Migaloo, is that you? Skipper reckons it's a new white whale


YOU have to feel a bit sorry for Migaloo.

It seems only yesterday we had him up on a pedestal as the only white whale in the world.

Now it seems there's two, three and maybe even more albino humpbacks popping up all over the place.

The whale watching world went into overdrive again this week when a white whale was spotted off the Gold Coast, heading north.

Some claimed it was Migaloo back on his regular beat but others said it was a younger, smaller whale named M.J. - Migaloo Junior - who may be one of Migaloo's offspring.

Lance Kruithos, skipper of Mooloolaba-based whale-watching vessel Whale One, believes it was neither.

He reckons it's a whale he first saw off Sydney five years ago and christened Chalky.

But even Mr Kruithos admits it's only guesswork as after spending years at the wheel of whale-watching boats, he's yet to sight Migaloo in person.

"Everyone wants to see a white whale and they get excited when they hear there's one on the way," he said.

"I call it 'white whale fever'. Someone says a white whale is coming and everyone wants to see it.

"It happened just before the June school holidays when someone said Migaloo was coming up the Coast.

"There was never any confirmed sighting but everyone got excited anyway.

"At least this time there's been photos and video but it's not Migaloo and I don't know who this M.J. is.

"Looking at the photos and video, I think it's Chalky."

Migaloo sighted from 'Bay Runner' at 2pm today approximately 2km north east of Cape Byron heading north alone at a steady pace of about 8km/hr. Photo Contributed whalewatchingbyronbay.com.au
The beloved white whale named Migaloo Contributed whalewatchingbyronba


Mr Kruithos backs his claim with the fact that just last month Migaloo was seen in the Cook Strait, between the north and south islands of New Zealand.

"He can't have travelled that far already," he said.

The whale at the centre of this week's excitement was last seen off Moreton Island early yesterday afternoon, meaning he (or she) will probably have passed the Sunshine Coast during the night.

But even that's not a certainty.

"Who knows, he might keep going or he may slow down and stop to check out a girl," Mr Kruithos said.

"He might still be here tomorrow. It's impossible to say because they are wild animals and we can't predict what they will do."

In the end, Mr Kruithos said he didn't mind if a white whale came through our waters or not - they were all special.

"Just seeing a whale is a magnificent sight.

"It doesn't matter what colour it is, it's awesome."