Curious humpback whale gets incredibly close to boat near Vancouver Island, becomes a YouTube star

Whale watchers near Victoria were given quite the thrill on Monday when a curious humpback whale got almost a little too close for comfort.

"Whale of a 'Purpose'" blogger Jeanne Hyde recorded the encounter and uploaded the video on YouTube.

Jim Maya, who runs Maya's Westside Whale Watch Charters on San Juan Island in Washington state, had taken out a group of tourists in Haro Strait when they spotted a humpback whale near D'Arcy Island, east of Vancouver Island.

A humpback whale in B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward"A fairly young female, perhaps five years old, I don't think it was fully grown yet, she just stayed around the boat for an hour swimming underneath the boat, spy-hopping next to us, looking at us," Maya told CBC News.

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The whale, nicknamed Wendy, then disappeared from sight — only to reappear closer than ever.

"We saw its fluke as it went underneath the boat, and of course everyone was thrilled, amazed, a little concerned," Maya said.

"She was under us...all around us...more than once her head was on the starboard side while her tail was on the port side! — Scary!" Hyde blogged about the encounter, calling the whale-watching adventure "amazing."

Maya believes Wendy the Whale will soon be heading to Hawaii, where humpbacks gather to breed every winter.