Video: Surfer, Kayakers Lucky in Humpback Whale Feeding Encounter

Venerable outdoors writer Pete Thomas today posts this video of yet another close encounter with a humpback whale in the waters of Santa Cruz, calling it amazing footage, but also "another example of how lacking some people are in the intelligence department."

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Excitement over a pod of humpback whales hanging out closer to the shore than usual has drawn people to the area. Last week an amazing photo was taken of a lucky kayaker right next to two spyhopping humpbacks, but not all incidents have been visually documented, according to Thomas. A sailboat has been struck and one kayaker capsized in other surface lunges.

While it's not always possible to know when or where a whale will lunge-feed, one sign is to observe seabirds hovering an area of water to prey on food pushed to the surface. Boaters and surfers should stay at least 100 yards away to not only avoid risking a hefty fine of $2,500 -- or worse, injury or death -- but for the protection of these majestic animals.

Read Thomas' full story here.

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About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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