Caught-on-Video Close Encounter: Whale Nearly Tosses Flute-Playing Paddleboarder Into Water

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A flute-playing paddleboarder isn’t something beachgoers see every day, and clearly it isn’t something humpback whales see every day either.

One of the huge marine mammals decided to get up close to Viviana Guzmán, a professional flutist with a penchant for stand-up paddleboarding.

Guzmán, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area but travels the world playing the flute, said she noticed the whales swimming close to the shore near her home in Half Moon Bay in early July.

With a friend, a flute, and two GoPro cameras, Guzmán hit the water last week. After she briefly played the flute, she began to adjust her camera. While she did that, one of the whales swam right between her and her friend.

“In the 20 years I’ve lived on the coast, they’ve never been this close,” Guzmán said of the whales. “I love going out on my paddleboard and I have started taking my flute with me — and they seem to like it.”

Speaking to CNN on Tuesday from Villarrica, Chile, where she was due to perform, the artist said she and her paddleboard partner were startled when the whale surfaced so close.

Guzmán posted the video to YouTube on Saturday, writing “I play my flute for the whales, and they come!” She described the whale as a juvenile humpback.

Later in the video, she is seen playing her flute on a different day, and the whale approaches her board.

“She came to you,” Guzmán’s friend excitedly exclaims.

On Wednesday, a kayaker in Half Moon Bay also captured video of a whale coming extremely close to him.