A stand-up paddleboarder got a killer view of a pod of orca whales that swam under his board off the coast of Laguna Beach, California, recently.
The five whales hung around for a while, said Rich German, who caught the early January encounter in footage he shared with NBC4.
Whales dive under German's board a few times, and the pod seems to showboat for nearby whale watchers. One whale comes up for breath just feet from German, spraying the water between them with its spout.
German has seen all kinds of whales on his trips on the water, including humpbacks and blue whales, never killer whales before, he said. The orca lover dreamed of this moment.
"I knew they had never harmed a human in the wild so I was not afraid," German said in an e-mail.
German went out seeking the pod of whales. He had heard of a pod of killer whales off of Long Beach the day before he went out, he said in the introduction to his video, and knew they were heading south.
Calling the whales highly intelligent in his e-mail, German said he is against the killing and capturing of orcas.
"I hope that sharing this video of them in the their natural habitat will raise awareness and love for these magical beings, German said.
See the full video, including more of German's thoughts on the encounter, on his Facebook page.