Michael Hack and his girlfriend were strolling with their dog along the Sea Walk in Campbell River on Monday, April 11, when they noticed they had some company nearby.
Less than 100 feet off the shore, approximately in line with the 50th parallel, a family of orca were frolicking along, heading north.
“They were jumping, and doing a bunch of stuff, so we scrambled down the rocks and watched them from there,” Hack said.
As the couple’s car wasn’t too far away, they decided to race ahead of the family of orca, and make their way to Discovery Pier.
“They were so close to the shore, we thought they were going to swim under the pier for sure,” he said.
READ MORE: Orcas swimming in Comox Marina
Hack enjoys photography, and posts some impressive wildlife/ landscape photos on Instagram under the account @michaelrhack.
He noted he would ordinarily be carrying a camera with him, but in this instance he only had his phone, so he pressed record and filmed one of the whales performing barrel rolls just under the surface.
Another orca, which he was unable to capture on film swam the whole distance of the pier, he said.
“It was weaving in between the pylons. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
The video he did manage to snag earned him over a thousand shares when he posted it on Facebook.
This isn’t the first time Hack’s come into close contact with the incredible creatures.
“I’ve seen them from the pier another time they came similarly close,” he said. “And a couple years ago I was out kayaking when they swam right underneath our kayaks.”
The experience never gets old, he added.
“Every single time is just as exciting as the last, it’s something I don’t think I’ll ever get over.”