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

Four Tofino businesses up for Vancouver Island Excellence Awards

Tofino’s business community is shining with four Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards… Continue reading

Second fatal crash occurs in Alberni Valley

Traffic on Highway 4 is being re-routed as investigators are en route

Fireworks ignite ire in Ucluelet

“What does it take to actually have your bylaws enforced?”

Ucluelet RCMP urge residents to report suspicious activity to police, not just Facebook

“I definitely would advise people to lock their doors.”

Tofino and Ucluelet’s best sports stories of 2018

The West Coast’s athletes filled 2018 with flair, personal achievements and competitive success.

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of B.C. overpass

Dash cam footage shows vehicle speeding across Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam

Razor burn: Gillette ad stirs online uproar

A Gillette ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash

Feds poised to bolster RCMP accountability with external watchdog

Long-anticipated move is the latest attempt at rebuilding the force following years of sagging morale

Canada needs a digital ID system, bankers association says

The Department of Finance last week officially launched its public consultation on the merits of open banking

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Most Read