He was pronounced dead at the scene on a beach in Santa Cruz County.
Whales breached, rolled over, spouted and rose up to look directly at the watchers.
The "L pod" traveling from the Pacific Northwest included a months-old calf and a female orca in her 90s.
Officials aren't revealing the cause of death of the 9-foot juvenile male that washed up on Monterey Bay beach.
"They're not the man-eating monsters they're made out to be," the kayaker says.
The shark was as long as the 14-foot boat.
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The pod of orcas has killed four gray whale calves off California's coast in just seven days.