Everyone should go whale watching at least once in their lives. Not only is it a beautiful experience, but it is also a wonderful way to discover that the planet is full of beings that are larger and more complex than we are.

For those of us who might not be able to set out on a whale watching expedition, this video certainly comes close to being as good as the real thing. The lucky paddleboarder in this video was able to get extremely close to a 20 foot gray whale and capture footage of the event. Despite their enormous size, the whale appears to be incredibly docile and peaceful. A true gentle giant of the deep.

While some people think that capturing whales and putting them on display in marine parks like SeaWorld is the only way to experience whales, this video proves that nothing can compare to a wild interaction. All animals deserve to live wild and free.