lone kayaker has captured “thrilling” footage of an in depth encounter with a 30ft whale off the coast of Cornwall.
Mr Kirkwoord informed the PA information company: “Whales are very tough to identify as a result of they simply roll off the floor and not using a splash after which they go.
“The fantastic thing about them – which at all times makes the hair arise on the again of my neck – is the noise of the blowhole.
“If I had been in a ship with an engine and never a kayak, there would have been no method I might have seen (the whale) as a result of it guided me to it with the noise.
“The entire expertise was completely thrilling.”
The previous farm vet who has a “ardour for pure historical past”, has been kayaking for 17 years however started dedicating most of his time to it after he took an early retirement 5 years in the past.
Since he started his pastime, Mr Kirkwood has clocked up almost 30,000 miles of paddling and noticed round 25 whales.
The daddy-of-four commonly posts updates on his weblog, referred to as The Lone Kayaker, together with images and movies taken on his adventures.
“An curiosity in pure historical past is in my blood and I’ve at all times had an absolute ardour for it,” Mr Kirkwood stated.
“After I’m kayaking I usually come throughout dolphins, who’re fairly social, and all types of different wonderful creatures like basking sharks, big tuna, sunfish, and even one leatherback turtle.
“I’m at all times thrilled to see seals and within the early mornings, otters – that are up there with my favorite creatures.”
Regardless of commonly coming into shut contact with wild animals, Mr Kirkwood stated he has by no means felt threatened by them.
“Even when it’s a 30ft whale that would tip me out of my kayak with a single motion, it is aware of I’m there and it’s in whole management,” he stated.
“Most of the creatures really come in direction of a kayak as a result of it breaks up the boring monotony of the ocean.
“I don’t really feel threatened by them in any respect, they at all times come over to take a look at me and it’s the identical for the whales.
“Even once I was watching a basking shark, which might be round 25ft lengthy and a bit extra sinister, it had no real interest in any unhealthy intent.”
Nonetheless, Mr Kirkwood stated the largest hazard he faces is the ocean and really helpful that anybody considering taking on kayaking must be ready.
“I do take a barrage of security tools with me and I at all times put on a life jacket,” he stated.
“I referred to as in with Fowey Coast Watch once I paddled out yesterday as a result of there’s individuals who sit on high of a cliff searching with binoculars, so I radioed in to inform them my plans.
“I at all times take a telephone with me in fact, a GPS private locator beacon and flares – simply in case of issues.”
Mr Kirkwood’s kids share his eager curiosity in wildlife and have been serving to him share his movies on social media.
One video of his shut encounter with the Minke whale, posted on Twitter, has racked up over 101,000 views.
“The youngsters are very enthusiastic about that,” Mr Kirkwood stated.
“My eldest son Henry, who now lives in Bristol, is learning to be a surveyor however he’s a really gifted wildlife photographer.
“He helps me put collectively movies to put up on-line.
“The extra individuals I share the movies with the higher so far as I’m involved. I simply really feel responsible that I get to have all of the enjoyable.”
To search out out extra about The Lone Kayaker, go to: https://thelonekayaker.wordpress.com/