Three humpback whales have been filmed leaping from the water in unison, providing a spectacular birthday display for a father-of-three.
The incredibly rare synchronised triple breach was caught on video by Robert Addie, who described the “whale ballet” as “pure joy”.
The builder from New Hampshire had previously spent decades at sea as a commercial fisherman in Massachusetts and Alaska, during which time he had seen thousands of whales.
But he had never witnessed anything like Monday’s whale encounter on a tuna fishing trip off Cape Cod.
The excursion with his three daughters was to celebrate his 59th birthday and to mark his safe return from a humanitarian aid trip to Ukraine where he had come under heavy artillery fire.
During the fishing trip, he was trying to film some humpback whales about 300 yards from their boat but was having no luck, until the breathtaking coordinated display.
Mr Addie said: “You can hear my daughter in the video saying, ‘Oh, please tell me you got that on video’.
“Just pure joy because we could hear them too. You could hear that huge belly flop. And then they were communicating.
“It was such an uplifting thing to see. Just incredible. Just a real gift.
“A triple breach is unheard of and a synchronised triple breach is even rarer.
“It’s once in a lifetime. Just very fortunate. I feel God shined down on me to allow me to to capture that.”
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To add to the excitement, seconds after the three whales breached and twisted through the air, a younger whale did the same thing.
Whale experts later told Mr Addie the aerial manoeuvres may have been an attempt to remove parasites or aid digestion.
He believes they may have been “teaching or training” the younger whale.
Mr Addie added: “Even some of the whale experts that have reached out to me, they’re all jealous because they’ve never seen it.”