By Andrea Romano
January 26, 2018
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Nature has a way of sneaking up on you. Sometimes, literally.

A kayaker was surprised by a friendly encounter with an orca whale that quickly swam up next to his boat. The whale gracefully glided along the side of him and dipped below his boat before circling away and heading closer to shore.

In the video, the kayaker exclaims, “Oh, sheesh! You’re beautiful!” as the orca swims by.

Personally, we can tell this whale knows it’s beautiful.

The kayaker then shouts to his friend to make sure they don’t have a fishing line in the water, since the orca is coming closer to them. It’s always important to do your due diligence to protect these beautiful whales.

There have been other instances of orcas riding up to meet kayakers in the wild. Back in 2015, a kayaker named Nathan Pettigrew formed a special bond with a young whale he sees when he goes out on the water near the coast of New Zealand.

Despite their misunderstood reputation due to stories of attacks by whales held in captivity, and their unfortunate nickname — killer whale — there have actually been no instances of fatal orca attacks with humans in the wild.

But if you do see one at sea, just remember to give them space — and feel free to snap a photo.