Mark Girardeau was aboard the Monterey Bay Whale Watch tour Saturday when he caught this unexpected sight with his drone: A pod of Baird's beaked whales.
According to the American Cetacean Society, Baird's beaked whales are the largest of all beaked whales and could potentially reach a maximum length of about 42 feet.
Experts say the species tends to avoid ships, making this moment even more rare.
Girardeau said they can dive to depths over 5,000 feet and stay underwater for more than an hour which makes them almost impossible to track by whale watchers. He says says this is likely the first drone footage of them ever.
Baird's beaked whales are apparently only found in the North Pacific.
Researchers say their range is from Japan to the Southern California/Baja area northward to the Bering Sea.