Watch Whale Swim With Surfers Near Doheny State Beach

DANA POINT, CA — Imagine. It’s noon at the beach in South Orange County, a perfect warm, southern California day for surfing. You’re hanging out waiting for the next set of waves at Doheny State Beach when a dark shadow slides under your board. Yes, that’s a leviathan from the deep swimming right through underneath you.

That happened to this group of around 20 surfers, on Veteran’s Day.

Drone photographer and San Juan Hills High School senior, Payton Landaas, was out capturing footage for his Stealth Photos website when he noticed the whale in action. He angled his craft in the perfect spot to take in the event.

“It felt completely unreal,” he told Patch. “I was really focused on getting the perfect shot at the time.”

Meanwhile, below the drone, the surfers slowly became aware of how close the whale was to them. One surfer is seen paddling furiously out of the way while others merely floated above.

“It was like whale watching in reverse,” Toni Nelson, founder of Capo Cares Facebook Group, told us. Thousands from that group liked and shared the video, now swiftly going viral.

Do you have a drone video to share? Email for a chance to be shared with your neighbors at Patch.

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