In Search Of Cecil the Sea Serpent – Manatees, Wolfeels & Friends

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Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent was a glowing bright spark during my childhood that spawned countless fanciful adventures. Cecil was real…, as real as the fresh green grass, bright blue sky and the vast cerulean blue sea!  I would imagine many life forms were Cecil, or at least friends of Beany and Cecil, the 1960s cartoon series that was a staple of my childhood.

1964 Kodachrome: Myself at Five and My Iguana Named “Pinky”. I Pretended Pinky Was a “Cecil-Like Character” Always Up for a Helpful Exciting Adventure!Carol with Iguana 1963

carol_pinky_63_back-2Found at my Grandfather’s house, it’s a rather faded and stuck-to-glass Kodachrome print from this lovely day in August 1963. Yes, that’s me at five years old and, yes, that is an iguana my Dad picked up from a market in Mexico and brought back as a present for me (thanks to Dad for listening and understanding my aversion for what I saw as scary dolls…). I named the iguana “Pinky” and we had countless adventures together! Ok, the iguana is a taxidermy (please don’t judge…, it was a different era) but to me he was vibrantly alive! Was this Cecil? No, but Pinky obviously knew the friendly sea serpent! Still, after this, I’ve always been searching for the real Cecil…

An Icon of My Early Childhood, I Was Always Searching For a Sea Serpent Friend Like Cecil!Beany and Cecil Cartoon

L to R: Crowy, Captain Huffenpuff, Beany, Cecil & Dishonest John with the Leakin’ Lena in the Background.img_8459

Throughout the Episodes, Cecil Had a Cadre of Female Admirers.❤️img_8464

Cecil Was Loyal to a Fault, Overly Helpful and Things Always Came Out Right in the End! He Was Like the “Forrest Gump” of Sea Serpents.img_8468

I think my FAV Beany and Cecil episode is the jazzy – Beany Meets the Monstrous Monster – featuring Louie the Loan Shark, Snappsy Maxie, Staring Herring and Jack the Knife! January 1962

Here’s another of my FAV Beany and Cecil Cartoons – Invasion of the Earth by Robots February 1962

And this is an overview of the original puppet show. I hadn’t arrived yet for this one (1949-1955) although word has it even Albert Einstein tried to catch every episode of “Time for Beany”! Here’s the scoop from CartoonResearch.comCartoonResearch.com

Now in my adult years I reminisce, which close encounter beneath the water’s surface reminds me the most of my search for Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent?

A Self-Portrait at 70 Feet Deep on the SS Themis, Browning Pass, British Columbia. I Conversed With “Gumby” the Wolfeel. August 2008.gumby_wolfeel_carol_bc08-341

At Over 7-1/2  Feet Long, Gumby the Wolfeel Swims Right Up To Greet Dive Buddy Jett. No, We Didn’t Feed the Wildlife, Gumby Was Just That Sociable as He Approached Each of Us! Gumby’s Much Like Cecil the Sea Serpent.gumby_jett_bc08-1389

Valerie, My Other Dive Buddy, is Enamored With Gumby! He’s Named After a Famous Claymation TV Icon, Although Gumby is a Lot Like Cecil.gumby_valerie_bc08-1392

Gumby Likes To Pose for Photos! He’s Got the Long Sea Serpent Shape But Not the Same Coloring as Cecil. gumby_valerie_bc08-1391

While He’s Not Cecil, Gumby IS Gumby! We Brought Capt. John de Boeck’s Gumby Co-Pilot Down to Meet His Namesake!gumby_gumby_bc08-1393

Rain at Browning Pass Hideaway Results in Rapping with Buddies and Capt. John de Boeck’s Co-Pilots! Don’t You Think These Three Divers Would Blend In Well on the Leakin’ Lena With Beany, Cecil and the Crew? L to R: Jett, Myself and Valerie. What a Grand Adventure! August 2008.bc_valerie_carol_jett-342

