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Updated: Aug 2, 2019

Petr and I were on our first kayak adventure together. This majestic humpback whale could have hurt us if she wanted too. Yet, she was curious about us. How did she recognize that we were living beings in the kayak? There were plenty of logs floating around and she traveled past those, yet she stopped to rest and stare at us...

Could she tell how shocked we were? Did she know this encounter would change our lives? Could she sense our openness to the experience? How did all of the mornings’ events align for THAT to happen?

July XX 2019

Petr and I were on our first kayaking adventure together, enjoying true silence and mirror-like calm sea within Taylor Bight, right in front of the lab. From a distance we heard a blow, but we could not see where it was coming from. Blow by blow this humpback whale showed itself and appeared to be traveling along the shoreline in front of the lab. We chose to reposition our kayak towards the center to ensure we would not be interfering with her path. If she wanted to come our way, it would be her choice.

The next time she surfaced, we saw her heading DIRECTLY for us! Both of our jaws dropped as we slowly see this behemoth of an ancient animal rise out of the depths with a booming blow that left us both speechless. As we stayed in our tiny plastic kayak feeling the support of the ocean beneath us, this humpback whale was in her element and her powerful presence was felt. When she surfaced again, she chose to rest about FOUR METERS from our kayak and calmly breathe. Instead of continuing her travels or diving under us, she was curious and paused to check us out. We stayed petrified - at a loss of words, of breath, of heartbeat - as we left our bodies and our souls were only present in that moment.

After MINUTES of her resting at the surface, she surprised us in the most unexpected way. This majestic humpback took a deep exhale blow and LIFTED HER FLUKE OUT OF THE WATER straight up, turned it sideways, and came back down with a splash. At that moment, I fully realized that I was in her kingdom, her ocean and here we are at the mercy of her yet she did not harm us. She chose to have this connection with us. For both Petr and I, it was a perfect, transformative encounter that can be best described as awestruck.

- Amanda from Arizona

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