October Festival Guide

VIDEO: Humpback whale almost high fives kayaker in the face

whale tail

It’s not a whale tale, but a whale tail — at close range.  A video out of Monterey Bay shows exactly how close one kayaker came to a whale.

Cimeron Morrissey writes that in July she was watching a huge raft of sea lions, out on the water with friends,  when a bus-sized humpback whale suddenly rose up out of the water only 10 feet from her boat.

The video shows the whale moving swiflty toward her boat  (there are exclamations that use the word s@#t, be warned).

She said she wasn’t scared at first, despite the fact that he swam right under her kayak.

“Humpbacks are graceful and fully aware of their size and of their surroundings, so I wasn’t scared (at first) but I was certainly shocked that he chose to swim right up to me,” Morrissey wrote. “But then his back arched and came to the surface about three inches from my boat, which freaked me out a bit.”

Morrissey said she wondered if “this one needs contact lenses?”

“Then his enormous barnacle-encrusted tail came out of the water and was about 12 inches from my face, which pretty much made my eyes pop out of my head,” she said. “So pardon my swearing in the video – I was rather stunned!”

She said that another whale swam right under her friends kayaks after that experience.

The disclaimer that Morrissey put in her story contains an important message.

She emphasizes they were not kayaking toward the whales and it is not advisable, nor is it legal,  to do so.

It’s important to respect whales and just let them be. I think we must have been kayaking atop a huge ball of anchovies since the whales came toward us.

Monterey Bay is located between Monterey and Santa Cruz. The bay hosts many species of marine mammals and is a migratory path of grey, Humpback and killer whales and a breeding site for elephant seals.


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