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Breaching whale a ‘wave from heaven’ for surprised widower

For The Win logo For The Win 7/14/2019 David Strege
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Doug Shatford, who lost his wife Michelle to pancreatic cancer in 2017, experienced a close encounter with a breaching humpback whale that he felt held a special meaning, a wave from his wife from heaven, as reported by CBS Boston.

Shatford saw whales "playing, blowing their spouts and diving" off Gloucester, Mass., on Wednesday evening and decided to jump into his 20-foot fishing boat to go get a photo of them.

"I'm not good at the filming part of it," he told CBS Boston. "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 percent battery. I can't really even see."

But Shatford captured the magic moment just fine as the humpback surfaced close to his boat with gaping mouth feeding on a school of fish, catching him by surprise.

"Wow, that was crazy," he said in the video originally posted on his daughter's Facebook page. "I didn't mean to get that close…Look at that, he's waving at me."

File Photo © File Photo File Photo

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"I think my wife may have been steadying the camera," Shatford, a father of three, told CBS Boston. "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…

"It was just beautiful. It was amazing. It was a beautiful, beautiful sight."

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