WATCH: Rare close encounter with whale pod

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

“Wow” is a common word used by whale watchers, but the wow factor of this encounter was greater than most.

A pod of Southern Resident orca whales passed so close to the shore, bystanders along Galiano Island could have reached out and petted them.

“I could have put my hand in and touched one, but I respect them so much I would never want to interfere with their natural tradition,” said Rachelle Hayden, who was standing along the edge of the shore in the video.

RELATED: Humpback rubs against whale-watching boat near Campbell River

Hayden, a Galiano Island resident had gotten a phone call from a friend who gave her the heads up the pod of whales were heading through Active Pass. She ran out with her husband who took the video as whales breached right off the shore.

“You will see J46, Star, a female orca actually looks right at me and stops and stares at me,” Hayden continued. “I felt like she was trying to communicate… all I could do as a human was wave but I felt like there was a communication.”

RELATED: Humpbacks breach so close man can smell whale

Hayden, who runs a Tour Galiano had seen whales before, but never that close and remembers being so excited with the encounter she has since watched the video 1,000 times.

“It was incredible I was so happy, it has brought happiness to other people watching it (too),” she said.

arnold.lim@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Just Posted

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Port Alberni bands ‘out of the basement’ and onto an album

Two bands, products of the Alberni Valley’s school of rock, celebrate their CD debut

Stephen Novik takes the mic at Words on Fire in Port Alberni

Event takes place Aug. 29 at Char’s Landing

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Retired Vancouver Island teacher ‘Set for Life’ after $675K lottery win

Patrick Shannon plans to buy new sails for his sailboat

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Most Read