Santa Cruz is a tourist destination for sure. Just try getting over Highway 17 on a warm weekend day in the summer.
But the good people at the Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council are always trying to get more people to come to the area. The above photo just might do the trick.( Thu Oct 27 19:16:35 PDT 2011 $__output )
The photo was taken during a marketing shoot on the Monterey Bay on Tuesday, said Christina Glynn with the CVCl.
It shows two humpback whales surfacing within just a few feet of kayaker Alan Brady (pictured below). Brady said the whales were so close to him that he had to duck out of the way for fear of being hit by the tails. Brady said the whales re-entered the water very slowly and he was not hurt.
The reason the photographer was out on the Bay to snap the photo was to show businesses that Santa Cruz is a good place to hold a conference or retreat. CVCI hired models to pose as conventioneers on a Pacific Yachting and Sailing boat learning how to sail (the outing is supposed to build teamwork among execs).
While they were busy making that magic, the group noticed some whales off the side of their boat, so photographer Paul Schraub grabbed his camera and started taking pictures.
All of a sudden, two huge humpback whales breached the surface simultaneously within a few feet of Brady.
Glynn called it a once-in-a-lifetime photo.
For locals, the shoreline behind the whales is Seabright State Beach in Santa Cruz. Whales have reportedly been very active in the past week, feeding on an abundance of anchovies off the coast.
The image might not have been the intent of the outing, but it is considered a win for the marketing department.