Campbell River-based ecotourism operator Nick Templeman captured photos of a rare ‘ghost whale’ in Seymour Narrows on Saturday. Photo courtesy Campbell River Whale and Bear Excursions

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

A rare “ghost whale” surfaced near Campbell River this weekend.

Nick Templeman, owner and operator of Campbell River Whale and Bear Excursions, encountered the pale orca on Saturday afternoon. It was a first for the longtime wilderness tourism operator.

“It still gives me goosebumps, even as we’re talking,” said Templeman, who is involved in whale identification work and collaborates with a California-based whale researcher.

The albino whale, known as T46B1B, was travelling with a pod of transient mammal-hunting orcas. The elusive white whale was previously spotted near Nanaimo.

Templeman encountered the rare creature in Seymour Narrows, a passage just north of Campbell River with infamously strong tidal currents.

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

READ MORE: B.C. whale watchers come across rare white orca

“Everybody was waiting patiently in Campbell River for a sighting, but there was a rather large ebb tide that night,” he said. “The ebb tide was holding them back in Seymour Narrows there, and then they probably passed through Campbell River at night.”

He captured images of the whale using a telephoto lens, and noted that federal regulations require whale watchers to stay 200 metres away from most killer whales on the B.C. coast. A 400-metre approach distance is in place for southern resident killer whales in their critical habitat.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Campbell River-based ecotourism operator Nick Templeman captured photos of a rare ‘ghost whale’ in Seymour Narrows on Saturday. Photo courtesy Campbell River Whale and Bear Excursions

Just Posted

San Group opens new sawmill in B.C.

It’s the first mill in 15 years to be built on west coast

Drive-in movie coming to Port Alberni

Event limited to 50 vehicles due to COVID-19

City of Port Alberni’s security program open to all residents

Matching grant program offers 50 percent reimbursement for security upgrades

Hundreds of cars participate in second Port Alberni Cruise for Care

Event was a salute to frontline workers at seniors’ care homes

VALLEY SENIORS: A second chance comes with enough memories for two

The Dietrich family makes its mark on Abbeyfield House in Port Alberni

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Island community

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Private school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Most Read