Video: Kayaker Has Extremely Close Encounter with Humpback Whale

01/16/2014 at 02:00 PM EST

Berthold Hinrichs has a close encounter with a humpback whale while kayaking
Berthold Hinrichs has a close encounter with a humpback whale while kayaking
Courtesy Berthold Hinrichs
What's the closest you've ever gotten to a humpback whale? Well, Berthold Hinrichs probably has you beat.

Hinrichs was kayaking near Senja, Norway, on Jan. 10, flanked by a group of orca and humpback whales. "They were hunting herring and they are very careful not to harm you … one humpback came up just beside me … [then] I was completely on the back of him," Hinrichs said. Hinrichs displays a remarkable presence of mind in the video: Were it us in this scenario, we'd probably react with some kind of Jerry Lewis-esque screaming fit.

But then again, some are born whales, some go on whale watches, and some have whales thrust upon them. It's all in how you deal with it.

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