SONOMA COUNTY (CBS13) — Kayakers in Sonoma County found themselves inches away from a pod of killer whales over the weekend.
Erik Martinez drove from Fairfield to Jenner over the Thanksgiving weekend with his buddy Tyler Jackson from Elk Grove. The two had plans to do some rock fishing from their kayaks when just 30 minutes in Jackson grabbed his GoPro and captured a video of the killer whales.
“They were coming up just a few feet away and you could just look them in the eye. It was kind of a crazy experience,” Jackson said.
The pod of killer whales had been feeding on a seal and before long, Jackson and Martinez found themselves surrounded.
“A killer whale just has that first name, you know, and that kind of sits inside as you watch it go by. And you know what that thing can do,” Martinez said
Wildlife experts at UC Davis say despite their intimidating names, killer whales are not really a threat to humans. They’re mostly interested in finding food.
Joe Gaydos, a wildlife veterinarian at the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center, says while the sight is rare, this four-minute seaside session is a perfect example of focusing on the awe factor
“There’s never been a case in the wild where a killer whale has harmed a human being,” Gaydos said. “Keep your cool, don’t go after them, let them come up to you. So just model that good behavior and enjoy the heck out of it because it is a gift.”
These friends say this was an adventure, and a killer view, they will never forget.
“It just woke me up. I don’t know how to explain it. It was just so exciting that it just hasn’t worn off yet,” Martinez said.
Experts say it’s tough to know how many whales were traveling in that pod, but based on the size of the dorsal fins, they believe many were adults with some calves.
The friends say they can’t wait to get back on the water again.