Close Encounters with Large Animals.....

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Anthony Gring, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. Anthony Gring

    Anthony Gring Silver Supporting Member

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    Let's hear about yours.

    Ironically, my two occurred at the same place in the same month ( April) but three years apart .

    I was out surfing last Tuesday after work around 4 pm at a reef off Hobson's Campground in Ventura County. About 5 others out. I surf on a small SUP board 8'2''.

    Water surface pretty calm, waves 3-5' clean. Waiting and watching for the next set I saw a spout. It was about 300 yards out. I started paddling for the area that I saw it. 200 yards out I still had not seen it again. Kept paddling. I just had this funny feeling that it was still out there.

    Now 50 feet in front of me, to the surface come two adult gray whales exhaling spray. Incredible !

    I kept paddling closer but held my distance to them at about 20 feet. I knew they could disappear for good at any moment so I stayed absolutely motionless and watched the two of them. They stayed on the surface for probably 3 to 4 minutes. Then they disappeared. I thought that may have been it but I stayed still. 3 minutes later one of them did the Spy hop on me from about 25 feet away. I was looking directly into the eye of this whale. It disappeared again. Then the two of them surfaced again about twenty feet behind me. This went on for another 15 minutes. it seemed they were in no hurry to go anywhere and were rather curious about me. The entire time I was between 15-25 feet away from them.

    My only concern was that they may come up directly underneath me. Other than that I was not afraid at all. I was in complete awe and almost shaking with excitement. I knew an encounter like this is rare. However,as I mentioned, it happened three years ago but with one whale not two. That one also let me get close, spy hopped me and hung around for 15 minutes diving and surfacing.

    My buddy I was surfing with paddled out to see what I was up to. By the time he got out to me the two whales had disappeared for good. Saw them both spout about 500 yards away. Next stop Alaska.
     
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  2. chrisr777

    chrisr777 Member

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    Never seen whales on a board, but I have had them up close and personal on boats several times. Once swimming right under our 35 foot cabin cruiser and coming up right next to it. Motor off, because by law you have to when they are right there.

    Went on a Zodiac trip around the Na Pali Coast of Kauai and had dolphins jumping over the boat. They are a lot bigger than you think when they are jumping over your head.
     
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  3. Fantom1

    Fantom1 Member

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    Lots of dolphins while surfing around San Diego. Those guys are surprisingly large and would come right up underneath you many times. Awesome but also got the blood going. Lots of medium/small sharks while spearfishing around San Diego...thankfully never saw the landlord.
     
  4. Noise Under The Floor

    Noise Under The Floor Supporting Member

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    I still don't know exactly what it was, but it was a big, real big, jammed into the driver's seat of a Honda Odyssey, and appeared to be clutching some big frou-frou coffee drink from Starbucks in one paw and cell phone in the other. Came right at me, then veered off suddenly into the parking lot of an Olive Garden.
     
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  5. headpond

    headpond Member

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    We tried mounting and riding a couple of emu. Never really ended up being anything to brag about.

    Peacocks though.....terror. Pure purple iridescent terror.
     
  6. armadillo66

    armadillo66 Member

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    We had a black bear break into our kitchen last August, fortunately I chased him off before he got destructive.
    I have had a couple of interesting encounters with really large Timber Rattlesnakes. In Northern Arkansas Ozark back country they can get huge.
    But they can be quite tasty.
    I had mountain lion tracks all around our house this last winter because the mule deer like to hang out up by the side of the house on cold windy days to get sunshine warmth in a windbreak
     
  7. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    Once, while walking around on a Scandinavian farm in a small, remote village, one of the large but rather tame cows started casually and unthreateningly walking towards me. I'm not a farm or a country boy. It scared me just a little. :)
     
  8. Blue410

    Blue410 Silver Supporting Member

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    TGP member down from the Appalachian hinterlands?
     
