Last week’s stunning video of a humpback whale breaching on a kayak off California has made headlines from Stockholm to Singapore. The breach, which occurred about a mile off Monterey Bay’s Moss Landing Harbor, took place in the middle of a kayaking/whale watching tour by Sanctuary Tours.
It’s a heck of a breach, and a reminder of the awesome power of nature. A humpback whale can weigh 40 tons – so you can imagine the concern onlookers had when they realized the whale had landed pretty darned close, if not directly on, two British kayakers who happened to be in the middle of the pod.
Despite the scare, it all worked out. The whale indeed knocked the two in the water, but they were OK. A little shaken up, but alive to share their whale of a tale.
Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen whales get rambunctious with humans. Let’s look at a few good jolts in the past few years when, with cameras rolling, we were blessed with a few whales gone wild…
July 2014 – Whale Lifts Kayak Out of Water in Argentina
This one’s intense, and I admit, I hadn’t seen it until this week. But that title is no exaggeration; in this video, a large whale swims directly under two kayakers as they paddle off Puerto Madryn, in Patagonia (not far from Tierra Del Fuego – the end of the Earth.
And guess what happens? Well, see it for yourself.
October 2011 – Blue Whale Nearly Tips Over a Kayak
Also in California. Back in 2011, I blogged about this encounter between kayaker Rick Coleman and a blue whale off San Diego. The whale – a 50 foot juvenile – surfaced beside the two as it fed. Fascinated, Coleman slipped under water for a few tense moments with his camera and filmed the encounter.
A controversial, but none-the-less stunning moment with the largest creature on Earth.
July 2010 – Right Whale Breaches on Boat off South Africa
This one made an impact. Back in 2010, a South African couple were sailing their boat when something shocking happened…a massive Southern Right Whale swam below, resurfaced on the other side and did what juvenile whales tend to do when they get excited.
He breached – directly on their boat – which took one heck of a pounding as the 40 ton mammal landed, well, watch for yourself.
Fortunately, the whale resurfaced shortly after with no signs of blood. Experts think the whale was OK other than a bit of a scratch (um, you think?).
July 2011 – Freed Humpback Whale Goes Wild With Gratitude
OK, this isn’t chronological, but if we’re talking about whales gone wild, this one’s a stunner. And bring your Kleenex if you’re an animal lover, cause fifty bucks says it will make you cry.
The situation: in July 2011 off California (yes, again), a humpback whale is entangled in a fisherman’s net, when a whale watching boat comes upon the animal in need. Seeing the problem, a man on the boat leaped in the water and looked in its eyes. Then, over the next hour, the boat managed to cut the whale loose.
What happens next could melt even the most hardened criminal. Have your kleenex!