An extended close encounter with a humpback whale off B.C.'s north coast was caught on camera, and some of the incredible footage is now being shared online.

B.C.'s Deb Emery and husband Doug, who run Thunder 1 Adventures, were out on a fishing charter trip near Prince Rupert when they came across the lone whale.

As the boat sits, engine off, the gentle giant rolls around in the water and glides up to it — at times coming within inches of the boat, but never touching it.

"He's like, just swimming and checking us out," one of the watchers whispers.

Humpback whale encounter off Prince Rupert - YouTube

The humpback comes right up beside the boat a number of times. No one touches the whale, but it was so close it would have been possible. (Deb Emery/YouTube)

Several times, the whale comes right up to the surface at the boat's side and loudly exchanges air through its blowhole. No one touches the animal, but it was so close it would have been possible.

"You could touch him, he's so close," Emery is heard saying.

The friendly in-your-face visit lasted for more than an hour, and thrilled everyone on the boat.

Emery says she's seen many whales between Prince Rupert and Vancouver Island, but she's never had an encounter quite like this one.

Humpback whale encounter off Prince Rupert - YouTube

Deb Emery recorded and posted six minutes and 44 seconds of the unforgettable hour-long encounter to YouTube this week. (Deb Emery/YouTube)

With files from CHEK News