Kayaker has close encounter with blue whale near Redondo Beach [VIDEO]
A Redondo Beach kayaker has posted a video on YouTube of an incredible encounter with a blue whale earlier this month.
The video, posted on the outdoors blog of former Los Angeles Times reporter Pete Thomas, shows a kayaker up close and personal with a blue whale off the Southern California coast both above and below water.
The YouTube poster, MrRJCtube, described the Oct. 8 experience as "heart pounding excitement," but noted that he does not recommend or endorse trying to swim with whales.
"The whales are large unpredictable animals and potentially dangerous," he wrote.
He posted guidelines from the National Marine Fisheries Service, which note that a whale's behavior should not be interrupted because doing so can cause them to rapidly change direction or swim in an erratic pattern, which can have major consequences for any human-size creatures in the area.
Monica DeAngelis, a marine mammal biologist with the NOAA Fisheries Service told Thomas: "These are wild and powerful animals. One move of a flipper or the whale's fluke and this person could have been seriously hurt."
— Kimi Yoshino
Photo: Screenshot of video posted by MrRJCtube. Credit: YouTube