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Lucky Pacifica Surfers Have Close Encounter With Humpback Whales

PACIFICA (CBS SF) -- A group of surfers had a once in a lifetime experience that was captured on video last weekend when they encountered whales feeding off the coast of Pacifica.

Last Sunday, Skyler Thomas came to Linda Mar Beach for a swim.

But instead of grabbing his trunks, he grabbed his camera when he spotted humpback whales swimming next to surfers just offshore.

"Are you serious? Look what's happening! They're eating right next to surfers!" Thomas told KPIX 5.

The whales didn't mind the surfers and the surfers didn't mind the whales. Everybody seemed to get along just fine.

"This is just another example of us sharing space with animals and they don't have any interest in hurting us," said Thomas.

Jasper Vanvliet is a regular Pacifica surfer. He says he often has company in the water, but this encounter was unusual.

"It's pretty rare! I mean, you see animals all the time, pretty much every time you go out," said Vanvliet. "But whales that close is really freaking rare!"

Tuesday was a bad day for surfing with too much wind making for choppy waves. But the whales were still there. Pacifica folks have noticed and are coming down the see the visitors.

"Yeah! A bunch of whales jumping out of the ocean!" enthused Pacifica whale watcher Damon Burke. "Maybe you can take a picture of it."

"They're beautiful. Just had some coffee and came out to see the whales," said Jodie Johnson, another whale watcher

Spotting the whales offshore is not hard, but if you come down to see the show, bring binoculars to get a really good look.

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