Drone operator Payton Landaas captured a beautiful scene near his home in Dana Point, California, on November 11, as a whale glided up to an array of black-clad surfers waiting for a wave and greeted them with a “pfft” from its blowhole.
Landaas said he was enjoying a day at home when he noticed the whale swimming near the coast, prompting him to quickly grab his drone to record the animal.
Landaas said he was used to capturing various stunning seaside scenes, but he had never seen something like this before.
Landaas said the drone followed the whale for two miles, from his house to Doheny State Beach.
The footage shows the whale approach a group of surfers waiting for a wave. Then the whale comes up for air, capturing the attention of the surfers when water is spewed from its blowhole.
Some of the surfers turn their heads, some paddle away, and some stay put and watch the whale swim right beneath them.
Landaas considers himself lucky that he was able to observe such a rare moment. “I was completely shocked with the interaction and was really focused on getting the perfect shot,” he told Storyful. Credit: Payton Landaas via Storyful