Migaloo fans outnumber Taylor Swift’s Coast stake out

28 Jul


By Isabella Schoonenberg and Virginia Naves, Bond University Journalism Students

White whale Migaloo’s fame eclipsed Taylor Swift this week as hundreds of people flocked to Gold Coast beaches hoping to catch a glimpse of the rare humpback.

Fans of the white whale crowded headlands and lookouts throughout the week in the hope of seeing beloved Migaloo after he was spotted off New South Wales on Saturday.

The white wale was spotted off Point Danger on Tuesday afternoon, prompting a debate whether it was Migaloo, or another whale know as Son of Migaloo.

By Wednesday the white whale had passed along the Coast and was last seen off Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island.

Currumbin local Natalie Butterworth spent Sunday and Monday on Currumbin beach with binoculars in hand.

She  said she was excited to hear that Migaloo had been sighted and hoped to see him heading north on the annual whale migration.

“It’s so rare to see Migaloo that it’s worth a few days in the sun to maybe catch a glimpse,” she said.

“[Migaloo] is so popular in Australia and it’s such a novelty to have an albino whale so it’s pretty exciting when he passes by.

“When [Sea World Whale Watch] predicted his path would take him past the Gold Coast on Sunday, I packed the picnic blanket and headed to the beach with a friend to keep a look out.”

Migaloo was spotted last Saturday afternoon off the coast of Port Macquarie, cruising slowly north with a female companion.

Sea World Whale Watch tweeted on Friday that Gold Coasters could expect Migaloo to pass the Gold Coast anytime from Sunday.

“We spent a few hours at the beach on Sunday watching for him and checking online for updates… and I wasn’t the only one,” Natalie said.

“There were so many other people on the beach who I think were whale watching too because they all had binoculars and were constantly scanning the horizon.

“I saw other whales and spouts in the distance but no Migaloo.”

Sea World Whale Watch tweeted: “We are still on high #Migaloo watch as he is expected on the #GoldCoast any day now!” on Monday morning, giving fans encouragement that there was still a chance to see him.

All this week whale watching crews, drones and helicopters patrolled Gold Coast waters and crowds of people were seen on headlands and beaches.

Mudgeeraba resident Manon Lewis was one of many who visited Burleigh Hill to join the search.

“There were plenty of other people on the headland keeping an eye out,” she said.

“Migaloo is so unusual and I think people enjoy the excitement of trying to find the white whale.

Whale watchers will have another chance to see Migaloo pass the Gold Coast when he migrates south later in the year.

To report sightings or stay up to date with Migaloo’s movements, visit the dedicated twitter account Migaloo The Whale (@migaloo1).



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