Momma and baby whale join surfers in lineup

The Shelly Beach surfers, told FTW Outdoors. “I was surfing with them for two hours. It was amazing and it felt so surreal to be able to be up that close and personal.”

The accompanying Instagram footage, captured by researcher Megan Smythe, shows both whales interacting just beyond the surf as two surfers enjoy a front-row view from the lineup.

Remarkably, the surfers remained calm and resisted whatever temptation there might have been to paddle closer to the 40-ton whale and her calf.

“All surfers kept a safe distance as the two whales kept coming in closer,” Smythe told The Surf Slab. “I spent five hours watching them and it was unreal.”

Smythe captured her footage July 13 at Shelly Beach in Manly, a suburb of Sydney in New South Wales.

She said the whales remained for two days and seemed to be curious about the surfers. The same whales were spotted inside Sydney Harbor a few days later.

Southern right whales, which can measure 50-plus feet, are found throughout the Southern Hemisphere. They were hunted extensively until about the 1960s and are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

–Video and images are courtesy of Megan Smythe

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