A breaching humpback whale nearly swamped a 16-foot fishing boat this week off Queensland, Australia, in what was described as both a harrowing and a magical experience.
Perhaps that explains the hysterical reactions expressed by Ben and James Cullen (be sure to turn on the video's volume) as the young leviathan performed its version of a cannonball alongside their vessel.
The Cullens were fishing with their motor turned off Tuesday when they spotted a large humpback whale showing its fluke in the distance. The smaller whale obviously was much closer.
"Just as my brother went to film [the larger whale], we had what was possibly this whale's calf breach right next to the boat and pretty well splashed us, filled the boat with water and gave us the fright of our life," Ben Cullen, 26, told ABC.
Humpback whales are known for breaching and will sometimes breach repeatedly, a prospect that concerned the Cullens as they kept a close watch around them.
"The adrenaline kicked in, I looked around and tried to locate the whale and was just making sure he wasn't going to do it again and we weren't going to be in its path," Ben said.
He described the experience as "a pretty magical moment" and added that the brothers enjoyed "a bit of a celebration" when he realized that James had caught the dramatic event on video.
The two were christening their new boat off Yeppoon, in central Queensland, and concluded the day by catching a couple of large Spanish mackerel.
"We could not have had a better day," Ben said.
More about breaching humpback whales from GrindTV