DANA POINT (CBSLA) — Swimming in the ocean off beautiful Dana Point in January is great, but a young gray whale made it a once-in-a-lifetime experience for one Orange County man.

Ryan Divel was swimming in about six feet of water off the coast, in full view of the Dana Point’s luxurious homes on the sand, when he says he felt a rush of water past him.

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It was a 20-foot juvenile whale, swimming in about five feet of water.

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Divel happened to have his water-resistant cell phone with him, and recorded the whole experience.

He told the Orange County Register that he didn’t want to scare the whale, but swimming with it was “almost spiritual” and brought him to tears when he watched the video later.

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He was successful in not scaring the whale away – after he retreated to the sand, the whale continued to swim and roll around in chest-deep water.