On Halloween, a bikini-clad surfer was a quarter-mile from Seabright Beach (near Santa Cruz, California), when two humpback whales shot up right in front of her looking briefly as if they’ve swallowed the surfer whole. Check the video –
This year, biologists believe, weather conditions drove the anchovies closer to shore and the whales followed the food, leading them to feed just a mile from land. The whales got national attention last week when a photographer with the Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council got a lucky shot of a kayaker surprised by a pair of them breaching just a few feet away.
The U.S. Coast Guard issued warnings advising the public to stay at least 100 yards away from the animals or risk a hefty fine – minimum $2,500 – for whale harassment.
Barb Roettger, a massage therapist, recorded the close encounter with a telephoto lens from her kayak.
“I was there to see whales,” Roettger told ABC News. “They were in a feeding frenzy.”
Roettger said she had focused her camera on the surfer for one specific reason.
“She wasn’t wearing a wetsuit and the water was very cold,” Roettger said.
After the whales vanished back into the deep, Roettger spoke to the girl.
“I think she was in shock,” she said.
Be careful, there isn’t always an “almost”!