(Monterey Bay, Calif.) – Two tandem kayakers experienced more than they bargained for in Monterey Bay on Sept. 12 when a humpback whale breached, almost crushing them to death.
Capt. Michael Sack of Sanctuary Cruises was in the vicinity of Moss Landing Harbor with his tour group watching whales feed when a different scene unfolded before their eyes. As described in the cruise line’s YouTube video taken by passenger Larry Plants, “We stopped to see a large aggregation of humpbacks feeding and carrying on with random acts of hijinks. There were also a lot of kayakers right in the middle of it all. Humpbacks were coming up next to and in the middle of many kayakers. It was amusing. It’s all fun and games until someone gets jumped on. The next thing we knew, this thing launched right on top of these two kayakers.”
The couple, identified only as an adult male and female, did not sustain a direct hit from the whale’s massive body according to Capt. Sack, who spoke with KSBW; rather, they were knocked off their kayak and submerged under water. Since they were wearing life jackets, they successfully resurfaced and were aided back to shore by fellow kayakers.
“Kayaking with whales can be extremely dangerous,” said Capt. Sack. “This was one of the more dangerous situations that I’ve seen out here. I’m not sure if at this point these two know how lucky they were.”
-Ashley Quadros, KZZO/Sacramento