Humpback whale's backflip caught on camera off Brier Island
Operator of Mariner Cruises Whale and Seabird Tours says she's never seen a whale breach like that
You've heard of a whale of a tale, but one whale watcher has a whale of a photo.
Penny Graham runs Mariner Cruises Whale and Seabird Tours out of Brier Island, N.S.
While out with a tour on Friday, Graham snapped a photo of an adult humpback whale breaching.
Most of the backflipping whale's body is out of the water in the photo. It's framed by a shower of spray and a sheet of fog.
"Isn't that an amazing picture? It's a moment I'll never forget," she told CBC's Maritime Noon.
"I started whale watching in 1984 with my husband Roy when he was alive and never before have I captured a whale in that position."
Sandy Seliga, a visitor from Toronto who was on the boat, caught the breach on video and it was uploaded online by the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.
Graham says for the past few days she's been running tours in the thick fog.
"Fog is one of our natural wonders down here, it just keeps us wondering what it's going to do," she said.
When they're struggling against a wall of fog, Graham says she cuts the engine on the boat and listens for the whales coming up to breathe.
That day, the group found a mother and calf.
After watching for a while, her tour boat was turning around to leave when they heard a loud bang coming from in front of them.
They cut the engine again, and came across a breaching whale.
"Now, what a show that whale was putting on. It was just non stop," said Graham.
She said it breached about 30 times.
"I'm not a scientist, but I honestly believe that whale was having just as good of a time as we were," she said.
The tour operator says she had tourists from Japan and Israel on the boat and was thrilled to show them the natural wonders of Nova Scotia.
"I do not ever get tired of this because you have to expect the unexpected," she said.