MALIBU—On Friday, April 21, Derek Savoie was paddle boarding off the coast of Malibu’s Leo Carrillo State Beach when he spotted a massive gray whale passing beneath him. He was able to capture the encounter on video. Savoie’s feet were dangling in the water above a kelp bed, when he briefly made contact with the whale. He described the moment as one of the most thrilling experiences of his life.

“This Grey Whale either didn’t see me sitting in the kelp on my paddle board or was just very curious and came up to check me out,” Savoie wrote in the caption of his video, which he uploaded onto YouTube. “Either way it was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life. You should never approach these beautiful mammals in the wild.”

“I was just out for a paddle and saw them coming and luckily had my Go Pro on me and just sat there and they passed literally right underneath me,” he added. “My foot dangling in the water even made contact with his/her head! Mind blowing experience and one I will never forget.”

According to ABC 7 News, Savoie recorded the incident on his GoPro digital Camera and shared the footage by using #abc7eyewitness.