Humpback Whale Upends California Kayakers

first_imgOn Monday morning, Julie McSorley invited Liz Cottriel, her friend of 27 years, to go kayaking off Avila Beach, Calif., in San Luis Obispo County, where they both live. The idea was simply to spend a pleasant day whale watching off California’s Central Coast.They set off in a yellow kayak, soaking in the views of humpback whales feeding and breaching in the distance, a sight that Ms. McSorley had enjoyed the day before with her husband.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The friends were about a half-mile from shore when they noticed schools of silver fish around their kayak, making a sound that Ms. Cottriel, 63, an office manager for an orthodontist, likened to “crackling glass.”“We knew something was about to happen, but we didn’t know where the whale was exactly,” said Ms. McSorley, 55, a physical therapist. “She popped up and I popped up right after her,” Ms. Cottriel said.An off-duty firefighter who was paddle-boarding nearby helped them right the kayak. “He checked to see if we had our arms and legs and everything,” Ms. McSorley said.Another kayaker found their paddles and returned them to the women, who were not injured except for some bruises to Ms. Cottriel’s arms and hip. “I am fine,” she said.But they had a scare that they will remember for the rest of their lives.“It has been a whirlwind of adrenaline,” Ms. McSorley said.“The more I reflect on it, the more I think, ‘This could have been it,’” Ms. Cottriel said.Humpback whales are typically found along the West Coast and off the coasts of Alaska, New England, the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.The mammals, which can weigh up to 40 tons, feed on krill and small fish by filtering large volumes of ocean water through their baleen plates, according to NOAA. Humpbacks are a favorite of whale watchers, who thrill at the sight of them jumping out of the water and slapping the surface with their pectoral fins or tails.Back on shore on Monday, Ms. Cottriel found that she had a small souvenir of the experience.As she shook her wet shirt, “out came five or six silver fish,” she said with a laugh. “I am dumping fish out of my shirt. We found humor in it.” A humpback whale then suddenly surfaced underneath their kayak, lifting them about six feet above the water, they said.- Advertisement – “I kind of went blank,” Ms. McSorley said. “It was a matter of a second or two.”“All I saw was white and I pushed my hand out and I thought, ‘I am getting crushed,’ because I thought it was either going to land on me or I was going to drown,” Ms. Cottriel said. “I am literally looking inside the whale’s mouth.”A nearby kayaker captured video of the wild encounter on a cellphone. In it, witnesses scream as the whale breaches, capsizing the kayak and tossing the women into the water.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Cobb, Fordham host Richmond

first_img February 6, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditRichmond (16-6, 6-3) vs. Fordham (7-14, 1-8)Rose Hill Gym, New York; Saturday, 2 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: Two guards will be on display as Jacob Gilyard and Richmond will go up against Jalen Cobb and Fordham. The junior Gilyard is averaging 14.6 points and 6.2 assists over the last five games. Cobb, a sophomore, is averaging 14.8 points over the last five games. ___For more AP college basketball coverage: and was generated by Automated Insights,, using data from STATS LLC, Associated Press center_img LEADING THE CHARGE: Fordham’s Cobb has averaged 11.9 points and two steals while Antwon Portley has put up 10.2 points. For the Spiders, Gilyard has averaged 14 points, 5.7 assists and 3.3 steals while Grant Golden has put up 12.7 points and 6.5 rebounds.CREATING OFFENSE: Cobb has either made or assisted on 45 percent of all Fordham field goals over the last three games. Cobb has accounted for 15 field goals and 10 assists in those games.SLIPPING AT 62: Fordham is 0-11 this year when it allows 62 points or more and 7-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 62.PERFECT WHEN: Richmond is a perfect 10-0 when the team blocks at least three opposing shots. The Spiders are 6-6 this season when they block fewer than three shots.DID YOU KNOW: Richmond is rated second among A10 teams with an average of 75.8 points per game. The Spiders have averaged 79 points per game over their last five games. Cobb, Fordham host Richmondlast_img read more