A small pod of humpback whales along the coast of California gave some onlookers quite a surprise this weekend.
Several boaters, paddlers and kayakers who were in the water Saturday narrowly missed becoming whale food when the marine mammals burst through the surface to lunge-feed.
Bill Bouton, a retired biology instructor who was photographing birds off San Luis Obispo, snapped the whales’ rare close encounter with people that day.
“I was sitting in my car, parked along the shoulder of the road overlooking the beach. Got to use my tripod, thank goodness,” he said on his Flickr page, where he’d posted the shots.