Chalkie the white whale returns to the Whitsundays
The prodigal son (or daughter!) returns to the Whitsundays where he/she was born 4 years ago
In 2011, a local fisherman witnessed a very rare spectacle, an all-white baby whale swimming in Cid Harbour in the Whitsundays with its mother. In conjunction with the Regional Tourism Organisation, Whitsundays Marketing and Development, a naming competition was run by Whitsunday Escape, to choose a suitable name for this beautiful little whale. Over 700 entries were received, and the name ‘Chalkie’ was chosen.
Fast forward 4 years, and we have the first confirmed sightings of Chalkie in the Whitsundays since his birth! The team at Whitsunday Escape are understandably excited, having been involved since the very beginning. Not all baby whales make it to adulthood. The first few years are particularly dangerous, especially for a little white whale who sticks out against the rest of his pod.
Seeing Chalkie in the Whitsundays once more, looking so big and strong, is wonderful news!
Long family – James 7, Georgie 9, Sarah 11, Tim 47
Dad Tim, right, and daughter Sarah, second from right, heard whale song underwater
Listening to whale song under water
The Long family of Victoria, on a 10-night charter on a Jeanneau 50 sailing yacht, were swimming near South Molle Island adjacent to the Whitsunday Passage when they heard whale song. Mum Lisbeth and the younger two kids were on the boat, and could hear the serenade from there, taking photos of a white whale as it passed by in the channel. Father Tim, and 11-year-old daughter Sarah, were in the water listening to Chalkie singing.
Lisbeth described it as a moving experience the family would never forget.
The Long family are hooked and will definitely be back for another bareboat charter boat holiday in the Whitsundays next whale season!
How do we know it’s Chalkie?
Chalkie was putting on a show in the Whitsundays this weekend, breaching and waving, and slapping his tail fin merrily. A guest on Ocean Dynamics snapped some great photos, one of which clearly shows the tell-tale black spot on the tail fin, which we have been using to identify Chalkie from the other two known white whales, Migaloo and Bahloo, who are older and larger.
When Chalkie was originally photographed in 2011, the tail fin shows a clear black spot. The video footage from the Sunshine Coast in recent weeks also showed the black spot, as have the photos taken this weekend by Ms Xdgn of China. See for yourself!