Humpback near Galiano Island – 8/8/13

My first encounter with a humpback was also my most memorable. We spotted a humpback off of Galiano and made our approach. The whale surfaced in the distance a few times then changed direction and came right towards us! Humpbacks usually make 4-5 short shallow dives before arching their backs high (this is when you get to see the tail flukes) and make a long deep dive. Our lovely whale dived right off our starboard and went under the boat for what I thought would be a 10 min dive. I hopped up onto the stern railing to talk to my passengers when all of a sudden a huge “WHOOOSH” came from directly behind me and the whale came up close enough that I could have touched it. Being the professional that I am, I screamed and fell off the railing, thankfully into the boat and not into the water. Our giant rolled onto her side and gave us a lovely view of her side and tail flukes. You could actually see all the barnacles and mussels growing on her. She spent the next 15 min exploring our boat and lazing about at the surface. You could see her looking at us and she appeared to be just as curious about us as we were of her. It was easily one of the best whale watching days I’ve ever had!

Check out an awesome video of this encounter!

-Annie

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