Migaloo Australia’s White Whale!

migaloo breaching white whaleI’m standing on the bow of this massive Australian Catamaran, that’s taking me from Cairns to Australia‘s Great Barrier Reef. My inside is on fire! I mean WAw! I’m on my way to THE Great Barrier Reef!! As a Scuba Instructor, for sure this was on the top of the bucket- list! The wind is gliding through my hair, as I rock up and down with the waves. As I try to find my balance over these rocking waves, my hands are tightened around the safety rail surrounding the boat. I can see the eyes of the fellow passengers, that just like mine, are filled with excitement and a pinch of fear. While the water is splashing on both sides of the boat. The crew is jumping up and down with the kids. SeaStar Cruises is definitely a company to remember! A crew that’s clearly having fun and spreading the joy! ♥

It didn’t take long for the captain to spot a whale. The whales came, as close as 2m off the boat! Humpbacks! The excitement that rises into people after spotting a whale is unbelievable. Imagine 35 people standing on the bow of the boat, full of expectations to see whales, the captain has just radioed that he has seen a whale! You know its there… Off course… You’re the unlucky one that was looking the other way… At that exact moment you hope from the deepest part of your heart that it will resurface. Then, it does, first the squirt Psssshhhhh then the massive body, a big breath, followed by a perfect tale! WOhoooooo!! Yess! WAAAW! Amaaaaaaazing! My favorite part is the explosion of happiness that follows. The 35 spectators expressing their amazement. One calf kept breaching up and down for at least 10 minutes. It was Unbelievable!

Another successfully Happy Birthday for me! Thanks you lovely Ocean! ♥ I stand by what a Spanish couple once told me in the Philippines:

“The Ocean gives you what u want on your birthday! Just wish for it!”

Who is Migaloo?

I first heard of Migaloo, while hitch- hiking up Australia’s East Coast, the driver, Will used to be a Skipper on Cairns’ Scuba Diving boats. He told me all about Cairns:

Were to go? What to see? It was a lovely ride. The coolest part of his stories was when he told me about:

“Migaloo, the White Whale!!” What did he say ??”

Migaloo’s Story

Migaloo Australia's white whaleMigaloo was first spotted in 1991, off Byron Bay, Australia‘s most eastern point. At that point it was the only white whale that had been spotted worldwide. My friend is a pilot in Cairns and has seen Migaloo from the sky on two occasions already.

They called him “Migaloo”, which was used by aboriginals to define a white person. Like “Falang” in Thailand or “Muzungu” in Africa. 😉

I think they picked it nicely! 😀

Facts about the Humpback Whales

  • Love song signing whales, that breach and splash the water. Acrobats of the Sea!
  • Can grow up to 12-15 m long, weighing 25-40 tons
  • 4 chambered heart weighs about 195 kg, about as much as three average human beings
  • Fingerprints: distinctive patches of white under their tale
  • Filter feeders
  • Can dive up to 150-200 m, only for 5-15 min, worth the wait!

Why is Migaloo a White Whale?

They think he might be an albino whale, unfortunately they don’t have enough evidence at the moment to confirm this, so he’s known as the “hypo- pigmented” whale. Migaloo’s white colour makes it easy to spot him along the coast, which gave the scientist a  clearer view on the migratory path of Humpback whales along Australia’s
 east coast.

Video of extremely lucky tourists, super close encounter with Migaloo:


humpback-whale-migrationMigratory path of the humpback whales

In the southern hemisphere, six populations of humpback whales migrate north from Antarctica to give birth in tropical warm waters.  Australia’s humpback population used to be around 30 000. This number dropped to a drastic number of only a 104 Humpback Whales, Humpback whales were nearly extinct due to commercial whaling! Luckily today this number has increased up to  15 000 – 17 000, so if you’ve signed one of those petitions against whaling… It does make a difference Guys!!! Mobilising together does make a difference guys! Sign the petitions!

Some whale populations are increasing, up to 10% each year, which pushes the pro- whaling countries forward with the commercial whaling. In 2007, Japan announced they were going to kill 50 whales, for scientific purposes… ?? Right…

Why does Japan hunt whales?

bloody_water_from_killing_whales

Originally whaling was done for meat and oil and it was all pretty much under control. Unfortunately with the introduction of massive steam boats and grenade- ended spear guns, soon the catches were exceeding the number of whales reproduced. Massacres like clearly shown on this picture were done far too regularly. In the 20th century over 50 000 whales were killed annually. In 1986, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned whaling, to let the whales recover. While it has succeeded in avoiding whale extinction, it still remains an intense debate.

Have you seen The Cove?

Ever watched Flipper? Sure, everybody has 🙂 This documentary shows how Flipper has created a multibillion-dollar industry thats responsible for 50 000 annual dolphin killing! Now who LOVES dolphins?

Watch the Trailer:

Lets Keep the Magic Alive! Humpback Whales are the Dancers and Singers of the ocean! They are baleen whales, they sing amazing love songs and breach up toward the sky, to slap back down, splashing the water all over the place. They use their flippers and slap their tale on the surface… Acrobats of the sea really. 😀

I am IN Love with Them!

Another story about Whale hunting:

Human Planet Sperm Whale Hunt off a tiny Island in Indonesia

These people have been whale hunting for over 600 years. Taking only about 6 whales a year, the whale population have never threatened whale numbers in these waters. Observe these amazing hunters, jumping at the massive whale with their hand made harpoons. The whale could pull their boat under… Now that’s brave and well deserved dinner!

“The death of a whale may be sad to us, but this is their lifeline. One catch can feed their village for months.” Says John Hurts.
Haven’t seen Human Planet yet? Buy it! Watch it! You’ll Love It!

Buy Human Planet on amazon

 

 

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