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article imageClose encounters with humpback whales off California coast

By Darren Weir     Aug 22, 2012 in Environment
As whale watchers flood the California coast for a glimpse of endangered blue and humpback whales, one kayaker got a little too close for comfort, and it was all caught on video.
ABC News reports there has been a huge increase in the number of endangered blue and humpback whales feeding along the California coast. The whales normally spend the spring and summer in California waters before heading to their winter breeding grounds in Mexico and Central America. But this year an explosion of Krill, tiny shrimp-like creatures that are the whales' favorite food, has brought the whales closer to shore.
And all the sightings mean it's a business boom for tour operators. Ken Stagnaro, co-owner of Santa Cruz Whale Watching, tells ABC News, business has doubled this year over last. "The word is out right now. If you want to see a whale or blue whale or several species of whale, now's the time to go for sure."
But it has also resulted in some close calls. A kayaker in Avila Beach, near San Luis Obispo in Central California, was almost knocked over by a humpback that breached just a few meters from her boat. And a tour boat full of whale watchers had an experience to remember when a huge humpback surfaced right next to their boat.
The Province reports authorities are working with conservation groups and the shipping industry to help protect the whales around San Francisco Bay. There have been more collisions with the whales and huge cargo ships moving through one of the world's busiest ports.
More about Humpback whale, California, Coast, kayaker, Whales
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