Thursday, September 17, 2015

Viewing ocean wildlife close up, and scary

San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate/Mike Moffitt, 9/15/15. "Breaching humpback nearly crushes kayakers."

Image result for Breaching humpback whale, Moss Landing, CA picture
Tourist... aim for the kayak
Image result for Breaching humpback whale, Moss Landing, CA picture
"MOSS LANDING, Calif. — Two whale watchers in a tandem kayak were nearly crushed to death off the harbor in this Northern California town when a nearly full-grown humpback launched itself out of the sea and pancaked right beside the boat.The boat was swamped and couple thrown into the water by the impact, but miraculously they were unhurt.

A video of the close call was shot by a Sanctuary Cruises whale tourist and posted Saturday on YouTube. According to Yahoo News, one of the kayakers, a wildlife film director who was only identified as Tom, recounted the experience: "We were taken under the water by the whale, perhaps in the down-draft," he said. 'I think it brushed against me while I was out of the kayak ... Neither of us know how we weren't ended there and then.' He called the encounter 'the most extraordinary thing to happen to me.' "

Related  -  Outside Live Bravely, Jay Bennett 9/15/15, "Watch Humpback whale slams kayakers." ...."'It came above us and blocked out the sun, and I think both of us thought that was the end,' Tom Mustill, one of the kayakers, told Outside. Mustill, a nature documentarian for PBS and the BBC, and fellow kayaker Charlotte Kinloch, both from East London, were on vacation with a group of friends in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute to look at underwater drones when a scientist told him that there was “an exceptional situation with the humpback whales that was worth checking out.”  Inside Edition, 9/14/15. "Couple miraculously survives after Humpback whale breaches, Lands on their kayak." .... "Captain Mike Sack of Sanctuary Cruises explained that a full-size humpback can weigh 40 tons. ...All of a sudden, this massive full-size whale does a full 180-degree breach and lands stomach first either right on top of or right next to two kayakers. ... Captain Sack said: 'I believe it was the whale’s left pectoral fin that actually hit them. Which can be up to 15' long on a full-size animal.' "

Photographs from the related articles.  Breaching whale from Inside Edition, courtesy of  Sanctuary Cruises (Monterey Bay). Tail splash by Jennifer Joy from Outside Live Bravely.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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