'Most Memorable Moment' as All-White Whale Surfaces Next to Tourist Ship

StoryfulNewsPublished: August 11, 2017
Published: August 11, 2017

Tourists visiting the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns on Sunday, August 6, had a whale of a time after an up-close visit from Australia’s most famous cetacean – Migaloo, an all-white humpback. Manjula Gallella of Melbourne was on board the Ocean Freedom vessel on Sunday when he and the 70 other passengers were told to come check out a herd of whales. “One of the things that was on my bucket list for a long time was to go whale watching,” the 23-year-old wrote on Instagram. “Even I have done it before, I had zero luck seeing a whale up until today and this happened. On our way back from a cruise with @oceanfreeoceanfreedom, I was tired and lying down and all of a sudden someone yelled ‘WHALE!’. So I ran to the deck and looked around trying to spot something black and flapping its fins. Instead, I see a pale blue (the most beautiful shade of blue I’ve seen) patch. And he appears, the famous all white humpback whale, namely ‘Migaloo’, giving a perfect ending to the day. Gallella also described the encounter to the Cairns Post, saying: "I reckon it’s the best experience of my life.” Thousands of humpback whales make an annual migration from Antarctica past the east coast of Australia each winter to mate in warmer waters. Migaloo has been spotted off the east coast of Australia since 1991 and is so famous he has been given a 500-metre exclusion zone under Queensland law. “Our sighting is the first this year off the Cairns coast and, in fact, Migaloo has not been spotted since the southern Great Barrier Reef, which made our experience with him up here in Far North Queensland that even more special!” said Ocean Free & Ocean Freedom Office manager Kerry Swanson in an email to Storyful. “He is currently on his migration north for mating but fingers crossed we are lucky enough to spot him on his journey back south!” Credit: Twitter/Manjula Gallella via Storyful

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