It was a close-up encounter that was truly something special and an experience Anthony Callahan and his four-year-old son will likely never forget.

They were on a paddleboard -- along with their dog, Luna -- when a pair of beluga whales approached them.

“Right up underneath the paddleboard,” Callahan said. “Upside down, letting us get real close to them. Blowing bubbles."

Callahan's brother-in-law, Levon Drover, captured some drone footage (see video).

Drover, an experienced wildlife photographer and videographer, says this was unlike anything he had ever shot before -- even if it wasn't his first time meeting this rare species.

“When they were around about 20 years ago, I remember I was just a kid then, we actually went out and we swam with them,” Drover said. “My parents brought me out, and it was a big thing. They were around for about three weeks at Ingonish Beach and everyone was coming from all around to come and see them and swim with them.”

Others have had remarkable sightings, too. Some kayakers were surprised when the whales swam right underneath them. And then there is this woman, who was able to get it captured on video as she swam with the pair.

“These things are just right up close and personal, checking you out, just looking right into your eyes,” Callahan said. “They're as curious as we are about them.”

Many people have tried to go out and experience an encounter with the whales.

"They're definitely the talk of the town,” said Drover.

As for Callahan, he's just happy he has the video as a souvenir for his little boy when he grows up.

Although it sounds like the youngster already remembers them well!

“Straight away, once we met them, he was like ‘Oh hey, that's Lucy and Steve,’” Callahan said. “Every night, we're lying in bed and he's re-telling the story and going over how rad it was.”

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.