A Northern California man whose sailboat sank off of western Mexico after a collision with a whale said Sunday that the impact was so powerful that the stern of the 22-ton vessel was lifted out of the water.
Max Young returned home to Sacramento on Friday, 10 days after the breaching whale slammed onto the bow of his 50-foot boat during a solo voyage.
Young, 67, was on the final leg of a journey from the East Coast to Emeryville, Calif., when the 55-foot-long whale hit the boat just after dark on June 12.
"The head of that whale would have had to have cleared at least 12 feet (from the water) before he came down on the boat," Young told The Associated Press on Sunday. "I could see its head. It must have been a young whale because he only had a few barnacles."
Young was not hurt in the collision, but the steep angle of the boat sent him sliding down the deck toward a pile of sea bags. He said he was only about 10 feet away from the whale at the time of impact.