As seasons for whale watching go, this one has been pretty spectacular. Blue whales, the largest animal in the world, have usually left Southern California by this time of year, but many are sticking around as the region has become a popular feeding ground.
On Sunday, whale watchers aboard a Captain Dave's Dolphin & Whale Safari boat off Orange County's coast were in for a real treat when a blue whale approached. Footage was captured from both above the water and below in the boat's underwater viewing pod.
"We have the largest concentration of blue whales on earth off California," said Captain Dave Anderson in the video. "It's not unusual for whales to approach us, but this is the closest encounter I have ever had with a blue whale."
Considering Captain Anderson has caught numerous amazing blue whale moments on video from his boats, that's really saying something. Earlier this year, a video of his showing a paddleboarder about 12 feet from one went viral:
Another blue whale video, found by Pete Thomas Outdoors, also went viral earlier this month after a kayaker had an encounter off the coast of Redondo Beach: