GoPro: Surfer encounters gray whale

Posted at 11:08 AM, Sep 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-30 14:08:08-04

SAN DIEGO -- A Coronado surfer recorded the encounter of a lifetime Tuesday morning when he came across a 20-foot long gray whale.

Daron Case says the whale came within a few feet of him and his surf buddies off Silver Strand State Beach. Case said the whale appeared to be migrating south, something that usually does not happen until November. 

"It swam right through all the surfers," Case said. "I was able to dip my GoPro under the water and capture some pretty amazing footage. I was pretty stoked because the water clarity this morning was like Hawaii."
But his joy at coming within arms length of the majestic marine mammal is tempered by concerns it may be sick. Case couldn't help but notice the whale's lethargic behavior.
"It did have a lot of barnacles and it looked very skinny," he said.
Researchers at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography also told 10News the whale appeared to be thin and unhealthy. They said all those old barnacles could be an indication that the whale is old, or that it could be in poor health.