Whale swims with kayaker on a morning paddle in Sydney

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A kayaker was treated to a once-in-a-lifetime experience when a humpback whale swimming alongside them during their morning paddle off Sydney’s eastern beaches on Saturday.

A humpback whale swum alongside a kayaker in Sydney.Credit: Dronesharkapp

Drone footage posted to social media captured the moment the gentle giant began following the kayaker along Sydney’s coastline.

The humpback can be seen diving above the waves just metres from the kayaker and another lucky swimmer. The curious whale reportedly followed the kayaker from Tamarama to Coogee Beach.

“Wow, best day of their life,” one Instagram user wrote.

Another commented it looked like the pair were friends. “They look like they’re on a stroll together.”

Hundreds of the marine mammals have been seen off the coast in Sydney this month, spotted from the shoreline as they make their annual migration north from Antarctic waters.

Researchers have been struck by the abundance of humpbacks observed this season.

Vanessa Pirotta, a wildlife scientist and whale expert at Macquarie University, recently told this masthead there could be a number of factors contributing to the increase in whale numbers.

“What’s driving it? We can’t be 100 per cent sure. The population is recovering. The krill abundance down in Antarctica is unknown, but potentially there are favourable conditions this year,” she said.

“On the other hand, El Nino could be a factor, in that there are more people out and about, boating conditions are good, so there are more people in place and more people seeing more whales. It’s hard to say.”

Hundreds of whales have been spotted migrating north in the past few weeks.Credit: Rachelle Mackintosh/Cronulla Whale Watching

Humpback whales typically migrate north to breed and calve in the warmer South Pacific, providing Sydney residents a short window to spot, and occasionally swim with them, during the season.

Scientists say more funding and research is required to determine just how well numbers have recovered and how migration patterns are changing.

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