Video: Humpback whales treat tourists to an early-morning show off B.C. coast

“Our guests, who have never seen anything like this before … those people will go away with a memory they will never forget for the rest of their lives.”

Tourists staying at a lodge on a Vancouver Island were treated to a spectacular show when a group of humpback whales visited for breakfast.

Marg Leehane, co-owner of Great Bear Lodge in Port Hardy, decided it was worth waking up the guests at 6 a.m. Saturday when the whales approached the docks.

She shot a video that has been viewed more than 1.5 million times on Instagram and shows the whales leaping from the water mere metres from the tourists.

Leehane says the video shows the whales using a feeding technique called bubble netting, in which humpbacks blow a large circle of bubbles around fish to trap them.

She says she’s never seen whales so close to the lodge, and until last year she’d never seen humpbacks in the area use the bubble-netting technique to catch fish.

The technique is learned, rather than instinctual, and not all groups of humpbacks know how to do it, so seeing it up close was a special experience for Leehane.

“One of them will swim in a circle around fish, and as it’s doing it, it will release air from its blowhole, and basically create a net of bubbles,” she says.

“Then the fish get more and more concentrated … so (the whales) will get a lot more of them in each mouthful.”

Related: VIDEO: Humpback rubs against whale-watching boat near Campbell River

Related: Killer whale pushing dead calf gets support from her pod

Leehane adds that the excited reaction of biologist and tour guide Marlo Shaw in the video is almost as entertaining as the animals themselves.

The video shows a beaming Shaw ushering guests onto the docks, excitedly pointing at the whales and giving high fives after the animals burst from the water.

“I love watching her body language as much as the whales, because she’s so excited to see it,” laughs Leehane.

Leehane has worked in the wilderness in B.C. for 17 years and has seen her fair share of incredible wildlife. The best part for her is knowing that the tourists, who were mainly visiting from the United Kingdom, will take the incredible memory home with them.

“Our guests, who have never seen anything like this before … those people will go away with a memory they will never forget for the rest of their lives.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vancouver Island homeowners buy more earthquake insurance than the rest of B.C.

Insurance Bureau of Canada says that’s because the perception of risk is greater on the Island

Anxiety amongst voters on amalgamation referendum

Non-binding referendum asks Victoria and Saanich residents to endorse citizens’ assembly

District of Oak Bay issues notice to cease tent city

The notice is effective immediately

Missing 72-year-old man last seen in Langford

Albert Bedard has been missing since Oct. 12

Persons Day celebrates historic achievement of five suffragettes

Landmark case 89 years ago declared women “persons” making them eligible for the Senate

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Most Read