A giant male humpback whale breached in front of a small sailing catamaran off Hawaii, flinging himself out of the water, perhaps in an effort to warn the sailors away from a nearby calf and its mother.
The 40-feet-long, 22-ton whale almost crushed the catamaran, sailing off Kaanapali Beach on the northwest coast of Maui. No one on the cat was injured.
The incident was filmed by Don McLeish, 67 and retired, who was following the whales on his blue Zodiac. He saw the male escorting the mother and the baby, and then saw the catamaran almost on a collision course with the whales.
“We had been watching them and felt the boat was headed on a course that might intersect the spot where the pair had dived down,” he told The Daily Mail. He said he was stoked to have the camera in his hand when the male whale breached. He thought the male was warning the boat not to come any closer.
After the breach, all three whales started moving north. The calf breached several times, but the two adults stayed under the water. Read more and see more of McLeish’s pictures: