We all know the story of Pinocchio where his father Geppetto went on the search for his beloved boy, and got swallowed by a giant whale for a while. However, you never imagine witnessing a similar event in real life.
Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel were one in a million, if not the only two people who had experienced this rare and scary event. Their rare incident occurred back in 2022 when humpback whales had been active in California’s San Luis Obispo Bay. During that time several Kayakers and paddlers came to the area to watch them feed.
When Cottriel came to visit McSorley, McSorley suggested that they should go again. McSorley explained, “Her reaction was, ‘No, I don't like the ocean. I'm scared of sharks. I'm scared of anything I can't see in the water.' And I so ignorantly told her, ‘Oh, they're never going to dump you over. The kayaks are very stable. I've never had an issue.’”
In the first hour in they kayak ride, things seemed to be perfectly fine. The two women where also geared up in their life vests, and was sure everything will be ok. McSorley and Cottriel were waiting and watching for the next school of fish, or as they call it - bait balls, when they suddenly noticed little fish all around them.
While watching the fish, the two were engulfed by a giant humpback whale for a short moment. The entire event was fortunately caught on video by witnesses nearby. The whole thing happened so fast, that the two women only realised that they where ‘swallowed’ by a whale after seeing the video taken by people nearby.
“So I knew it was going to be very close, but again, I'd seen whales breach right next kayaks before. So my mind was like, this is going to be, you know, super cool,” said McSorley and added, “And then all of a sudden the boat lifted up and we were dumped in the water very, very quickly.”
Luckily, the women returned unharmed and now have a very rare and exciting memory to share.