Lunging humpback whale nearly swallows up surfer, kayaker
A woman on a surfboard and two people aboard a kayak were nearly engulfed by a humpback whale that charged out of the water, its mouth agape, just a few feet away. Barb Roettger’s video of the amazing encounter, which occurred near Santa Cruz, Calif., was posted Wednesday. The incident is one of several recent close calls in the area, where a small pod of humpback whales has been surface lunge-feeding on anchovies unusually close to shore. They’ve become a major draw for kayakers and boaters and at least one kayaker has been capsized, and a sailboat was struck by a whale. This circus atmosphere has led to an enforcement presence in an attempt to keep people at a safe distance from the potentially dangerous leviathans.