Animal Rights

VIDEO: Redondo Beach Kayaker Nearly Overturned by Massive Blue Whale

Comments (0)


Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 2:15 PM
click to enlarge A kayak's worst nightmare - MRRJCTUBE VIA YOUTUBE
  • MrRJCtube via YouTube
  • A kayak's worst nightmare

Whale-watching enthusiasts are clammy in their wetsuits over the latest handheld footage of a big California blue off the coast of Redondo Beach.

The video was shot by YouTube user MrRJCtube, who happened upon his gorgeous specimen while kayaking solo a couple weeks ago.

Outdoorsy blogger Pete Thomas -- also the first to dig up that golden vid of Venice Beach surfers saving a baby great white shark -- posted the close encounter to his site today...

... writing that MrRJCtube "captured surface lunge-feeding while filming with what presumably was a helmet camera."

However, Thomas added, "the videographer undoubtedly placed himself at risk by getting so close to such a large and powerful creature (blue whales can measure 100 feet and weigh up to 150 tons)."

Heh. The kayaker -- realizing the vicious animal-activist crowd was not going to be cool with his little "leave no trace"-violating tea party -- soon added the following to his own YouTube comments.

"I'd like to take a moment to state that I don't recommend, endorse or in any way want to encourage anyone to try and swim with these whales. The whales are large unpredictable animals and potentially dangerous. I've talked to the NOAA and would like to share these Whale Watching Guidelines from the NOAA site: swr.nmfs.noaa.gov/psd/watching­.htm."

And, to spare you another browser tab, here are the NOAA guidelines.

  • Vessels should not be operated at speeds faster than a whale or group of whales while paralleling them within 100 yards.
  • Vessels should be operated at a constant speed while paralleling or following whales within 100 yards.
  • Vessels should do nothing to cause a whale to change direction.
  • Aircraft should not fly lower than 1,000 feet while within a horizontal distance of 100 yards from a whale.

Generally, a whale's normal behavior should not be interrupted. Such annoyance may cause a whale to change its direction rapidly, swim faster, or swim in an erratic pattern. To interrupt a whale's normal activity constitutes harassment and is against the law!

Hmm. Said protocol didn't seem to be on kayaker dude's mind around 1:30 in the video, when he hops from his kayak in hopes of an even awesomer close-up. Or at 1:42, when he whoops, "Woohoo!" and flashes his best devil horns to the camera. Or 2:15, when he nearly pokes the blue whale's eye out in frenzied hopes of going viral.

But no one's hurt, thank god, and now we all get to feel the vicarious tingle of swimming with a sea mammoth. Yay for reckless adventurists! And helmet cams! And Internets!

Here's another blue whale run-in mentioned by Thomas -- shot by a paddleboarder off Dana Point earlier this summer.


Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets


  • 21st Annual Classic Cars "Cruise Night" in Glendale
    On Saturday, spectators of all ages were out in multitudes on a beautiful summer night in Glendale to celebrate the 21st annual Cruise Night. Brand Boulevard, one of the main streets through downtown Glendale, was closed to traffic and lined with over 250 classic, pre-1979 cars. There was plenty of food to be had and many of the businesses on Brand stayed open late for the festivities The evening ended with fireworks and a 50th anniversary concert from The Kingsmen, who performed their ultimate party hit, "Louie, Louie." All photos by Jared Cowan.
  • The World Cup Celebrated And Mourned By Angelenos
    The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
  • La Brea Tar Pits "Pit 91" Re-Opening
    Starting June 28th, The Page Museum once again proudly unveils the museum's Observation Pit, which originally opened in 1952 but has spent most of the last half century closed. Now visitors can get an up-close look at Pit 91, which is currently under excavation. The La Brea Tar Pits, home of the Page Museum, is one of the world's most famous ice age fossil locations, known for range of fossils from saber-toothed cats and mammoths to microscopic plants, seeds and insects. The new "Excavator Tour" is free with museum admission if purchased online at tarpits.org . All photos by Nanette Gonzales.