A pair of paddleboarding friends had an amazingly close encounter with a pod of friendly whales frolicking off of Ocean Beach in San Francisco -- one that included a splash and a gentle nudge.
Mike Lane tells NBC Bay Area that he and pal Jim Hernandez were enjoying a sunny day on the water with his GoPro camera near the Golden Gate Bridge when they caught glimpse of two large gray whales and their calves who appeared to be just out having a good time, too.
"They were kind of playing with our path that we were taking into the beach, then they got in between us and the beach," Lane said.
As the paddleboarders drew nearer, the whales' curiosity seemed to pique. An astonished Lane filmed the animals as they repeatedly spyhopped out of the water as if to get a better look at the visitors approaching -- until, moments later, one of the whales managed to sneak close enough to give him the surprise of his life.
"In one of the shots you can see [a whale] five feet away from me and it comes out of nowhere. You can see the dorsal fin -- it splashes me down. I stood up and I looked at Jim and that's when it hit the underside of the board," says Lane.