Sneaky Whale Pops Up Behind Sightseers As They Look The Wrong Way
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A group of whale watchers almost missed a once in a lifetime moment when a cheeky whale popped its head through the waves as they looked in the opposite direction.
The group of animal lovers were sat holding their cameras, waiting for the magic moment, when the enormous creature appeared from the water in Baja California Peninsula, Mexico.
Luckily for them, however, they turned around just in time to get a glimpse of the whale before she dived back under into the depths of the ocean.
Incredible snaps, taken by director and photographer, Eric J Smith, from the encounter have now been shared, showing the sneaky whale poking out of the water and looking towards the excited group sat on the boat.
But she didn't manage to disappear again before they spotted her.
In one of the pictures, a jubilant woman can be seen sticking her arm in the air in sheer elation.
Speaking about the spectacle, Mr Smith said it was an incredible moment to witness.
The 49-year-old said: "She slowly and silently stuck her head high above the water to look around.
"I was in another panga [boat] a few dozen feet away and caught the moment right before everyone realized she was so close.
"When everyone turned around, she quickly sank below the surface. Cheering and hysterical laughter ensued.
"Whale photography involves a lot of luck, but the key is to always be on alert and ready.
"On a whale watching voyage, it is easy to get complacent because there is a lot of waiting. It seems like the moment you let your guard down a spectacular breach occurs."
Lobster diver Michael Packard headed for his second dive of the day off Herring Cove Beach, in Provincetown, Massachusetts, a little after 8am on 11 June when he had a once in a lifetime experience.
About 10ft from the sandy bottom, the 56-year-old was readying himself to start scouring for lobsters, but got picked off before he got a chance - by a humpback whale.
"All of a sudden, I felt this huge shove and the next thing I knew it was completely black," Packard told the Cape Cod Times.
"I could sense I was moving, and I could feel the whale squeezing with the muscles in his mouth."
After the initial shock, he figured he must be inside the mouth of a shark, but after feeling no teeth he realised he had been consumed by a whale. Nevertheless, he was certain of his fate.
Michael said: "I was completely inside; it was completely black.
"I thought to myself, 'There's no way I'm getting out of here. I'm done, I'm dead'. All I could think of was my boys - they're 12 and 15 years old."
Clad in his scuba gear, Michael struggled inside the mammal - which can grow up to 50ft (15m) in length - for around half a minute, before he was mercifully ejected back into the water.
"Then all of a sudden he went up to the surface and just erupted and started shaking his head," he told WBZ-TV News.
"I just got thrown in the air and landed in the water. I was free and I just floated there. I couldn't believe... I'm here to tell it."