Monday, June 7, 2010

Humpback encounter

Hello there

Saturday Stan and I had the good fortune to share some time with a humpback whale in Bull Arm. It had surfaced next to Stan about 200 metres away and before I knew it the whale was under me. I could see the white flippers in the waters beneath my kayak and motioned to Stan to come.

Its a very un-nerving feeling knowing such a leviathan is directly underneath the boat but, it was a gentle giant. It rose to the left of my boat and looked straight at me. I can't find the words to describe the feeling but maybe "spiritual" comes close. Words were not spoken but I felt there was a communication between us.

It sank back under the water, disappeared for some moments and rose again to wave its flipper at me.

A conversation ensued

Stan arrived and we shared a close encounter. We sat in our kayaks transfixed with what we were experiencing.

This shot is not as sharp as I'd have liked but you get the picture. I rushed to get the picture and didn't wait for the camera to finish focusing.

So much unseen

The whale bobbed around us; so much of its mass unseen beneath the water. Except by Stan who got lots of great shots on his Kayaking Dreamin' blog.

Just hanging around

At times it raised its head and other times it just swam around us, every now and then exhaling air with a fine mist of water.

I lost track of time. Maybe it was 5 minutes, maybe 15 and the whale swam off. Later we heard it a kilometre or so in the distance and paddled over to re-establish contact. It approached but did not stop.

Good bye friend

And, so, on this day we said our good byes. We'd only come into contact for a short time but I'm left with lasting memories.


  1. Wonderful chance to get 'up close and personal' with the big guys, Tony! Thanks for posting!!

  2. Michael, that's the satisfying thing for me about blogging. I can share my pictures and I can enjoy the pictures of others like yourself.

    This was the second time I've been this close and personal with a whale. This time was different though as I felt a connection. I hope I'm lucky enough to have an opportunity like it again.

    Tony :-)

  3. Wow Tony!!
    I could feel the fear and amazement and wonderment as I read your experience... I can just imagine the breath stopping moment you had eye to eye! I have had the experience with dolphns, but never a beat so big to make you appreciate your existence! A Rare and Beautiful moment !

    1. It will be a moment that will stay with me for the rest of my life Cathy. Its great to just be around whales but this was something like a "close encounter of the third kind".