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Whale Watching

Top/favourite whale encounters #6

Continuing on from yesterday’s post, next on my list of top/favourite whale encounters is…

#6: My second encounter with MIGALOO! (July 2017)

Yes, I have been lucky enough to have MORE than one encounter with the famous white whale. 😁 For those who don’t know about Migaloo, he’s an all-white humpback whale that generally migrates up and down the east coast of Australia. His name means ‘white fella’ and he was named by the Aboriginal elders of the Hervey Bay area.

The White Fella

All-white humpback whale, Migaloo, surfacing
Migaloo just hanging for us at the Seaway

Our encounter this day was planned, to an extent, as we’d had reports that Migaloo was making his way north and was due on the Gold Coast in the next 24 hours or so. I headed out in the morning with Whale Watch Australia in hopes we could find him…

…Only to see him basically right outside the Gold Coast Seaway! 😱 It was like he was waiting for us! (He was, literally, the first whale we saw as we cleared the Seaway – what are the odds?!)

All-white humpback whale, Migaloo, performing a peduncle throw
Peduncle throw!

We cruised along with him for about 2 hours as he travelled north. He was basically travelling parallel to South Stradbroke Island (though he did go under our boat at one point and pop up on the other side 😍) and not too far off the beach.

Migs wasn’t in any hurry, just taking his time, and he eventually met up with a mother and her juvenile. Even threw in a few peduncle throws! (A peduncle throw is when a whale raises its tail out of the water and throws it sideways – it’s pretty impressive to watch!)

Experiencing the Migs effect

The energy on the boat that day was high. Whale watching trips are always exciting anyway but throw in such a rare animal and people were practically giddy! It’s quite incredible knowing that you’re seeing something up close that most people never will.

All-white humpback whale, Migaloo, surfacing
Bright white on top, aqua underwater

And his colour! It really defies description but I’m gonna give it a shot. 😆

The thing with Mr Migs is…he’s allllll white. I mean, OBVIOUSLY. 😜 But on a day like that one when it’s quite glary and overcast, trying to photograph bright all-white can be a bit of a mission! 🙈 He was OBSCENELY bright and he had an amazing aqua glow when he’d disappear under the water. 😍

Each of my encounters with Migs makes my top/favourites list because… it’s Migaloo! And every encounter with Migaloo has been memorable in its own way. 🤍

Have you ever seen Migaloo? Please share your stories in the comments! I love to hear about the white fella!

All-white humpback whale, Migaloo, at the surface with South Stradbroke island in the background
Migaloo, headed north, off South Stradbroke Island

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