“I could just touch it. It was just rubbing gently against the boat, going under, coming out. All it has to do is flip its tail and the boat will be in the air.” –Aleks Mount
A family in a small motorboat off Vancouver Island in B.C. had a wildlife encounter of a lifetime after a school bus sized humpback whale spent nearly an hour investigating their small craft.
The CBC reports incident happened Tuesday northeast of Campbell River. Aleks Mount first spotted the whale about 100 meters away and immediately killed the engine and intended to observe from a safe distance. The whale then dove and stayed submerged for less than a minute before emerging directly off the gunwhale.
Realizing if he fired up the engine the prop may have injured the curious whale, Mount kept his cool and just floated around as the whale continued to circle the boat for nearly an hour, at times rubbing against the hull. Luckily the whale only hit the boat once with its fin, bending the railing a bit and leaving a few minor scratches.
A marine specialist later identified the humpback as a young male named Neowise. Mount considers himself lucky the whale was so aware of his body in the water and do further damage to the boat and will never forget the day a humpback paid his family a visit:
“I’ll forget my name and who I am before I forget this … it felt really special sharing that moment.”