One of the most amazing things about paddling off the California coast is the chance to see some of the incredible wildlife. And the most awesome thing of all to see is a whale! I’ve only ever had the pleasure of seeing whales breaching at a distance. Even though binoculars, basically all I was able to see were the water spouts.

So I am envious of this up-close and personal encounter between a couple of kayakers and a humpback whale. The encounter took place north of Los Angeles at Avila Beach.

The waters were very tranquil, and the kayakers had absolutely no idea that a humpback whale’s blowhole was going to suddenly surface right next to them. The video footage they captured is really incredible. It definitely would have scared the heck out of me too if I’d been there—but I’d feel so lucky I got to see that!