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Brave kayaker enjoys close encounter with a black bear

While most of us would probably run for the hills if a black bear came into our view, one man had the adventure of a lifetime as he kayaked closer to a bear and enjoyed a close encounter with him.

The sighting took place on Saturday at Hemlock Lake in upstate New York, where Matthew Garrity was, at first, enjoying the sights and looking out onto the beautiful blue water.

Upon seeing the shadow of the black bear making an appearance in the water, curiosity got the better of him, and he jumped into his kayak and paddled out to investigate further.

Fortunately for us, we can see what happened without having to get close, as Garrity managed to capture his adventure on video. In the clip, we can see the edge of Garrity’s kayak, and also that he eventually ended up just a few feet from the animal.

Garrity admits that before approaching the bear, he had no idea what was lurking out in the distance in the water. He said: “I was with two friends who decided to stay on shore. I was the curious one who absolutely needed to know what I was looking at moving across the lake so quickly.”

To begin with, all he could hear were sounds of the water and heavy breathing, which can be heard in the background of the video clip.These sounds turned out to belong to the bear, but only piqued his curiosity.

“I heard that loud breathing sound even before I knew what I was looking at,” he said.

What makes Garrity’s actions even more surprising is that once he got close to the bear and realised what it was, he didn’t flee and casually stayed in his kayak. “I suppose I didn’t flee because once I realized it was a very large black bear, I knew this was a once in a lifetime moment,” he said. “I think my curiosity and my adrenaline got the best of me.”

He added that the bear had definitely seen him, but didn’t seem to pay any attention to him. In a statement written for Mashable, he wrote: “The bear definitely noticed me. At one point, not captured on video (because I was paddling at the time rather than holding my phone) he did turn his head and look directly at me for a split second, but he never stopped swimming towards the shore.”

As Matthew’s video shows, a kayak can open doors to all kinds of unforgettable adventures! Here at Canoe and Kayak Direct we have a great range of kayaks for sale catering for all abilities and sizes.

You can check out Matthew’s encounter with the bear here.

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