whale watchers

By Hayley Pugh

Two whale watchers engrossed by a group of sea lions missed a once in a lifetime opportunity when a huge humpback whale surfaced right in front of them – and they were looking the wrong way.

As these funny pictures show, the pair can be seen fascinated by dozens of sea lions which approached their boat in Monterey Bay, California.

But despite thinking they had struck gold with this rare sighting they were actually missing the awesome moment a giant humpback whale surfaced in front of their boat just a few feet away.

Pic by Jodi Frediani / Caters News

The hilarious snaps were taken by photographer, Jodi Frediani.

She said: “Beginning in the fall of 2013, anchovies by the millions entered Monterey Bay leading to a feeding frenzy of hundreds of humpback whales, thousands of California sea lions and tens of thousands of sea birds.

“Nothing like that had been seen in 50 years. The anchovies continue to arrive each summer now, followed by the whales and sea lions.

“And whale watchers have been flocking to catch some of the action ever since.

“Most do their viewing from commercial whale watch boats, but the hardy take to kayaks and paddle boards.

“These two kayakers were five and a half kilometers from the shore enjoying one of the great spectacles our bay has to offer.

“I was out on an eight-hour whale watch tour with Monterey Bay Whale Watch when I snapped these images.

“The sea lions always surface before the whales. Frantic for air after feeding several hundred feet below the surface, the sea lions pop up en masse, look around and catch their breath before diving deep to feed again.

Pic by Jodi Frediani / Caters News

“The whales always come up for air a minute or more after their smaller feeding companions break the surface.

“The whales blow hard, then quickly dive back down to continue partaking of the oily, nutrient rich bait balls of fish.

” Believe it or not this sort of thing H]happens all the time.

“I remember when a whale breached right next to a whale watch boat and folks were looking the other way.

“Then again, I’ve had that happen to me too. Looking to the rear of the boat, when a whale breaches close just behind me.”