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When Kayakers Meet Hungry Whales

We all love getting up close and personal with whales. But what happens when we get too close? According to a report on, two kayakers almost found themselves on the whales’ lunch menu while enjoying a peaceful paddle at Avila Beach, CA.

Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel were watching humpback whales from around 30 feet away on Monday when one whale came up underneath them and caused them to capsize.

“I saw the big pool of fish, the big bait ball come up out of the water,” McSorley reportedly said. “I saw the whale come up. I thought, ‘Oh, no! It’s too close.'”

Cottriel reportedly commented, “I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m gonna push.’ Like, I’m gonna push a whale out of the way! It was the weirdest thought. I’m thinking, ‘I’m dead. I’m dead.’ I thought it was gonna land on me.”

The women quickly resurfaced, and nearby kayakers and paddleboarders went to their aid. They were then able to paddle to shore, apparently unharmed.

Footage of the incident was captured in two separate videos in which it appears as though the kayakers are being swallowed by the whale.

“The whale was right here in my face, literally,” Cottriel told reporters.

We’re all told that humpback whales typically feed on krill and small fish. So although Cottriel and McSorley no doubt felt as if they were food, it’s more likely that they just happened to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time.

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