It was 8 a.m. on a cold Saturday morning at Moss Landing in California. Kayakers were paddling through calm grey waters when a massive creature from the deep breached the surface. It was, of course, a humpback whale.
"The kayak! Where's the kayak?" a woman asks in alarm.
In a matter of seconds, the whale had knocked over the kayak with the tip of its flipper and then flooded the vessel from the sheer force of the waves that resulted. The kayakers popped to the surface from the buoyancy of their life vests and were helped to shore by members of a Sanctuary Cruises whale-watching tour.
“Today a couple of kayakers were very lucky. They came very close to getting crushed to death by the mighty humpback whale,” wrote Captain Michael Sack of Sanctuary Cruises, on his daily trip blog.
While the angle of the shot makes it look like the humpback whale landed directly on top of the kayakers, they thankfully remained crush-free.
The incident is similar to one that occurred last week, when a pod of killer whales surprized two kayakers. But the creature involved here was much bigger.
“A full-size humpback can weigh in at 40-tons,” added Captain Sack. “That’s a lot of heavy blubber that would surely flatten a kayaker if the whale had a direct hit.”
The whale may have been a tad closer than these whale-watching enthusiasts expected. Check out the video filmed by Sanctuary Cruises passenger Larry Plants below.