A lucky kayaker captured an amazing encounter with a pod of killer whales that’s the definition of up close and personal. Lucky for us, the enthusiastic fellow behind the camera was eager to share details of his once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The video takes place near Secretary Island, which is just off the coast of Sooke, BC, in the Juan de Fuca strait. Earlier that morning, responding to rumours that orcas were in the area, he took to the sea with a friend so they could see for themselves.
He explains that, “We could see the whales were swimming near Otter Point, about a mile and a half from where we drifted and bobbed about like buoys in our kayaks. We could just make out the black specks of dorsal fins on the horizon. The killer whales were hugging the shoreline, so we were completely amazed at the events that would take place over the next 30 minutes.”
They had roused the curiosity of the pod, which came in for a closer look.
He further described the fantastic event, saying, “A mother and her calf gave us an unbelievable experience; if I hadn’t caught the scene on video, I would never have believed it. I can wholeheartedly say that this was one of the most stunning, thrilling (and scary!) events of my life. Mother and baby swam straight towards us, and dove directly in front of the bow of my kayak. I could see them both swimming under my kayak and then disappear into the depths. Not knowing where or when then would emerge, I sat in anticipation. And then, they surfaced directly in front of my kayak.”
If you’d like to visit Sooke, you can learn more about their community by vising Discover Sooke.
Under normal circumstances, approaching whales is frowned upon, as it can agitate them. In this case, the pod actually approached the kayakers, but they were still reprimanded by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for not getting out of the way sooner. You can learn more about proper whale guidelines by visiting the Whale Wise website.