“I want to share an amazing experience that I had recently,” says the affable bearded dude talking to the camera under a sunny sky.
Meet Rich German, California resident whose dream it was to see orcas during his daily paddle boarding sessions off Laguna Beach. That dream became reality earlier this month, when a pod of five orcas surrounded and played underneath his board. He filmed them with a GoPro camera, and the video he shared with the world has garnered nearly 500,000 hits.
Such a transcendent experience it was, that he never quailed.
“A lot of people have been asking me if I was afraid, but the truth is, I was too excited to be scared,” German says on this video. “But the reality is that a human being has never been harmed by an orca out in the wild.”
Mind you, these are whales known to knock seals off ice floes, and have also occasionally killed a trainer while in captivity.
But they are also known for their intelligence, and their affinity toward humans. In October 2013, dozens of rejoicing, frolicking orcas surrounded a ferry that was transporting long-missing Suquamish artifacts back to traditional territory.
Such exuberant spirit is the very thing that German wanted to showcase.
“I’m sharing it not only because it’s really cool, but I [also] do want to raise more awareness for these animals,” he says in his video. “Their populations are decreasing, and you’ve probably heard a lot of things that have gone on with them in captivity. So here’s a chance to see some magical orcas here in the wild off Laguna Beach. Enjoy the video.”