While fishing off the coast of California, kayaker Eddy Willis had the shock of his life when two humpback whales made an appearance. Not only was he not on a whale watching tour, the two large whales breached right near his kayak and nearly capsized him during his outing in Half Moon Bay, California. As you’ll see in the footage, the humpbacks rise up from the depths of the sea and tapped his tiny vessel. Instead of being terrified with his near-death experience, Willis, an avid wildlife enthusiast, was enthralled with what happened. He shouted out, “Woah!” when he first saw the breaching sea mammals.
Although the encounter with the gray humpback whales was a brief one, Willis will never forget it until the day he dies.
When they sink back into the water, Willis cheers and shouts, “My God! That’s what I’m talking about!”
The experience was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence that even whale watchers might not get to see. Because he was out in a vulnerable kayak, he had an extremely close view of the gigantic mammals.
Willis filmed his experience with the whales by holding a selfie stick that had a camera on it. He works with the Nevada Department of Wildlife and uploaded the clip to the video sharing website Vimeo. It was quickly viewed tens of thousands of times as it went viral across the world.
Because he had such a close look at the humpback whales, Willis has risen to fame. Kiro7 asked him for an interview and wondered if he was scared being so close to the large animals. He said he wasn’t.
“To me, I love whales, I love sharks…It’s an adrenaline rush more than anything.”
Willis had signed up for a coastal fishing tour around the western coast of the United States when the whales suddenly appeared. While it was always a possibility to see whales on the fishing trip, he never expected a close encounter like he experienced on camera.
In an account he shared on Facebook, Willis wrote, “It’s happened more than once. I have video from three different times. They just were everywhere.”
Willis has spent his entire life being close to nature. He was a Boy Scout during his youth and often went canoeing whenever he could.
Last summer, Willis spent it in Monterey Bay. He said he encountered whales frequently over there. One time in Monterey, he was “fishing and drifting around,” when a grey whale suddenly popped up near him. Besides that whale and the humpbacks in this video, Willis has also seen a blue whale up close.
As you can imagine, Willis’s video has caused quite a stir online. Here are some responses shared on Daily Mail.
“The whales may have gone over to him to say hello. They are friendly and like to show off.”
“It’s amazing to me that those massive creatures can be right under the surface of the water and you can’t see them until they breach.”
What do you think about this man’s close encounter with the humpback whales?
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