Whale-Watching Kayakers Get More Than They Bargained For

This was way too close for comfort

By Reuben Brody

 
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18 August 2016

When you’re on the water, and you spot a pod of whales or dolphins, the impulse is to get as close as possible. You wouldn’t do that with a shark. But there’s something benevolent and seemingly harmless about these sea mammals.

That’s where you’re wrong.

Need proof? Ask the kayakers who recently toured the Penn Islands in British Columbia with Wildcoast Adventures. They were watching a humpback whale nursing its calf, when they were wowed by the sight of the calf surfacing right in front of them. Awwww...

Then the mama comes along.

Canadian rules stipulate that kayakers must stay 100 meters away from whales. Yours truly once got too close to rare minke whale in Alaska, and was warned by my guide to keep my distance because it was starting to act territorial.

Kayaks and paddle boards are hard to reverse with any speed, and while whales may be gentle overall, they’re still wild animals. You gotta respect.

Nevertheless, that's some incredible footage.

The Specifics

Wildcoast Adventures

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