Galiano resident Douglas Thistle-Walker went for his usual afternoon stroll but happened to witness an unforgettable moment in nature.
While meandering through a forest trail on Nov. 21, he heard an unmistakable sound.
"I first heard them breathing. Just like the sound of their breath,” he says.
Knowing that distinct sound of air coming out of orcas, he ran to a nearby lookout to catch a glimpse.
“It took about a minute for me to like, kind of get to a point where I could see them clearly,” he recalls.
It was the perfect vantage point, he says, where he could see the whales frolicking in the water. Using his Google Pixel cellphone, he zoomed in and got unbelievable video footage.
"I was just kind of standing there and then all of a sudden, they just all started like jumping up and having some fun and slapping their tails,” he tells Glacier Media. “The sound... rolling up the cliffs was amazing.”
Thistle-Walker says the whales played for about five minutes; at times, they jumped and splashed in unison.
The video he took allows him to relive the moment.
“It was wonderful,” he says. “If you're lower down, you wouldn't have had the angle, so I was just in the right place at the right time.”
His video has been watched more than 83,000 times and he’s happy other people get to experience it too.
"I haven't seen them really putting on a show like that. They took their time. They were there hanging out and having fun.”