She’s Not Alone
It was a regular breezy day in August and the inlet was completely flat. There wasn’t a single disturbance on the surface of the pure blue water. Natasha smiled and dived in. She immediately felt relief against the sun from the cool waters. But then there was something else that she didn’t expect.
She noticed that the water close to her was frothing and bubbling. It was as if something was lurking beneath. Natasha felt her pule start to race as she felt a lump in her throat. She wasn’t the only thing in the water.
A Weekend Getaway
It was a hot summer’s day when Natasha packed her bags in her car and got behind the wheel. She asked her friends if they were excited for a great weekend. To which they replied, “yeah!”.
The friends were looking forward to a relaxing weekend at Lake Crystal. They remembered all the previous time being there and how fun it was. But they didn’t know that the lake had other things in store for them.
They drove halfway to the lake when one friend, Rich, needed to go to the bathroom. Natasha luckily saw a gas station and pulled in. While Rich used the bathroom she noticed an old man staring at her.
He was covered in grease from working on cars and he barely had any hair left underneath his cap. He started walking over to their car. Natasha felt something knot in her stomach.
Strange Old Man
“Where you guys off to?” he grimly asked, she could smell the liquor on his breath. “We’re off to a lodge nearby,” Natasha said blandly, hesitant to give out information. “Port Hardy?” he asked. But Natasha gave no reply.
She didn’t have to tell him anything more. The old man kept eye contact with her for a while before saying “You just be careful in the water pretty lady.” He then turned and hobbled off.
Driving As Fast As She Could
Rich finished his business and they all continued their drive to the lake. Natasha wanted to get far away from the old man, but she had no idea what she was driving straight for.
After an hour the friends arrived at their destination. It was an old lodge they had used many times before. But they had no idea what was waiting for them in the lake.
The Perfect Weekend
They unpacked the car and everyone changed into their swimsuits. The guys started preparing a delicious BBQ while the girls got ready to swim.
The sun was bright, the air was full of laughter, and the lake’s water was crystal clear. What could ruin such a great place? But it would soon be apparent that it wasn’t so hard.
Swimming In The Lake
While the friends laughed and splashed around in the refreshing water, something started happening two meters away. The water bubbled up from below as if something was there. Natasha had a bad feeling.
The water had frothed up and become opaque but it was clear something was underneath the surface. They didn’t need to find out what it was, they all aimed to get out of the water before it was too late.
Get Out Quick
They all screamed as they tried to swim towards the pier. They had to be quick.
Natasha felt her pulse race like an Olympic swimmer going for gold. They didn’t have much time and even adrenaline couldn’t guarantee that they would make it.
Watching The Lake
They all managed to get to the pier in the nick of time. They all wrapped up in towels before calling over the cheery men to investigate.
They all watched together as the water kept bubbling. But then something appeared that no one could ever have prepared for.
Something grey began to emerge from the center of the bubbles, and then another. As they stood on the dock, the friends knew they were witnessing something spectacular.
They were, in fact, two whales — slowly swimming around, with bubbles following them. What were they doing? Natasha knew she needed to find out the truth.
Finding Out The Truth
She whipped out her phone and started to google about whales and bubbles. And within a few minutes, she found the answer she had been looking for.
It turned out that these were humpback whales, and they were “bubble-net fishing” — something that not many people have been lucky enough to witness first hand.
What A Sight
The group of friends couldn’t believe the sight before their eyes. It was interesting to watch, to say the least. But then the water stopped bubbling and a stillness lingered in the inlet. They had gone.
Natasha looked at her friends and their expressions were as surprised as hers. She knew that what they had just witnessed was extremely rare!
Great Bear Lodge
Great Bear Lodge is situated on the coastline of British Columbia. The floating lodge is right on the inlet, which is fed by the North Pacific Sea.
The lodge’s location offers a unique opportunity to see wildlife up close. But Marg Leehane, co-owner of Great Bear Lodge, had never seen anything like this before.
Although Marg had seen humpback whales in the area before, she’d never seen them swim so close to the lodge. She’s been working in the wilderness in B.C. for 17 years and has seen her fair share of incredible wildlife.
But she had never seen the whales employ this special hunting technique before.
The “bubble net” technique is learned rather than instinctual, and not all groups of humpbacks know how to do it. Seeing it up close was a special experience for Marg.
“One of them will swim in a circle around fish, and as it’s doing it, it will release air from its blowhole, and basically create a net of bubbles,” she said.
“Then the fish get more and more concentrated … so [the whales] will get a lot more of them in each mouthful,” Marg explained.
“Our guests, who have never seen anything like this before … those people will go away with a memory they will never forget for the rest of their lives,” she added. But nobody expected the reactions to her video.
Marg, luckily, had her camera ready and caught the unique encounter on camera. She posted it on Instagram with a caption.
“What an amazing morning – humpbacks came for breakfast! We’ve never seen them this close to the lodge before, and so fantastic to see them bubble netting. Nearly as good as the whales was the reaction of our guide, @Marlosha, who was pretty excited!” Marg wrote.
Since Marg posted the video on the Great Bear Lodge’s Instagram and Facebook page, it’s had over three million views and hundreds of comments.
“Oh, that is wonderful!” one commenter wrote, “What an amazing spectacle for you all! If only you could promise that for each group of guests. Luckily, we all have our own special moments whether it be whales, bears or other wildlife. Every moment at Great Bear Lodge is special!”
“It was so cool to see them bubble netting so close, to see the fish jumping out of the way as the whales rose up,” Marg gushed in an interview.
“This is definitely the first time we’ve seen whales feeding so close to the dock!” She added. “The closest I’ve seen them feeding before is probably 200 meters [220 yards], so it was quite a surprise to us when they decided to come so close!”
“We focus on bears out here of course, but we’re all wildlife geeks,” Marg told BNQT. “So we get really excited about seeing anything to do with nature, as you can see from the video!”
“Isn’t that crazy!! If only those two humpbacks knew how famous they were,” Marg continued. The sighting was definitely a very special one for the visitors and staff of Great Bear Lodge!