 “Cecil, He’s My Bro!” Off Curaçao I Bonded With a Rather Talkative and Very Large 5 Foot Long Green Moray Eel. He Doesn’t Have Cecil’s Eyelashes or Eyesight as His Right Eye Cataract Looks Rather Occluded, But He’s Easy With Being Green! October 2011.green_moray_aruba_cateract_2011-1394

In Neighboring Aruba, this Big Green Moray Hanging Out Under a Wreck Was Absolutely Stoked Discussing His Fav Cousin Cecil the Sea Serpent! October 2011.green_moray_aruba_2011-010

 “Sometimes When I’m Having ‘One of Those Days’ I Fantasize About Being Cecil.., Then Everything is Better.” Said the Banded Jawfish I Met at Blue Heron Bridge, Riviera Beach, Florida. June 2006.jawfish_bhb_june06-2940

Although Small in Stature, a Tessellated Blenny Nestled in a Barnacle Said: “Cecil’s a Real Hero! I’d Give Him All of My Spots in a Second!” March 2006 – Communications Tower, Biscayne Bay National Park, Florida.tessellatedblenny_biscayne_06-6747

“My Schnozzola is Too Large for Anyone to Mistake Me for Cecil…, But Maybe I Could Guest Star?”. Whip Eel at Blue Heron Bridge, Riviera Beach, Florida. June 2009.
Whip Eel Schnoz

 All the Cool Eels Know of Cecil’s Heroics! Mr. Sharptail Eel in Bonaire Said: “Cecil!…, Shut Me Up!” August 2011.sharptail_eel_bonaire_2011-112-3

Ms. Cool-Blue Sinuous Atlantic White-Spotted Octopus Conveyed Her Admiration of Cecil’s Shape-Shifting Ability and Magnetism! Cecil Would Surely Think Ms. Blue is Cute Too! 💙 Bonaire, August 2011.octopus_bonaire_night_2011-075

An integral sector of my lifelong search for Cecil are the Sirenians. Manatees aren’t sea serpents but they have been mistaken for mermaids! I’ve spent over sixteen years observing and photographing Florida manatees and I must say they have personality characteristics that remind me a lot of Cecil!

Is This a Cecil Sighting in Snell’s Window? Three Sisters Springs, November 2008.Manatee And Snell's Window

Yes, all these friends I made underwater remind me of Cecil, but I must say it’s the Florida manatee that I believe possesses many of his curious, sincere and endearing qualities. Come see and learn about our Florida treasure, the manatee, and you will discover they are curious, peaceful, graceful in the water, they investigate objects with their snouts and some are drawn to calm, polite humans. All the things that Cecil personified! I do agree the anatomy doesn’t exactly match as manatees have flippers, Cecil was just flexible. Manatees are gray, Cecil is green and purple. Manatees have whiskery snouts and Cecil was clean shaven, but minor appearances aside the behavioral similarities between manatees and Cecil are quite apparent.

Peek-A-Boo – This Girl Manatee is Not Cecil But She Very Well Might Be Looking Around For the Handsome Cecil! At Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida. January 2015.manatee_cecil_post_peek-2067

 Cecil Loved People and Always Wanted To Help. This Female Manatee Seems Enamored With Us (As We Are With Her!). February 2016.Close Manatee Curiosity

Cecil Frequently Sported a Welcoming Smile. Our Manatee Here’s Got the Spirit! March 2013.Manatee Loves Warm Rainbows

Manatees and Humans – Enthralled! Cecil Would Want to Be a Part of This! Here’s People Helping Endangered Manatees by Increasing Awareness of the Manatees’ Plight.  January 2014.Female Manatee Approaches Two Snorkelers

As I reminisce on my life, from that little girl in her Sunday best enamored with her friend Pinky the Iguana, then now, remembering all the fabulous marine creatures I’ve met and all the ones I’ve helped… Has it all been a continuing spiritual search for Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent?

Thanks for reading and helping  “All Creatures Great and Small”.

Best, Carol