A Victoria man and his family were fishing for prawns but managed to attract a much bigger sea creature.

Kyle Noble captured footage of a pair of humpback whales on Jan. 1 as they breached close to his his boat near Gabriola Island. 

"They were playing hide-and-seek with us," Noble told CBC. "They kept up popping up on different sides of the boat. They were within inches of us. We could have reached down and touched them." 

The family dog, however, wasn't as convinced about the barnacled-covered whales, giving them a bit of a growl in warning. 

Noble's family was in a eight-metre boat, but he said it felt small compared to the whales. 

"They were ginormous," he said. 

The whales hung out with the boat for a while, even rubbing up against the vessel, before taking off. 

About an hour later they were back, even though Noble had moved the boat south. 

Noble said it was an overwhelming experience that left him giddy. He's seen humpbacks before but never so close to a boat.  

"It was amazing. Just a thrill ride of emotions."