I got knocked over by a whale! (21/09/2014)

True Story…

So last week I bought a new SUP, the Coreban Dart 14ft. Went to fetch it on Thursday and took it for it’s maiden voyage on Friday after work. I was suitably impressed, the board is super fast, stable and goes like a dream – a huge difference to my 1st board.

I took it out on Saturday morning again in somewhat windy (SE) conditions and the seems the board handles chop well, or at least well enough for my current skill level. It is always in less than perfect conditions that you come to realise your just how much you still have to learn.

A couple of months ago I paddled my 9.5′ on a windy day in Mosselbay / Hartenbos on a river, let me tell you – it’s not the same, wind over the ocean causes lots and lots of chop – continuously.

But that’s not why I’m writing this blog (I’ll do a post later on my new board and action camera) the real story happened on Sunday….

Sunday morning early I was out on the water in Hout Bay, paddled up along the coast line for a while just taking in the scenery and enjoying the peace and quiet of the mighty Atlantic. I saw some seals, lots of birds and exchanged pleasantries with a couple of guys kayaking. After an hour or so I decided to head back to the beach. About half way there I spotted something about 300m in front of me in the water, initially I thought it was kelp but as I got closer I realised it was a southern right whale basking in the sun. All excited I paddled closer till I eventually could make out the barnacles on his / her body. What a huge animal this is, so majestic and just simply awesome….. anycase, when I’m about 40m or so away from the whale it dives, it just disappears from view.

Now as I’m looking around to see if I can see where it pops up again, a sudden movement in the water below me makes me look down, just in time to see the whale right beneath me and surfacing. Man… when I realised that this huge, huge whale is gonna knock me off my board, there must have been a million thoughts running thru my head – how big is this thing, I hope the whale doesn’t get hurt by the fin on my board, must I jump, must I wait, how lucky am I, it’s so graceful,etc etc  – I decided to wait for the knock and jump…. once underwater I could see the tail fin and feel the turbulence as it swooshed past me and couldn’t resist just to put an hand out and touch it… when I surfaced I felt this total exhilaration and I’m sure I was smiling from ear to ear. I mean… of all the things that could happen.. whohoooo… I got knocked over by a whale! The whale then swam back around as if it came to check that all is ok, it played around me for a while and then headed back out to the open ocean. What an amazing experience……

As it turned out there were some people who saw this happen and the cell phone pic on the post was post incident, taken by someone who viewed the whole thing from Chappies. (I’m the small white thingy to the right of the whale tail)

So there you have it, my claim to fame….I got knocked over by a whale!

Edited:01/12/2014 – Since the incident I’ve come across a few people who saw the whole thing. Some had photos but it was mostly very grainy and you couldn’t really tell what was what. Tracy Gill (@tracegillxx on Twitter) added this Youtube video of me after the event, I was kneeling on my board just watching this beautiful creature as it was playing right next to me. Thanks Tracy. 

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