Janusz Kowalski has seen orcas in Active Pass before, but not so many from so close — splashing and diving as they swam by the Galiano Island shore — and not while he was filming.

Kowalski shot 3½ minutes of the up-close swim-by and posted the footage on YouTube on Sunday.

"We love sharing such amazing moments with the rest of people that may not be as fortunate as us and be able to see the orcas out in the wild," he told CBC News in an email.


How many orcas swim by? We keep losing count. (Janusz Kowalski/YouTube)

The video was shot from a friend's property, which is on a point where Active Pass takes a sharp turn, across from Miner's Bay on Mayne Island.

"The whales seem to enjoy the kelp beds there, as this is not the first time they swam this close," Kowalski said.

Kowalski said the island has been a special place for him — and for the friends that can be heard cheering in the video — for more than 13 years.


'Cannot really express the feeling of seeing them live.' (Janusz Kowalski/YouTube)