Well, not a mermaid in fact, but a “merman”.
If you don’t believe it, just ask the cheeky crew aboard Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruizes, who have been entertaining tourists and locals with their charm and lagoon snorkelling experience for years.
Lately a green-tailed Cook Island merman has been turning visitors’ heads and delighting youngsters treated to a day out on Muri lagoon.
Katu Short is the merman’s name, and you will more usually find him captaining one of the three glass bottom boats in Captain Tama’s fleet.
Since Captain Tama Tuavera has become busy as the Member of Parliament for Ngatangiia, Katu the mermaid has decided to come out and play.
And CI News was lucky enough to witness one of his appearances this week.
While tourists were busying themselves with flippers and snorkel masks, Katu disappeared from his position at the helm of the boat.
Then suddenly, while the tourists were mesmerised by the bountiful schools of fish swimming past, a giant green tail splashed out of the water 100 metres away.
“Look at that fish!” one of the children yelled.
Everyone looked up and all of a sudden Katu emerged from the water.
He swam towards the boats to the delight of the more than 50 snorkelers. For the next half an hour Katu the merman was the centre of attention, tourists taking photos with the magic ‘creature’ and Katu impressing the crowd by hefting a giant clam from the water.
Now Mums and Dads, this is the part of the story where the children should stop reading.
Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruizes sales and marketing manager Antonia Poa said the mermaid tail, bought a few months ago in Australia, has been a fantastic investment.
“The reactions on the kid’s faces have been priceless,” said Poa.
And as for Katu, he seems to have taken to his new role as Muri lagoon’s merman like a duck to water.
However he often has to take short rests on the side of the boat as the tail is difficult to swim in.
Poa said the company had been busy with fully-booked lagoon cruises lately – and perhaps the surge in passengers has been due, at least in part, to the magic new recruit