CAPITOLA — Capitola resident John F. Hunter captured several photos of humpback whales breaching near Capitola Beach on Monday, getting so close to the mammoth mammals that their barnacles can be clearly seen.
Hunter, 51, said he was on a morning walk when he spotted two whales breaching close to the Capitola Wharf. He said he ran home to grab his camera and rented a boat to get a closer shot.
“It was an absolutely unbelievable day,” he said. “I’m still reeling from it.”
Hunter said he missed some shots because the whales popped out of the water close to his boat
and he didn’t have the camera ready.
“I tried to stay 100 yards away, but the next thing I know they’re coming up right next to the boat,” he said. “You could see a huge boiling upwelling of anchovies just frothing on the surface, and boom, the whale would come out of the water.”