A surf skier called Thomas Pryor was the man in the mix, paddling out into the pod that spent Saturday and Sunday around the Atlantic Seaboard.
He has told his story on SA People, but let’s first take a look at his video from Saturday – the same day that drone footage was filmed.
Turns out he may have ended up a little too close for comfort:
On Sunday, he was a little more at ease:
Every so often I could hear whales breaching in the distance, it sounded like a canon going off as they hit the water; and similar to lightning I could count the seconds to tell they were just over a kilometer away, and still that loud and imposing at such a distance…
I headed in the same direction as the charter disappeared around the point, and as I came within those hundred meters… I began to realise just how many there were.
They were moving in a clockwise direction as they fed, so I moved along their flank in a counter-clockwise direction, getting as close as I dared, paddling a-top of their pectoral fins as they surfaced and submerged alongside me.
They would generally surface twice alongside me before ducking down deep, and surface in a completely different direction…
I always felt as if they were completely aware of my presence and I never felt in danger once. For being more than 3km out to sea alone, I found that quite remarkable…
Here’s those Sunday exploits:
I’m sure some people are going to say that we should give these animals their space, rather than paddling out to such a close proximity, but that’s a debate I’ll leave for another day.
Anyone know where this massive pod is at the moment?