Douglas Croft, a 60-year-old photographer, and whale watcher Kate Cummings were stunned when a humpback leaped from the sea next to their fishing boat.
They managed to capture the unique phenomenon in Monterey Bay, a popular whale-watching spot. Yet, nobody could have expected to come this close to one of the water’s largest mammals.
The footage shows the whale shooting up through the waves close to a boat carrying an unsuspecting fisherman before it crashes back down.
Douglas later said that it was an exciting experience to witness the huge whale leaping from the sea so close to them.
Salmon season coincides with the time when humpbacks are returning to Monterey Bay to feed for the summer, so hundreds of boats were on the bay fishing.
This whale had breached a few times before, so Douglas went below deck to shoot from a porthole close to the waterline, to have a better perspective.
The humpback was huge!
Kate, who took the video, explained that the whale had already breached multiple times much further away from the fisherman. She supposed that the next breach would be around the fisherman as the whale was heading that way.
Yet, she admits she did not expect the whale and the boat to line up so perfectly.
Whales are incredibly intelligent creatures, but n whale is more famous for its singing than the humpback. All males in a population sing the same song, but the songs change from year to year and vary in different parts of the world.
Humpback whales can weigh up to 30 tons and can reach 50 feet in length. They typically migrate up to 25,000 km each year.
It is estimated that there are about 80,000 humpback whales living in the wild.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, even though the species has seen its population increase in recent years after the introduction of commercial whaling bans, it is still considered endangered.