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Courtenay family has close encounter with pair of humpback whales

COMOX, B.C- A Comox Valley family got up close and personal with two whales on Tuesday.

According to Shannon Morfitt, who recorded the encounter, the family had been heading out from Comox to Texada Island around 11:00 a.m. to go fishing.

While passing through the Georgia Strait enroute to the island, they noticed a pair of whales near their location. After they stopped to watch the whales, the pair slipped beneath the surface.

They later re-surfaced close to their boat, and spent the next hour swimming around the vessel.
“We’ve never had them come that close to us, they usually take off in the other direction,” said Morfitt.

“It was a little unnerving for them to be that close to us, because they dwarf our boat, they’re quite large.”

The family kept the boat off and the engines up during the encounter, and headed off to the island as soon as they believed it was safe to move.

“Definitely the experience of a lifetime, not something you get to see very often,” said Morfitt.

She shared videos and photos of the experience online, and garnered a mixed reaction.

“There were a lot of people that were quite jealous, they wish they could have been there themselves,” said Morfitt.

“There were people upset that we were too close. But there’s not much you can do if the whales come to you. We had our distance initially, but they came to us.”

Tips for what to do when encountering whales can be seen here:

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