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

Rio Tinto donates $50K for Shames Mountain chairlift upgrades

The money was used to purchase the chairlift’s bull wheel replacement last summer

Broken axle caused New Hazelton train derailment: TSB

It could happen again without a different way to inspect trains

Cullen remains uncertain about political future

Says he’ll make decision in early March

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

Terrace resident’s bill banning single-use plastics introduced in Ottawa

MP Nathan Cullen’s presented Ben Korving’s private member’s bill Wednesday

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Most Read