Humpback Whale Bumps Paddleboarder Playing Flute in Half Moon Bay | NBC Bay Area


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Humpback Whale Bumps Paddleboarder Playing Flute in Half Moon Bay

Viviana Guzman, an international flutist and paddle boarder who was out on the Pacific Ocean last week, was bumped by a humpback whale. (Published Monday, July 18, 2016)

A professional flutist going for a spin in the Pacific on a paddle board was bumped by a humpback whale last week.

But Viviana Guzman, 52, of Montara, California, said she wasn’t scared at all. In fact, she said she thinks the juvenile mammal was more scared of her, as she was standing atop of a paddleboard, her plastic flute tucked in her wetsuit.

“It just really caught me by surprise,” Guzman said on Monday, en route to her native Chile to perform in one of the 80 or so concerts she’s asked to play in each year. “I do this all the time, but this one came just a little closer.”

She shot some of the video with a GoPro attached to her chest, while her friend took a second video with a GoPro attached to her head. The two go out regularly to swim, paddleboard and whale watch near the Miramar Beach Restaurant in Half Moon Bay, which is where they spotted the whale last Thursday or Friday. Since Guzman is a flute player, she also always brings her instrument.

Viviana Guzman was paddle boarding in Half Moon Bay in mid-July 2016 when a whale bumped into her.

Guzman said she started coming to this beach last year, and has continually been seeing the whales coming closer and closer to shore.

As a flutist, she thought she would cool to bring her music and a plastic version of her beloved instrument out to the sea to play for the giant creatures, Pied Piper-style.

The video also shows a whale diving under Guzman's paddle board as she played the flute. 

“I felt maybe they would like it,” she said. “It’s kinda fun.”

Music on Guzman's video is from her song "Native Soul." 

Contact Lisa Fernandez at or 408-432-4758. Follow on Twitter at @ljfernandez