Skywhale is my Moby-Dick.
Sometimes I feel like I'm the only Canberran who hasn't seen this majestic beast in person.
So when someone reported a sighting of the fabled balloon in the skies above the city early on Thursday morning, naturally I was curious.
After scanning the horizon anxiously from the Canberra Times tea room, I grabbed a set of keys and bounded off in search of my white whale.
But where does one find a giant floating whale?
Some quick Googling revealed hot air balloons quite often take off in Yarralumla so I headed there, hoping to find a giant trailer or some punters, eyes wild, returning to their car after a ride in the monstrous whale.
Perhaps predictably I came up stumps, but when I saw several kayaks cutting through the lake's still surface, I thought I might have my next lead.
I drove around to the rowing club where rugged-up rowers were dragging their craft ashore.
At first they didn't notice the bundled up, bespectacled journalist teetering towards them but after cornering a couple I learnt something large did indeed fire up shortly before sunrise just a couple of hundred metres away from where we stood.
A shy rower confirmed he saw what he thought was the Skywhale but passed me off to fellow club member, Darryl Ninham, who also reckoned he'd spotted the giant inflatable beast.
"I was down at the club there and it was rising up. It looked quite spectacular because of the flame, it was dark and so it lit up," he said.
So it was actually the Skywhale?
"I'm sure it was. It was pretty ugly."
However others didn't seem so convinced.
"I only saw two balloons," said one rower as she help heave the boat back into the sheds."
"Isn't it somewhere overseas?" another called out.
Feeling uncertain, I started driving back towards the office.
Just a short way up the road I spotted some tradies who looked as cold as I felt.
As I pulled in and waved brightly they looked somewhat confused but walked over regardless for a bit of a chin wag.
Did you see the Skywhale, I asked, hope creeping into my voice.
"I saw I massive trailer going past about a quarter to 7, " Phil Harries said.
"Next thing I know it's in the sky. It was the biggest balloon I've ever seen. It was big and ugly."
'Big and ugly' wasn't enough of a descriptor to erase my doubts though.
Did you see the teats, I probed.
"Not from the distance I was," Phil admitted. "I could see the flame going up into it. It was straight over the other side of the lake and it was floating over the end of that island and going back and forwards just in that area. It was low enough that you could nearly see the people standing in it."
One thing was certain though. The mysterious balloon wasn't the only craft to go up on Thursday morning.
Back in the newsroom, I dialled a local balloon company to see if their pilots had taken passengers up earlier.
"Yes but they're still with the passengers. Didn't I read Skywhale was somewhere in Europe?," a surprised voice on the other end replied.
Indeed, Skywhale's last known location was in Europe but as far as I could tell its burners hadn't fired up for a while.
Earlier in desperation I'd tweeted the official Skywhale account and managed to get a few other people's hopes up too.
But when Kim from Balloons Aloft rang a short time later, it was clear it was a case of mistaken identity.
"It wasn't Skywhale. It was the air force's new balloon."
Ugly: well that's a matter of opinion.
But Skywhale? Definitely not.
So will Skywhale ever return to its natural habitat?
I've leave that to Kiff Saunders, chief executive of Global Ballooning, the company that now owns the Skywhale, to answer:
"The short answer is we love ballooning in Canberra and given the Skywhale is still flying - we just await an invitation and someone with a budget," he said.
"At present it is in Brazil having been the key media show piece for Patricia Piccinini's exhibitions over there. As you can appreciate we need to meet all operating costs to get it back to Canberra so it is more a question for Events ACT or independent art lovers.
"In the mean time Mrs Skywhale shall periodically keep amazing the art world on its international and national travels - whenever she is asked to attend an event."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.