Kayakers recently had a surreal moment when they had an up close and personal encounter with a nearby whale. On Monday, several Canadian kayakers were stunned when a whale approached them to say hi. Then, however, the aquatic beast was ready to put on a show.
As it unfolded, amusement quickly turned to alarm as the marine mammal slammed its body into the water, resulting in an inevitable shockwave. As a result, the powerful impact sent the kayakers rolling in their boats. In addition, it even sent one unfortunate kayaker catapulting out of their kayak and into the water.
After the stunning image was posted, it quickly made its rounds on the internet and has since gone viral. However, some were critical of the kayakers for getting too close to the whale and placing themselves and the majestic animal in danger.
According to experts, humpback whales are known for their spectacular breaches, and onlookers should always give them ample space.
Recently in a beach town in Massachusetts, whale watchers were more than annoyed as they witnessed nearby jet skiers and boaters crowd several 50-foot-long humpback whales.
“They were pretty much harassing the whales,” one whale watcher said. “It was a very helpless feeling to witness.” Chris Charol, the captain of the whale-watching boat, said he was disappointed to see the jet skiers put themselves and the whales at risk.
Moronic jetskiers crowd whales in a recent incident
“It was pretty disturbing to watch,” he added. “Going right on top of whales is very unnecessary, uncalled for.”
Charos also said he and others could see the registration numbers of those surrounding the mammals and reported them to authorities.
Jennifer Kennedy, executive director of the Blue Ocean Society of Marine Conservation, said all boaters should keep at least 100 feet away from the giant animals, with 100 yards being ideal. “It seems to be something that’s happening all summer,” Kennedy said of the sad incident.
In July, a humpback whale breached and landed on the bow of a small recreational fishing boat off the coast of Massachusetts. The encounter was also caught on video and quickly went viral after it was posted.
Charos said close incidents between boaters and whales do not often happen as most people follow proper etiquette. “We’re in their backyard, not them,” Charos said.
However, Kennedy said it’s prime feeding season for the animals at this time of year. As a result, they need to eat as much as possible before they migrate south for the winter.
That feeding need has since manifested in whales feeding closer to the shore. In addition, their proximity to the coast makes it more likely they will be surrounded by curious onlookers. “People really need to give them space,” Kennedy said.