Kevin Egan was out for an afternoon of angling off the north coast of B.C.’s Haida Gwaii islands when he captured an up-close encounter with a friendly humpback whale.
According to Egan, “We stopped to bait up after seeing some sea birds over a bait ball. Then Paul says ‘Kevin, look at this.’ I look over at him cutting bait and see nothing amiss with the herring, then glance slightly off to the side. Beside Paul is a Humpback whale spyhopping five feet away!”
The friendly humpback stays with the boat for some time, rolling and slapping its pectoral fins against the water. Egan even remarks that despite its huge size and proximity to the boat, the whale barely touches their craft.
If you listen closely, you’ll hear that the boat’s outboard motor is still running despite the proximity of the whale. For those concerned about the whale’s safety, Kevin explains that it was in neutral the whole time: “Whales have great hearing, and the biggest fear is having a whale come up under a quiet boat. Leaving the motor on in neutral was a safety measure for both us and the whale.”
We’re truly fortunate that there was a camera on hand to record this once-in-a-lifetime event, which reminds us that we share the ocean with some extremely remarkable creatures here in Canada.