A group of whale watchers almost missed out on the moment of a lifetime after a sneaky whale rose up right behind their boat while they were looking the other way.
They were all facing the other way, waiting with their cameras ready for a whale sighting and nearly missed the unbelievable encounter right behind them.
Thankfully, one of the group turned around in time to spot the huge whale within a few feet away, before it disappeared back into the ocean.
You can see the celebrations of the boat after managing to capture the amazing encounter.
These photos were taken from a boat just behind which show the incredible scene take place.
Smith, who was on the boat said the whale “slowly and silently stuck her head high above the water to look around. I was in another panga a few dozen feet away and caught the moment right before everyone realized she was so close.”
The images showing the near-miss were taken by Eric J Smith who was on the boat behind. Speaking on the encounter, the 49-year-old photographer from LA said:
“She slowly and silently stuck her head high above the water to look around. I was in another panga 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.”
What an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime encounter!