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Humpback whales boat whale show to families near Campbell River

The family was initially “terrified” by a giant creature that could tip the boat out of the water.

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The Cumberland family, who took a boat off Vancouver Island this week in hopes of spotting whales, got more than they bargained for.

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A humpback whale lit up the boat and stayed within a few feet of the family boat for over an hour.

“The size of a school bus,” the humpback swims beneath and on either side of the family’s 19-foot boat, twirling and slapping its giant tail and front fins and often “waving at us.” ‘ it looked like. , filmed the encounter and posted it on his YouTube channel.

Alex Bowman, Mounts’ ex-wife and mother of two sons, ages 9 and 13, said: “It just didn’t want to leave. It was like giving us a high five.” Told.

A humpback whale got close to the Cumberland family on a boat northeast of the Campbell River on Tuesday, August 2, 2022. Courtesy: ALEX BOWMAN and ALEKS MOUNTS
A humpback whale got close to the Cumberland family on a boat northeast of the Campbell River on Tuesday, August 2, 2022. Courtesy: ALEX BOWMAN and ALEKS MOUNTS jpg

Mounts said it was a warm and calm day on the water on Tuesday northeast of the Campbell River when he spotted the whale about 100 meters away.

“I wanted to respect the rules regarding whales, so I turned the engine off immediately,” he said.

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However, the humpbacks dove in and after about a minute surfaced right under their boat. He thought the whale would move, but it did. Mounts said the family was initially “feared” that a giant creature could have flipped the boat out of the water.

He was reluctant to restart the engine for fear that the propeller would injure the humpback whale.

However, the encounter soon appeared to be friendly.

The whales swam under and along the sides of the boat, spinning and slapping their tails and flippers within inches of the boat. It often surfaced and sprayed the family from its blowholes. “I can taste it…his breath isn’t bad,” Mount said during the shoot.

He said the whale only made one point contact with the boat with its barnacle-covered fin, leaving several scratches and a slightly bent rail.

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“He waved at us and then violently threw us into the water. He was doing these yoga moves. It was crazy and unlike any of us had ever seen.” said Mounts.

“Incredibly kind and conscious”

Bowman said: He seemed more interested in us than we were in him. ”

A humpback whale got close to the Cumberland family on a boat northeast of the Campbell River on Tuesday, August 2, 2022. Courtesy: ALEX BOWMAN and ALEKS MOUNTS
A humpback whale got close to the Cumberland family on a boat northeast of the Campbell River on Tuesday, August 2, 2022. Courtesy: ALEX BOWMAN and ALEKS MOUNTS jpg

The whale was later confirmed to be a young male named Neowise. Humpback whales are identified by their unique fluke underside pattern, much like a human fingerprint.

Boat encounters with humpback whales aren’t common, says Andrew Tright, director of marine mammal studies at the University of British Columbia. However, he anticipates that closer encounters may occur as the species continues to make a major recovery from his early 1900s whaling slaughter and extinction in the Salish Sea.

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The whales may have been attracted to boat depth gauges or fishfinders, which use sound waves to measure depth, Trites said.

Sound waves are similar to the vocalizations whales use to communicate with each other, he said, and scientists are studying a possible connection between depth gauges and whales.

“It’s a high-frequency sound, a narrow beam that won’t hurt the whales, but they’re very vocal and like to communicate,” Trites says.

Humpback whales in BC waters come here to feed, but young whales understood the depth gauge as a ‘love song’ and listened to sound waves ‘pleasing as part of their social interaction’. Trite said it has a nature.

“Otherwise the boat is inanimate,” he said.

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Mounts said the depth gauge was on when he saw the whale and turned off when he turned off the boat’s engine.

Trites is concerned that increased encounters could pose a “great risk” for boaters. A male humpback usually weighs more than her 10,000 kilograms and is often unable to control its massive body and “limp” flippers.

“They’re huge, but they’re pretty clumsy,” Trites said, adding that if an Ebisu or Flipper crashed, it could destroy the boat and put the crew in great danger.

He recommends that boaters turn off their depth gauges when they spot a whale, and step away if the whale is too close and maintain a safe distance.

A humpback whale got close to the Cumberland family on a boat northeast of the Campbell River on Tuesday, August 2, 2022. Courtesy: ALEX BOWMAN and ALEKS MOUNTS
A humpback whale got close to the Cumberland family on a boat northeast of the Campbell River on Tuesday, August 2, 2022. Courtesy: ALEX BOWMAN and ALEKS MOUNTS jpg

Humpback whale populations in the North Pacific are increasing at an alarming rate.

Naturalists aboard whale-watching vessels reported 21 new calves last summer and fall, according to the Center for Whale Research in Washington.

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Populations declined by 95% worldwide until the International Whaling Commission finally stopped harvesting the species for meat and oil in 1985.

Humpback whales have been protected in Canada since 1966. Prior to that, since 1908, he had caught at least 5,600 humpback whales at a whaling station off the coast of BC, according to a recent Ocean Watch report, and the population had plummeted.

The Salish Sea is one of the last historical areas to be ‘reoccupied’ by humpback whales since the whaling era began with a single whale nearly 20 years ago. Others and their calves followed.

Ocean Watch says the inland waters of the Strait of Georgia, which stretches south to Puget Sound, are likely where “a small number of humpback whales became extinct by 1909.”

As humpback whales begin to reanimate their historic summer feeding grounds in the Salish Sea, Treyt said it’s essential to develop respectful relationships about how humans interact with them. I’m here.


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Humpback whales boat whale show to families near Campbell River

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