GLOUCESTER (CBS) – Video shows an up-close encounter between a boater and a humpback whale off Gloucester Wednesday evening.

“It was just beautiful. It was amazing. It was a beautiful, beautiful sight,” Doug Shatford said.

The dad of three was walking along shore in the village Magnolia when he first saw them.

“The whales are playing, blowing their spouts and diving,” Shatford explained. “I said I’m going to go get a nice picture of those whales. I’m going to go out there and see them.”

He hopped in his 20-foot boat, having no idea how close he’d get. And the video proof of this whale of a tale almost didn’t happen. He pulled out his phone camera and caught a whale breaching, sending fish flying into the air.

“I’m not good at the filming part of it,” he said. “It’s always my foot or I shut it off when I’m supposed to turn it on. I’m out there filming and I got 1% battery. I can’t really even see.”

Doug suspects this extraordinary encounter may actually have been a “wave” from heaven. He lost his wife Michelle to pancreatic cancer in 2017.

“I think my wife may have been steadying the camera,” Shatford said. “I felt her presence out there. The way I got the video and just how beautiful it was. Everything that happened with that whale, I’m sure my wife was out there with me.”

“See you later buddy,” Shatford called out to the whale. “I love you!”

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