Published Friday, 08 June 2012
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The pod of seven of the Atlantic Ocean's biggest predators enjoyed a leisurely swim at the mouth of Lough Swilly, in what is only the third recorded sighting of killer whales in Irish waters.
"From the sheer size of them, the movement ... We knew ourselves at that moment we were going to witness something pretty special," Kevin Doherty said, recalling the first sight of the shadows in the water.
These are big whales and I'm in a small boat ... But just to see them was incredible.
"For a while you could actually hear them too, that echo-like sound of them calling to each other. It was just a beautiful day."
According to a local wildlife group, the visitors came from the Scottish Hebrides and are well-known.
"It's very, very unusual to see the whole family group together," Emmett Johnston, from the Irish Basking Shark Project, explained.
"In fact, I would probably say this is the first time that they've ever been recorded like that - certainly on the north coast and probably on the whole Irish coast."
The visiting family must have been sure they'd have a whale of a time in Donegal.