By Ellie Duncombe
This unbelievable footage has captured the incredible moment a whale breaches, just inches from a passing kayaker.
Shot by David Rogers while he was half a mile offshore at Moss Landing, California, the video shows fish scattering in an attempt to get away from the whale, before the huge mammal lunges towards its feed.
David, a civil engineer, said: “It all happened so quick, there wasn’t much time to think.
“I knew the whales were not out to attack or hurt me. I remained calm and tried to keep my balance as one whale pushed my kayak to almost the tipping point.
“I remember thinking to hold onto my paddle, as I didn’t want to lose it.
The magnificent phenomenon was also witnessed by two other spectators, who were watching close by.
Cindi Roddan and Kelley Larson, who are both part-time photographers, were on a tour boat out of Moss Landing and were hoping to capture something dramatic.
Cindi said: “We were out on the first cruise of the day and 30 minutes into it, thousands of anchovies started jumping into the air around us.
“We’d found ourselves standing above a massive bait ball and any way we looked there were whales!
“Suddenly, we heard the simultaneous gasps of the other people on the boat, and witnessed a large humpback lunge feeding within arms length of a kayaker.
“We saw anchovies flying into the air, and the kayaker disappearing behind the whale only to reappear with his feet in the air on the whale’s side.
“When the humpback re-submerged, we breathed a sigh of relief to see that the kayaker was ok.”
David said: “There were lots of ooh’s and aah’s from the whale watchers on the nearby boats.
“It was an incredible, scary and exciting experience!”