A gray whale delighted onlookers and photographers Wednesday morning as it was spotted coming to the surface in the estuary near the Courtenay Airpark.
A group of around 20 people stopped to watch the whale close to the float plane ramp on the east side of the park. Initial reports of the whale in the area came in around 9 a.m.
The whale rose to the surface and spouted regularly every two to four minutes, and created a heart-shaped blow due to a double blow-hole.
Members from Fisheries and Oceans Canada were on scene taking photographs and confirmed the whale was a gray and not a humpback.