A truly close encounter off the coast of California.
These photos, taken by an amateur photographer Bill Bouton, capture a humpback whale surfacing amid boaters and paddle boarders near San Luis Obispo in central California.
Humpback whales are often seen in the area around this time of year.
But rarely are they seen coming out of the water in such a dramatic fashion. They were feeding in the shallow waters. The whale season usually runs until October.
To see more of Bouton’s photos, click over to his Flickr stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/billbouton/