Some tourists have a whale of a tale to tell about their trip to Maui.
Laurent Lebihan was on an excursion off the Hawaiian island with other paddlers when their whale watching trip turned into an unforgettable experience: A humpback emerged out of the blue to hit and splash their outrigger vessel.
Luckily, Lebihan had his camera ready.
The video, titled "Humpback gives our canoe a love tap!" was posted to YouTube on Feb. 3. Lebihan wrote on the site, "We were out whale watching and totally caught off guard. Good thing it was an adolescent whale and nothing bad happened."
According to GoHawaii.com, the tourists were visiting at the perfect time. The humpback population reaches its apex between January and April, after the whales migrate from the gulf of Alaska to breed.
The humpbacks' ranks have dwindled to just a few thousand, according to Save the Whales. They are threatened by a variety of factors, including pollution, entanglement in fishing gear and habitat loss, the World Wildlife Fund notes.