GLOUCESTER , MASS. (WHDH) - A whale made a splashing appearance off the coast of Gloucester on Wednesday.
After spending over five decades of his life in the area, Tom got the shot of a lifetime, recording as the large marine mammal surfaced just feet from his small fishing boat.
“This was unbelievable, but, I didn’t expect that,” Shatford said.
Shatford has been living on the water for most of his life, so when he heard a pod of whales were making their way through the area of Kettle Cove Island, he thought he would check it out.
“I went out there, hoping to see the whale a little closer,” he said. “I did not expect anything like that. Believe me.”
Shatford says for him this was a unique experience.
But officials say the whales have been putting on a lot of shows recently.
Gloucester’s Assistant Harbormaster Mike Birchenough says the whale in the video, most likely a humpback or a finback, was most likely enjoying its dinner.
“It used to be that some of these whale watch boats would have to go out 30 nautical miles,” Birchenough said. “They don’t have to go far anymore. The fish, the whales are coming to us.”
Despite the increased sightings, Shatford believes his luck was no coincidence.
He lost his wife to pancreatic cancer two years ago and he suspects she may have been out on the deck of the boat with him.
“I just felt her presence out there when the whale did the jump, and then he kind of like waved to me because he threw his flipper at me,” he said fondly. “It was just so, so peaceful. It was amazing.”
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