Whales join surfers in lineup, and of course it's impressive

Whales join surfers in lineup, and of course it's impressive


Whales join surfers in lineup, and of course it's impressive

Surfers are accustomed to dolphins appearing in the lineup, but much larger whales?

The first image in this post shows the dauntingly close proximity of two humpback whales to surfers off Cronulla Beach on Saturday in Sydney, Australia.

Image showing humpback whales is courtesy of Cronulla-National Surfing Reserve

“A few whales sliding past the crew this morning,” reads a post on the Cronulla-National Surfing Reserve Facebook page.

The surfers, although tightly grouped and gazing mostly in the direction of the whales, don’t seem overly concerned.

The image has been shared widely in media reports this week.

Image showing a diving humpback whale is courtesy of Cronulla-National Surfing Reserve

The Illawarra Mercury News stated that it’s peak whale-watching season in the area, and that a viewing platform is situated on a nearby headland.

Whales sharing the lineup with surfers is a rare phenomenon, but not unprecedented.

The most impressive instance that comes to mind occurred in 2014 off the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. J.T. Gray of North Shore Surf Photos captured an image showing a humpback whale mother and calf surfing a wave at the world-famous Banzai Pipeline.

Humpback whale mother and calf ride wave at Pipeline. Photo: ©J.T. Gray/NorthShore Surf Photos

Gray explained that the whales appeared just east of the main break and rode the second wave of a set. The bodyboarder shown riding the first wave was oblivious to the presence of the whales.

In 2016 off South Africa’s Western Cape, photographer Dave de Beer captured an image showing a surfer nearly colliding with a southern right whale, which surfaced in the face of a large wave.

Orca rides wave off New Zealand. Photo courtesy of ©Ingrid Visser/Orca Research Trust

The whale seemed to merely be enjoying the sensation of riding waves.

There have been several cases of orcas riding waves off New Zealand.

–Top two images are courtesy of Cronulla-National Surfing Reserve; third photo is courtesy of J.T. Gray/North Shore Surf Photos; bottom image is courtesy of ©Ingrid Visser/Orca Research Trust

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