At the same time a large tuboat and barge approached the whale but slowed down, gave a wide berth, and passed without incident. Ship strikes are a big problem for Humpbacks and it was nice to see a captain handle a whale encounter in a responsible manner.
Once the Tugboat passed we waited for the whale to appear again. They can dive for up to a half hour but according to Catherine Granton, an onboard naturalist, local humpbacks average around 5 minutes before surfacing.
Moments later we had our closest encounter of the day as the whale surfaced with a loud blow right next to the boat, scaring the crap out of most of us!
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