This Whale Is About To Squash A Kayak
Two kayakers recently had a very, very, VERY close encounter with one of the ocean's heftiest locals. In fact, had it been any closer, they probably wouldn't have lived to tell the tale. (But, yay, they did!)
The pair were out on the water near Moss Landing, California, over the weekend taking in the sights of a group of humpback whales feeding nearby when things took a rather dangerous turn. Oblivious, perhaps, to the kayak and its comparatively dinky passengers, one of the massive marine mammals decided to breach at that exact spot - raining his blubbery body down upon them.
Incredibly, no one was injured.
According to Sanctuary Cruises whale watching operator Michael Sack, who happened to be out on the water that day, the airborne humpback didn't hit either of the humans in the kayak directly. Thankfully, the extremely lucky pair were able to swim away after the incident without apparent injury, though their boat had gotten a bit bent out of shape from the blow.
"This was one of the more dangerous situations that I've seen out here. Here we were, minding our own business, checking out large quantities of humpback whales as they surrounded us in the Sanctuary. When all of a sudden, this massive full-size whale does a full 180-degree breach," Sack wrote on his company's website, adding that being around the gentle giants does come with risks.
"Kayak whale watching can be extremely dangerous. And one should realize that humpback whales are wild animals and totally unpredictable. It's a very uncontrolled environment out there. Just like any wilderness experience."
Had the kayakers been following guidelines for whale watching, they would have been in very little danger. The Pacific Whale Watch Association suggests large marine mammals be given a wide berth to avoid potentially deadly situations just like this.