When Kristy Wright Schell and her husband Adam Schell ventured out on Vancouver's English Bay they weren't expecting to get quite the whale show.
The couple were out on their stand-up paddle boards on Saturday when a humpback whale breached right in front of them, — which Kristy captured on camera.
About a minute and half into the video, the whale surfaces and spirals back into the water, only to show up again a few metres away. All while the Schells gasp in wonder.
"There’s that awe-inspiring moment and you’re not sure if you’re excited or scared."
"I would call it spectacular. Heart-stopping. There’s that awe-inspiring moment and you’re not sure if you’re excited or scared," she told The Huffington Post Canada on Monday. According to Schell, being on a paddle board makes for a much more intimate experience.
They were a little apprehensive though, not knowing exactly where the whale would breach so Schell took precautionary measures.
"There’s always a chance that something can happen. If you listen in the video you can hear me tap my board to let her know we're there. They can sense vibration," she said. "They're just as surprised as you are when they surface because they don't know you're there."
It's the second incredible close encounter with humpbacks in the area this month. One kayaker almost got a whale tail to the face last week.
The full 50sec video can be viewed on the YouTube link in my bio. We set out to see if we could find the whale that has been feeding in the area for the last few days. My heart started racing when I saw small fish swimming to the surface in a frenzy, I knew it was close. 🐋 #whale #humpback #whalewatching #kayak #kayaking #kayakingadventure #vancouver #explorebc #explorecanada #explore #playhard #wildlife #modernoutdoors #oceanencounters #awesome #bucketlist #vancitybuzz #cbcvancouver
Schell, who owns Stand Up Paddle Vancouver, a paddle-boarding school, says she's seen a variety of marine life in the bay recently. She believes this is the same whale she's been seeing in the area for the past three weeks.
"The sightings are a sure sign that our bay is quite healthy. If there’s whales that means there’s fish and seals and krill," she said.
She hopes the video will serve a greater purpose, alluding to a small oil spill in the bay last week.
"I hope it inspires people to keep standing up for our ocean because we need to respect, admire and protect it," she said.