From Grind TV.com: Boaters, paddlers enjoy amazingly close humpback whale encounter
Bill Bouton, a retired biology instructor, was having little success
photographing birds along the California coast Saturday, but fortunately
a small pod of humpback whales arrived to save the day. Bouton's
incredible images, captured off San Luis Obispo, show the mammals
lunge-feeding a mere stone's throw from shore--and much closer to
boaters, kayakers and paddlers (including a woman in a dress; see first
image) who seemingly could not resist getting dangerously close to the
proximity of the whales to the coast is somewhat rare and these events
can create a very dangerous situation, which viewers might ascertain by
Bouton's images, captured from the road with a 700-milimeter lens and
posted on his Flickr page.
specify that people should stay 100 yards from whales, whenever
possible, to prevent harassment of the mammals, which is illegal and
punishable by fines up to $50,000.
which feed on shrimp-like krill but also schooling fish such as
anchovies and sardines, can measure to about 50 feet and weigh up to 40
tons. When they're lunge-feeding they're focused on little else, and
people who venture too close are at risk of becoming seriously injured,
"It's just very dangerous because you never know where
or when one of the whales is going to pop up," said Alisa
Schulman-Janiger, an American Cetacean Society researcher. "A person on a paddleboard makes very little noise. To the whale that might just seem like a piece of flotsam."
when asked in his Flickr page comments section whether he jumped into
the water between shots, replied: "I was sitting in my car, parked along
the shoulder of the road overlooking the beach. Got to use my tripod,
When a person named Mike commented that he
wished he would have known about the presence of the whales, Bouton
stated: "I just stumbled into it, Mike. (After a disappointing day of
In other words, the day turned out to be anything but a disappointment.