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  9. sundog964

    sundog964 Supporting Member

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    We were cooking Thanksgiving dinner at our cabin in the CO mountains. My mom yelled for my dad from the kitchen, and we all came and watched a bear open the door to the cooler and eat a few sticks of butter, and take our ham. He looked pretty thankful.
     
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  10. crhfish

    crhfish Member

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    Mine was a humpback whale. Snorkeling in Hawaii a few years ago just outside of a reef edge when a large humpback not to far away made a deep song like you hear on TV sometimes. But being in the water it shook me a bit. When they are close you feel it as much as you hear it. It was simply awesome.
     
  11. semore butts

    semore butts Supporting Member

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    well if you count having to swerve around a big "box turtle" on the way to the ranch yesterday, then yes, I've had an encounter!!!!!:D
     
  12. Noise Under The Floor

    Noise Under The Floor Supporting Member

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    Then they would've been clutching a Sheetz cup instead of a Starbucks.
     
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  13. swlees

    swlees Member

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    Mine was automotive as well. I think I put a flat spot on all four tires of my truck braking for an elk wandering across the road west of Choteau, MT. I don't think the pipe bumper on the truck would have warded that off of the windshield.
     
  14. Norsegod

    Norsegod Member

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    Bears, moose, elk and bison.
    I've been uncomfortably close to all of them, threatened by moose and elk and actually got chased by a huge bull bison.

    Oh yeah, I also got chased into the water off a river bank by a big bull (cattle) fishing one of our rivers once which is where most of my sketchy encounters with moose have also happened.
     
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  15. Noise Under The Floor

    Noise Under The Floor Supporting Member

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    I used to work nights, and at about 2am on the home one morning I saw what I thought was a small boulder in the road. Got up on it and realized it was a large snapping turtle crossing the road, and taking its good ol' time. During the day in the AM rush hour the road it was on was extremely busy. Turtle would be hit for sure. So I got out, grabbed the back of its shell and started hauling it in the direction it was headed (towards a pond that was in a pasture in that side of the road). That turtle was PISSED OFF. Kept hissing and craning its neck around trying to bite me, but luckily couldn't reach me. Got it to that side of the road, got back in the car, and headed home. A few weeks later on my way to work around 4pm I noticed traffic ahead slowing down and swerving around something. Finally got up there...big snapping turtle smashed in the middle of the road. Was a horrible sight. Big bloody pulpy mess. Can only surmise it was the same one from that night.
     
  16. Nevets

    Nevets Supporting Member

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    I've been up close with bears, moose, orcas, elephants, humpback whales and blue whales. Except for the moose, who was cool,all the rest were a combination of exhilaration and pants crapping terror.
     
  17. Sidney Vicious

    Sidney Vicious Member

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    Camped out alone in Canyonlands Utah in 1976. Took a little hike over a rise and found myself coming down about 20 feet from a bison. I froze. It ignored me and then kinda mosied along.
     
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  18. pjs ire

    pjs ire Member

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    Mounting an emu? Please tell us more!
     
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  19. vltjd

    vltjd Supporting Member

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    Was driving around Indiana County, PA looking for someone's house. GPS kept telling me to turn down a dirt road, which I kept ignoring. Finally, after driving around in a circle three times followed the GPS. Approaching where the house was supposed to be, a big black hairy dog (looked like an Afghan from the distance) came out right from where the house was supposed to be. Having two of my dogs in the car, I approached slowly. The animal became bored and went back towards the house. That's when it's paws became obvious and it was a young black bear. Good thing the dogs were asleep. We don't see those in NYC.
     
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  20. oldtelefart

    oldtelefart Member

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    Kakadu National Park - about 20' away from a 17'+ saltwater croc, we were in a 12' boat.
    Table Bay - sailing a 24' boat, 30'+ whale surfaced close alongside and eyeballed us.
    Then there was the night drive in the bush in South Africa, rounded a bend and came face-to-face up close with a very large elephant.

    Scarier than peacocks or geese...........
     
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