Baby whale nudges kayak, prompting nervous laughter from paddler; video

A kayaker in Australia experienced an encounter of a lifetime when a mother southern right whale and her calf swam right toward him some 200 meters (about 650 feet) off Pambula Beach in New South Wales.

"There they were, just hanging around," Matt Burnett told the Merimbula News. "Then the mum disappeared and the calf came right up to me."

Burnett had a small waterproof camera he used to record the close encounter:

Upon seeing the whales slowly heading straight for him, Burnett let out a couple of expletives but sat tight, shooting underwater video of the approaching calf that wound up getting too close for comfort.

When the calf's body surfaced, it appeared as if it would lift Burnett's kayak out of the water but only gave it a nudge, to which Burnett reacted with nervous laughter.

"I have never been that close," he told the Merimbula News. "Then they just kept playing for about 20 minutes, but they were in the bay for about an hour and a half total."

On Facebook, Burnett called the close encounter "one of the most epic experiences ever," adding that the baby whale "swam up to say hello."

He concluded by saying he was "pretty stoked with the encounter as you can hear haha."

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