on August 28, 1970 by The Venerable C. W. Whonsbon-Aston Archdeacon Emeritus Vicar of Levuka, Fiji, 1931-34, Priest in Charge, Mukawa, New Guinea, 1934-39, Vicar of Viti Levu West, Fiji, 1939-43, Chaplain in Western Samoa, 1943-58 Archdeacon of Fiji and Vicar of Levuka, 1958-64, Archdeacon of Polynesia, 1963-67, Archdeacon Emeritus.

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