Today I had an incredible surface encounter with a mother and calf off Airport Beach.

I paddled out and got within 150 yards of the whales. They had been on the surface for 30

minutes prior to my going out. A combination of wind and current brought us closer together

and the whales closed the gap even more before turning their backs on me. They remained

essentially stationary and I continued to drift by them. For quite some time, they chose to stay

very close to me. I didn't paddle at all and would put the camera over board occasionally

to take a photo. The mother was on the surface the whole time and the calf would cavort

around and swim up on the mothers head and then roll off. A few times, I saw its light gray

belly out of the water as it was on its back on mom's head.

Above, I took one shot with the 20 mm wide angle port above the water for reference.

As I drifted past, the mother came back for a close look see of me with her calf on

the other side.