By Pete Thomas/GrindTv
Last week we featured an amazing photo sequence captured by a passenger aboard a whale-watching boat in Monterey Bay, California, showing a humpback whale breaching within 80 feet of another whale-watching boat.
Now we've obtained images captured from the boat closest to the whale, showing just how close the whale was to the 43-foot vessel, and its monumental splash.
The images posted here were captured by Giancarlo Thomae, a naturalist for Sanctuary Cruises and owner of Kayak Whale Watching. (The images in the first story were captured by Jodi Frediani of Monterey Bay Whale Watch.)
Thomae said the humpback whale was a juvenile, measuring about 35 feet, but it was large enough and close enough to cause the boat to tilt sharply and rock amid so much displaced water.
“All the passengers were thrilled during this encounter,” Thomae said. “We always try out best to be respectful of the whales, but this whale approached us. It also breached within 80 feet of another boat about five minutes after the close encounter with the Sanctuary.
“We were thrilled and a little startled, but when we saw the whale was not pointing at us after it's rostrum first cleared the water, nobody was scared.
The boat didn't get wet, but water splashed very close to the boat.” Thomae described this particular whale as a “chronic breacher,” explaining that it had breached more than 50 times before this close encounter.
Humpback whales have been feeding in Monterey Bay for most of the summer and fall.