Pictured: humpback waves at passing whale watchers in California

The whale that’s making waves: Huge humpback appears to gesture to passing tourists as it breaches yards from their boat off California coast

  • Whale watchers were welcomed by a huge humpback called Murph while out in Monterey Bay, California
  • Whales feed locally before migrating to the warm waters of Mexico and Central America in the fall each year 

Stunning images captured the moment a whale in Monterey Bay, California, put on a display for boats full of whale watchers, greeting them with a spectacular tail wave.

Photographer Jodi Frediani, 74, from Santa Cruz was able to witness the incredible display by the four-year-old female humpback whale, Murph, as two passed by the Monterey Bay Whale Watch’s vessel, the Sea Wolf II.

Frediani, a whale researcher, said: ‘One of the whales did a massive head lunge not far away from our boat. The same whale continued to breach, tail lob, tail throw and pec slap for the next 90 minutes.’

‘Next thing we know, the whale, later identified as Murph, did a massive breach close to one of the stationary boats. There was so much power. Murph seemed to be enjoying our company as much as we enjoyed hers.’

Frediani explained: ‘The adults range in length from 14-17 meters and can weigh up to 40 tons. It looked like this adolescent whale was just having fun, kicking up her heels so-to-speak and jumping out of the water.’

A stunning picture shows the moment the four-year-old whale jumped up near the boats in California

Murph the whale jumped up, appearing to be ‘just having fun’ in their interaction in Monterey Bay, California

Whale researcher Jodi Frediani was on the Sea Wolf II when Murph made a dramatic appearance to say hello

A little close for comfort! Murph the whale makes an impressive leap out of the water, flicking her tail up behind her

Murph turns back into the water, pulling her tail out from behind her after appearing to say hello to the whale watchers

Murph, 4, shows her tail before disappearing under the waves as whale researchers and watchers look on from the boat

Photograph shows people on the boat looking on as the whale disappears under the waves, in Monterey Bay, California

From afar, image shows one of the boats filled with whale watchers as Murph submerges again in Monterey Bay

Making a splash: Murph disappears under the waves after coming up for an exchange with eager whale watchers nearby

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