Whale of a spectacle

A humpback whale rose above the waves before narrowly missing a fishing boat as it crashed back into the water at Monterey Bay, California, in the United States.

The moment was captured by photographer Douglas Croft, 60, and whale watcher Kate Cummings, according to Caters News.

Pictures of the spectacle have made their way around various media outlets, and a video, posted by whale-watching tour agency Blue Ocean Whale Watch on its Facebook page on May 1, has since been shared more than 280 times.

Mr Croft told Caters News: "It was quite exciting! Salmon season coincides with the time when humpbacks are returning to Monterey Bay to feed for the summer, and there were hundreds of boats on the bay fishing."

Ms Cummings, who took the video, said: "It was fun capturing this video. The whale had already breached multiple times much farther away from the fisherman."

Breaching is a form of surfacing behaviour where most or all of the whale's body leaves the water.

Many species do this, but some, such as humpbacks, appear to breach more frequently, according to the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2019, with the headline 'Whale of a spectacle'. Print Edition | Subscribe