“Spyhopping” Humpback Comes Face to Face with Curious Dog in California’s Monterey Bay

Whale-watching excursions are responsible for some pretty amazing images and videos of one of nature’s most fascinating — and largest — creatures. Some of the footage can even be described as stunning. Sometimes they can be unexpectedly funny, though. That was the case recently in California’s Monterey Bay when a curious dog came face to face with an equally curious humpback whale. The videographer who captured the exchange was Evan Brodsky of Monterey Bay Whale Watch.

humpback whale
Photo: Pixabay/foco44

Whale Watching

A dog named Skipper was on board with his human, Nancy Black, who also happens to own the excursion outfit, Monterey Bay Whale Watch. The business has a dog-friendly policy, with its website noting, “Well-behaved dogs are welcome on our trips.” Two whales, in particular, hung out near the boat, called the Point Sur Clipper, for almost two hours. Whales in these waters are known to spyhop, which means they hoist their massive heads above the waterline to get a peek at the curious passengers aboard the boats.

Skipper the Australian Shepherd

These trips are a popular pastime along the California coast and attract visitors from around the globe. Skipper, who is a 1-year-old Australian shepherd, could barely contain himself during the encounter. Cocking his head from side to side, as the breed is known to do, he appeared to be mesmerized by the friendly giants. According to Brodsky, Skipper “comes whale watching all the time, but he usually hangs out in the pilot house, so this was definitely his first close encounter.”

whale watching Monterey Bay
Photo: YouTube/Monterey Bay Whale Watch

Humpback Whales

The whales in these waters are seen during migration patterns when they are either heading south toward the warmer waters off Mexico in the fall to their winter breeding grounds or coming north with their young in the spring. Gray whales are among them as well. On this occasion, Skipper was so enthralled that he didn’t even bark, which is unusual for a dog encountering something strange for the first time. Brodsky stated, “Over the whole two hours, he was mostly silent, just trying to figure out what was going on.” We can’t blame him. It’s a magnificent sight to behold that needs no narration to interrupt the beauty of the event.

Clearly excited, watch the video below to see Skipper’s priceless reaction.

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