“A once in a lifetime experience.”
That’s how John Bridge and Virginia Olnick described a close encounter with a humpback whale that happened on Sunday.
The pair were on Bridge’s 56-foot yacht, the Sounder Decision, on their way to Desolation Sound from Lasquiti Island when they spotted the whale in the distance.
“We stopped 200 metres away because you’re not supposed to get too close to them, right, so we shut the engines down and just drifted, and the next thing you know he just popped up right beside us,” said Bridge.
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“I go wow, like holy crap! I’ve seen lots of orcas, but I’ve never seen a humpback. And then he just came and hung out with us. He was going from one side of the boat to the other, just popping up and just rolling over. It was crazy.”
Bridge said the whale looked to be about 40 feet long and weigh about 30 tonnes, and was covered in barnacles.
The animal appeared very curious, and was in no hurry to leave, he added.
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The whale hung around for about 10 minutes, blowing spray from its blowhole and saying hello, he said.
“People pay thousands of dollars to see that. We were totally not expecting to see that.”
Bridge said he and Olnick will be heading back through the same area on Wednesday, and are hopeful they’ll have another encounter with their new friend.