Whale watching too up close and personal

Posted By on July 22, 2010

Who doesn’t appreciated the magnificent and mostly gentle giants of the oceans we think of as whales. The appreciation has created an entire industry around whale watching and has been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands around the world. One such “watcher” relayed their story from South Africa after a close call capture in photos … a way too close a call in my opinion.


whalemeetsboat damagetoboat

(CBS) It’s the time of year for whale watching off the coast of South Africa. Ralph Mothes thought there could be no better way to witness nature’s majesty than from the deck of his own boat.
"It’s such a loud sound, when you hear those whales flapping their tails," says Mothes. "We were attracted by the sound."

And, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips, it turns out that one whale was attracted to Mothes’ boat — a bit too attracted.

Sailors on a neighboring boat managed to snap some stunning images of the huge sea mammal shooting out of the water, practically on top of the yacht. The next pictures show the destroyed mast of Mothes’ yacht, which the whale snapped like a matchstick as it fell through the air.

"I just saw this huge thing come out of the water, and the mast crashed … I ducked, I think Paloma ducked," the pleasure boater told CBS News, "the mast missed me by a few inches."

The boat was a mess, but still floating.

Ralph and his wife Paloma quickly checked to make sure their vessel wasn’t taking on water, and then they cranked up the engines and left, quickly.



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  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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