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

Surrey woman with autism has scooter stolen from SkyTrain station

Kayla Polege purchased scooter after ‘shutdowns’ on transit

Phase three of ‘King George Hub’ development moves forward

Coast Capital Savings headquarters next to King George SkyTrain was phase one of the project

HOCKEY: Olympic dreams for Surrey teen now with Canada’s U18 team

Cloverdale’s Jenn Gardiner a third-year star with Comets of B.C. Female Major Midget League

OUR VIEW: Memories of the ‘strip’ still fresh

Can’t blame Surrey residents for being wary after the human tragedy of 135A Street

‘Quite a coup’ in rail-safety funding: South Surrey-White Rock MP

Relocation study not included in money for infrastructure improvements along waterfront train route

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Fashion Fridays: Rock some animal print

Kim XO, lets you in on the latest fall fashion trends on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

New evacuations ordered because of Florence flooding

Emergency managers on Friday ordered about 500 people to flee homes along the Lynches River

B.C. doctor weighs in on the kid ‘screen time’ debate

A Maple Ridge mother opens up about her children’s use of tablets, smartphones and television

Volunteer-based safety team gets city funding to continue work in Vancouver

Good Night Out is a non-profit society that works to keep people safe at night on Granville Strip

B.C. councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

5 to start your day

National forecaster issues rainfall warning, three crashes in Metro Vancouver overnight and more

Most Read