Who needs SeaWorld when you have wild and healthy killer whales as friendly as these guys?
Last week, a pod of five orcas unwittingly made Rich German's dreams come true by blessing the Laguna Beach, California paddleboarder with their presence -- no animal trainer or manmade pool needed.
A few days before the encounter, German heard that the pod, known locally as the "CA51s," had been spotted nearby. When he saw a group of tour boats idling two miles off the coast of Laguna Beach, he took a chance and paddled out to see if the orcas were nearby.
When he got out there, German found a "friendly and interactive" pod, as he explains in the video above. As if the orcas wanted the 45-year-old SUPer to know he wasn't dreaming, they dove under him three times, almost bumping him into the water at least once. The biggest orca of the group, German told the Orange County Register, had a dorsal fin that was at least five-feet tall.
"I was super excited," he told the paper. "I wasn't scared. I knew there had never been a human being harmed by orcas in the wild. I just stood there, and they came right up to me."
(There have been a few reported incidents of wild killer whales threatening humans, but they are rare.)
German says he takes his SUP out everyday and has seen all types of marine life, from dolphins to blue whales, but "I've always had this dream, and that was to see orcas."