Whale, whale, whale, what do we have here?
On a Jan. 10 whale-watching tour off the coast of Lahaina, Maui, passengers got more than they bargained for when a humpback whale swam straight toward their vessel, bumping into it before diving underneath the boat.
In footage from the encounter (above), a female whale and her calf are seen heading in the direction of the 25-foot boat. The calf veers to the side, but its mother stays on course, repeatedly slapping the water with her right fin (known as a pec slap) before colliding gently with the vessel.
“Just the sheer size and force of her was absolutely breathtaking," passenger Jessica Napolitano told local news outlet KHON2. “They are the most majestic, beautiful creatures I’ve ever seen.”
To prevent disturbing the whales, the boat's crew had turned off the engines before the animals changed course to head in their direction.“I do want to be clear, they were very respectful of the whales. We always kept a safe distance, which I really appreciated,” Napolitano said of her tour guides.
Even during the collision, the passengers seem to be having a whale of a time. (Sorry.) You can hear one of them shouting "This is so awesome!" as the whale grazes the boat's hull.