A fishing charter out of Seward, Alaska had quite the shock of a lifetime recently when nearly a dozen humpback whales surfaced right next to the boat in a feeding mode known as a “bubble net.”

Brad Rich and his wife Jenna were motoring in Resurrection Bay on their way to enjoy a pleasant day of halibut and salmon fishing when they spotted a pod of humpback whales in the distance. So they put the boat in neutral and waited to see what happened.

Suddenly at least nine large humpbacks surfaced in a circular pattern with their jaws open. The feeding behavior called bubble netting occurs when the whales work together from below and push bubbles of air toward the surface, corralling the krill and small fish they feed on.

By the reaction to Brad Rich holding the camera, it was a thrill of a lifetime. Rich told ABC World News Tonight that he recently retired as a school custodian.

“We were motoring off the resurrection bay and saw some whales in the distanc enad decided to put the boat in neutral,” he said.

And are they glad they did.

Photo credit: Youtube screenshot