(Mike Gregory/Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle)

(Mike Gregory/Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle)

Orca breaches near whale watching boat on Vancouver Island

“I had just picked up her camera to take a few shots when this beautiful orca breached 30 feet from our boat”

Whale watching adventures are very popular on Vancouver Island, and with good reason.

You never know what you’ll see when heading out onto the open water and sometimes you’re able to catch that special moment in time that makes it all worth while.

Black Press editor Mike Gregory had one of those moments during the Canada Day long weekend when he snapped this amazing photo of an orca whale breaching the water near Valdes Island, south of Nanaimo.

“My fiancée and I took her mother and a cousin, who is visiting from Poland and here for our wedding. Earlier in the tour we had seen a family just around the corner from Cowichan Bay as well as a humpback whale,” said Gregory.

“Our guides with Ocean Ecoventures Whale Watching ‘rolled the dice’ as we made our way out to the Strait. We bobbed around in the ocean watching in silence as three orca families socialized in the early evening sun off of Valdes Island. I had just picked up her camera to take a few shots when this beautiful orca breached 30 feet from our boat. It was an experience I was so happy to share with my family.”

It’s not rare to see these animals playing in the wild off B.C.’s west coast, but it’s not easy to be ready with a camera when these rare moments present themselves – especially when it happens so close.

Do you have any great photos or videos? Send them along to your local Black Press community newsroom.

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(Mike Gregory/Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle)

(Mike Gregory/Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle)