California surfer receives whale of an escort during marathon paddle

By: Pete Thomas, GrindTV.com

When Southern California surfer Jodie Nelson set out Sunday to standup-paddle nearly 40 miles from Santa Catalina Island to Dana Point, she hoped it'd inspire her best friend, who has been involved in a long and exhausting struggle with breast cancer, to keep fighting.

Nelson, 34, whose mother and aunt are cancer survivors, also hoped her nine-hour test of endurance would raise money for two cancer charities and heighten awareness about a plight affecting millions of women.

What Nelson could not have known was that a 30-foot minke whale would swim alongside her 14-foot board and accompany the surfer as she stood and paddled for two of those nine hours, thus joining the cause.

“It was a day that all of us involved will never forget,” Nelson said, in reference to Angela Robinson, her best friend, and the rest of a crew aboard an escort boat.

Minke whales are not commonly seen off Southern California, and those spotted by boaters are often elusive. So when a mammal Nelson named Larry joined her endeavor to become the first woman to make this long paddle, she took it as a sign.

via California surfer receives whale of an escort during marathon paddle, by Pete Thomas.

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