WATCH: A Sunday whale watching tour out of Campbell River turned into a 90-minute “mugging” by a 14-metre humpback whale.
As Nick Templeman was preparing for another whale watching trip from Campbell River Tuesday he was still thinking about what happened Sunday near Mitlenatch Island.
“It was my 25-foot long boat compared to a 45-foot long whale so yeah it was huge,” said Nick Templeman of Campbell River Whale and Bear Excursions.
The encounter with the huge humpback whale began from a distance.
“We could see over to the right this big breach was happening so there was one big full breach then another big full breach,” added Templeman.
He says he and other whale watching boats were keeping 100 metres away as per Department of Fisheries and Oceans rules but as is often the case the whale had other ideas and seemed just as curious about the boat as the whale watchers were of it.
“Well he just all of a sudden was within 20 or 30 metres and for me, that was just too close for engines running and things like that so we just shut down and let him do his thing and that’s when he kind of approached,” he said.
Templeman has been whale watching for 22 years on the east and west coast of the island and even with all the humpbacks now in waters around the island he says he’s never had an experience quite like that before.
“I wasn’t nervous, we were all excited,” he said.
“I think in Hawaii it comes with the term ‘mugging’ right, you get mugged by these guys and like I said you feel like you’re being mugged. In the end, of it you’re just sitting there like did that just happen and what just happened and why and holy cow you know it was pretty incredible.”