A humpback whale was spotted swimming through the waters near Polzeath on June 19 by a very lucky passerby.

John Garthwaite was just in the right place at the right time when he spotted a very rare lone humpback whale swimming and breaching the waters just off Rumps Point on the Pentire headland.

Take a look!

The humpback whale swimming

Mike Simmonds, Lead Ranger for the National Trust in North Cornwall, commented: “We were made aware of the sighting of a lone humpback whale at Rumps Point, on the Pentire headland, near Polzeath at 6 pm on 19th June. The whale appeared to be hunting and breached when it reached the point at which the currents meet between Rumps Point and The Mouls before it swam back out to the open sea. Many thanks to a member of the public John Garthwaite for sharing his footage with us - we were amazed by the response when we shared this on our North Cornwall social media channels. It’s brought so many people a lot of joy.” 

Humpback whales are found in every ocean in the world and can grow to be between 15 to 19 meters long (the length of a bus!) and weigh approximately 40 tonnes. Humpback whales typically spend their summer in high-latitude feeding areas such as the Gulf of Alaska or the Gulf of Maine, then in the winter they can be found in the warmer waters near to the equator. Sometimes known as the 'sirens of the sea' due to their low-frequency songs that can travel vast distances.

Humpback whale sightings in Cornwall are a very rare occurrence.

“We regularly get reported sightings of porpoises, dolphins, puffins, peregrine falcons, and Cornish Choughs, but this is the first time as far as we are aware that a humpback has been seen at Pentire,” Mike added.