Paddleboarder captures astonishing moment blue whale swims up alongside him

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It’s not every day you get up close with one of life’s giants.

But paddleboarder Bill Clements managed to savour a once-in-a-lifetime moment when a blue whale swam alongside him.

He caught the encounter on his GoPro camera while paddling a few miles off the coast of Dana Point in southern California.

‘Thee most INCREDIBLE encounter I’ve ever had paddling!!!’ Clements wrote on Instagram on August 26, where he posts under the name @paddlegoat.

‘Oh my god! Holy s***!’ the boarder repeats over and over again.

At a few points, the whale comes up for a breath of air and breaches the surface of the water. ‘He’s coming up! He’s coming up!’ Clements can be heard yelling.

According to Clements, he paddled with the whale for over an hour. The whale continued to return to check back on his new human friend.

‘He’s right underneath me. He’s looking at me.’

Blue whales are the largest animals in the world, and can reach a maximum of 98 feet in length and weigh up to 196 tons.

‘Fear was overshadowed with excitement as I was in awe to be in the presence of this amazing creature. I still have chills!!’, Clements wrote on Instagram.

Clements frequently posts his encounters with animals while paddleboarding on social media. In anther video, sea lions, dolphins, and pelicans can be seen feasting on a school of sardines.

In another video also taken off Dana Point, he paddles alongside pods of dolphins leaping out of the water for over 40 minutes.

People on the other side of the country have had many interactions with sea creatures this year as well.

In New York, kayakers shared footage of whales and dolphins swimming in the Hudson River estuary.

In Massachusetts, a humpback whale breached onto a fishing boat, almost sinking the vessel in the process. Fortunately, both the boaters and the whale were not harmed in the incident.

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