Brendan Weber

‘Completely Shell-Shocked’: Otter Leaps Aboard Bay Area Man’s Kayak

"He was totally content to lay there," Heather Van Nes said while watching an otter relax on her husband's kayak

Heather Van Nes

A Bay Area couple was treated to a once-in-a-lifetime surprise Monday all thanks to a furry aquatic friend.

Heather Van Nes and John Koester from Boulder Creek were peacefully paddling in Elkhorn Slough waters located near Moss Landing when an otter caught the corner of Van Nes’ eye.

"I took a picture of it just swimming to (Koester) thinking that it would go underneath him and it didn’t," Van Nes said. "It jumped right in."

Friendly Otter Jumps onto Man's Kayak

Utter awe overtook the couple’s emotions as they gawked at the marine mammal hanging out on the front of Koester’s open yellow kayak.

"We didn’t know what to do," Van Nes admitted. "We were just completely shell-shocked."

The otter, on the other hand, was comfortable as could be.

"He starts rubbing his back, itching his belly, itching the back of his head," Van Nes chuckled. "He was just chillin, like, 'Hey, we’re going to go for a ride,'" Van Nes said.

Much to the delight of its astonished onlookers, the otter soaked in the late morning sun without a care in the world. Sunbathing seemed to be the primary objective on its to-do list.

"He was totally content to lay there," Van Nes laughed. "He was in no hurry. He was looking right at (Koester) like, 'Hey, how you doing?'"

After warming its fur and putting on a show for about 10 to 15 minutes, the otter finally decided to bid farewell to his human pals.

Van Nes and Koester completed their nature-gazing journey before returning to tell their tale to the kayak rental shop staff. Some surprise was expressed, but the shop's employees revealed that otters seem to be kind enough to make a cameo in front of their mammal counterparts every once in awhile.

"Yeah, some of them will do that," Van Nes was told.

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