WATCH: Incredible Vancouver Island orca encounter captured on video

WATCH: Incredible Vancouver Island orca encounter captured on video

Thousands watch video of whale encounter on Twitter

You could wait a lifetime for a moment like the one posted to Twitter by Olympian rower Silken Laumann.

Laumann posted a video taken by her daughter Kate of an orca encounter off the end of their dock in Saanichton’s Henderson Point Saturday morning. Laumann said she had just finished a shower when she looked out the window and noticed whale watching boats, not far from their dock.

“I screamed, ‘whale, whale, whale!’” she recalled.

As Laumann and her daughter Kate got to the end of their dock, they saw a group of transient killer whales come in and begin playing between their dock and the next-door neighbour’s.

Kate quickly took out her phone and managed to capture the incredible encounter.

READ ALSO: Bigg’s orcas in the Salish Sea point to shifting habitat of resident killer whales

Laumann estimates there were about five orcas in the water – including two calves – but said its hard to count during such a breathtaking experience.

“It was just so exhilarating,” she said. “You get a sense of their power, their size…we both left feeling so grateful that we had this encounter.”

“The whole encounter was two or three minutes,” she added. “But it seemed like a long time because it was so magnificent.”

The video, posted Saturday, has garnered nearly 6,000 likes and over 570 retweets.

Many Twitter users expressed joy and jealousy at getting the chance to watch Laumann’s close encounter. Others thanked her for remaining quiet and allowing for the “sounds of nature” to come through.

Getting close to orcas the way Laumann did is increasingly rare under the DFO’s new distance rules that prohibit whale watchers and other vessels from going within 400 metres from any killer whale pods spotted in the Salish Sea. The rules are intended mainly to protect Vancouver Island’s resident pods, threatened by noise pollution and food scarcity.

READ ALSO: Education first step in Canada’s new southern resident killer whale conservation mandates

Laumann said the orca encounter, although not her first, is a reminder that the Island is a sacred and shared place.

“We’re fortunate because we share our environment with so many wild things. I’ve had the privilege to see grizzly bears and killer whales…it gives you more respect. We are sharing this land – its not all for us, it’s for them too.”

Laumann is an Olympic rower, author and motivational speaker. She shares stories of notable and inspirational Canadians on her website, weareunsinkable.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Former Vancouver Canucks goaltender Richard Brodeur discussing his paintings with the executive director of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan Kirsteen McCulloch. (Contributed)
Former Canucks goalie King Richard’s art displayed at Kelowna gallery

Richard Brodeur starred in the Vancouver Canucks’ 1982 Stanley Cup run

A confirmed case of COVID-19 at Vernon’s Silver Star Elementary School has been reported. (Google Maps)
COVID case confirmed at Vernon elementary school

Member of Silver Star Elementary community self-isolating at home; letter sent to parents Nov. 28

Vernon cowboy Jaret Cooper, shown competing at B.C. High School Rodeo event earlier in 2020 in Quesnel, hopes to defend his Junior World Finals rodeo saddle bronc title next month. (Cassidy Dankochik - Black Press Media)
Vernon cowboy hoping to defend world title

Jaret Cooper has qualified in saddle bronc for the Junior World Finals rodeo in Texas

Members of the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP paid tribute Saturday to Const. Marc Hovingh of the Ontario Provincial Police, who was killed in a shooting Nov. 19, 2020. (RCMP photo)
Vernon RCMP honours fallen Ontario police officer

Const. Marc Hovingh was killed in a shooting on Manitoulin Island, Ont. on Nov. 19

Movie crews filmed a holiday parade in Summerland in July. The parade, filmed on Main Street in Summerland, is for the movie, The Christmas Yule Blog. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Real Canadian Superstore in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
Kelowna Superstore employee tests positive for COVID-19

The last day the employee worked was Nov. 23

Steve French caught the halo moon on his camera on Saturday night. (Steve French Facebook)
Did you see the halo moon last night?

The halo is actually millions of tiny ice crystals

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP issue warning after woman assaulted while walking in Kelowna

On Saturday, the unknown man ran up and grabbed her in an inappropriate manner before fleeing

Most Read