Migaloo, 'A Once in a Lifetime' Rare White Whale Pays a Local Visit

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By Afza Fathima | June 23, 2014 3:26 PM EST

People off the coast of Port Macquarie were treated to a display of Migaloo, a rare white whale considered as one of the only all white Humpback whales.

John Fowler, skipper of the Port Based Adventure Cruises, said, "It is the first time in 11 years of doing whale watch tours that he's seen Migaloo up close. It was a fantastic experience." Talking about Migaloo, he exclaimed, "It did about half a dozen tail slaps on its tummy and then it rolled upside down and gave us another show with half a dozen tail slaps lying on its back."

REUTERS
People gather around a humpback whale that beached itself in White Rock April 30, 2014

Continuing on his experience of spotting Migaloo, he said, "We started in 2003 and since then we've been running well over 10,000 trips and I've never seen Migaloo yet. From 500 metres you could see quite clearly it was Migaloo the white whale."

On Saturday, June 21, Fowler got a signal in the area. He said, "I had recieved a lot of reports that Migaloo was coming past Sydney, Port Stephens, Crowdy Bay. Everyone knew he was going to be here at that time and National Parks were on the headland at Tacking Point lighthouse as well to advise people that he was just about to arrive."

Migaloo was also spotted on the New South Wales Mid North Coast, on June 20.  John Matterson, Whale One owner, said "I am excited by Migaloo's imminent arrival and have extended the trip hours tomorrow and Tuesday to try to spot him. The chances of finding one whale in a vast ocean were about 25%."

Speaking about his experience on watching the white wonder, Matterson said, "The first time I saw him was eight years ago. It was amazing, absolutely amazing. We knew he was coming so we stayed later. It was just towards dark and his body was really illuminated in the evening. He is a great sight and extremely rare, and it has been a few years where they haven't see him at all on the Coast because sometimes they go wider out."

This season, the whale watchers have been treated to amazing displays as the whales have been putting on a memorable show. 

For more information, visit ABC and Migaloo Web sites.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Andy Clark)
People gather around a humpback whale that beached itself in White Rock April 30, 2014
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