A pair of paddle boarders had a whale of a tale to tell after coming metres away from a humpback on Saturday.

Kristy Wright Schell and her husband Adam Schell were out on the waters off of Spanish Banks in Vancouver when they spotted a humpback whale.

The whale dove under the water, then breached just metres away from their paddle boards – not once, but twice.

“Next thing you know the nose of the whale comes out, and then the full aerial breach, the big splash, and its spiraling,” said Adam. “Your heart catches in your chest for a second because you can’t believe that something like that happened.” 

The couple admits there were a few nervous moments not knowing where the humpback would surface.

“I know they sense sound and vibration, so I tapped my board for my own safety – or to calm my nerves so she’ll know we’re here,” said Kristy, smiling.

It’s the second close encounter this week with a humpback whale in English Bay, although if it’s unclear if it’s the same one.

Wade Peeler and a friend went kayaking in English Bay hoping to catch a glimpse of the cetacean, believed to be the same one that’s been hanging around the area for weeks.

Peeler told CTV News they spotted the whale a couple hundred yards away and stopped so he could clear up space on his phone for pictures.

“All of a sudden a blow hole popped up just to my right,” he said. “I literally could have just put my hand out on its whale tail. If I was cognizant I could have high-fived him, but it was just too quick. You’re awe-struck.”

In both cases, those on the water say they weren’t trying to get that close to the whales – but they’re glad they did.

“It’s quite an unbelievable experience for anyone that gets a chance to see that,” said Adam. “It’s so amazing to see something like that happening right in front of you.”

With files from CTV Vancouver’s Scott Roberts