STEVE HART is a lobster fisherman in a small Nova Scotia village. Times are hard for Steve and for the village. For the past ten years Steve has been leaning on the bottle to stave off memories and guilt associated with the drunk driving accident that killed his wife and made his young, eighteen-year old daughter run away. This morning he finds a dead Beluga whale on the beach and comes face to face with her young calf barely weaned from its mother. The baby touches his heart. Another day of creditors and bad fishing have Steve in a foul mood when he is visited by a social worker with unwelcome news. His daughter has died, and he is the only known relative his ten year-old granddaughter, Haley, has in the world. HALEY HART is a well-to-do, sophisticated little girl who doesn’t take well to life in a small village. Her unhappiness and straight talk to Steve about his drinking keep them at a distance from one another. Haley first meets the baby whale while helping Steve set lobster traps. There’s a funny moment when the little whale pops up and startles her, but they soon form a strong bond and Haley names her, ANGEL.
Business is bad in the village and FRANK STERN, a local businessman, is always looking for a way to make an extra buck. When he learns of Angel, he sets up a whale watching business to exploit Angel’s friendly nature and need for companionship. That friendliness gets Angel a lot of attention and soon she is in danger. Concerned and now eager to help, Haley goes online, finds ROBIN KELLY, a marine animal specialist and emails her. Robin is intrigued and comes to Nova Scotia. Together they convince the village to keep people from interacting with Angel after she gets hurt. Tourists can still go out to whale watch, but not swim with her or feed her. This tactic proves a double-edged sword. Beluga whales are social creatures and loneliness sets in.
Meanwhile, in the big city, Angel’s notoriety gets the attention of M. POISSON, the owner of a big marine park, Oceanland, and his henchman, MR. KEYS. Frank Stern is seduced by the promise of more cash and ignores the new rules protecting Angel. Tragically, Angel gets badly cut up by his propeller. Injured and dying, she beaches herself. Haley, Steve and Robin find her and do their best to keep her alive, but it is M. Poisson from Oceanland who has the means to save her life. Angel is taken to the marine park with the promise of release once she is rehabilitated.