British Columbia·Video

Fishing boat has close encounter with humpback whale off Haida Gwaii

A father-son duo got more than they expected on their family fishing trip when a humpback whale broke through the water's surface mere meters from their boat.

A father and son get an unexpected up-close look at a massive mammal

(Trevor Ryan/Youtube)

When David Ryan and his son Trevor set off for a day of fishing on the coast of Langara Island — the northernmost of Haida Gwaii's Islands — they were hoping to see plenty of salmon, but instead they had a close encounter with a humpback whale.

They were in Explorer Bay when they first spotted the massive mammal off in the distance.

Minutes later, the whale broke through the surface of the water just meters away from their boat. Trevor had his camera rolling and managed to get the encounter on video.

David speculates the whale could've been drawn to a nearby "bait ball", which is when small fish swim in a tightly packed spherical formation. They'd noticed such a ball in their vicinity. 

The experience had him awestruck.

"It was surreal," he says.