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    Whale diary

    FRIDAY, 19 MAY 2017

    Tour at 20:30

    Report from Elding: Tonight we ran our first midnight tour of the summer. The weather and sea conditions could not have been better, glass-flat sea, a clear sky, and the low position of the sun casted orange and pink colors over the sky and mountains of Faxaflói. After only 40 minutes sailing we spotted some splashes in 400 meters distance, when we got closer we spotted 3-4 active harbour porpoises. While looking at these small cetaceans we noticed even larger splashes further north, those were clearly dolphins! We decided to follow two white-beaked dolphins, we turned off our engines when they started milling around our boat, than suddenly a larger pod came towards us, they were first spotted about 600 meters away but were soon all around us. It was incredible to hear them going past us, with the engines off and no wind we only heard the sea birds and dolphins around us. A minke whale showed up after a while, this minke also surfaced close to the boat and again we could turn off our engines. We decided to go back north to search for the dolphins again, this time they were more lively, leaping and breaching, twisting and turning in the air, making loud sounds when they landed on the surface. Over all we must have seen at least 20 dolphins in 3 pods. On the way back two more pods of harbour porpoises were seen, in all about 12-13 individuals. This will definitely be one of those tours that the crew will remember for a long time. 

    -Sigurlaug Sigurðardóttir

    Tour at 17:00

    Report from Hafsulan: You would think that the day should not be able to get better after our previous tour, but it did! The weather remained calm, warm and sunny with the only slight difference that the sun was starting to set, giving a dusk atmosphere to the bay. Quickly we spotted in the distance a tall blow, that originated from a large minke whale that surfaced close to us twice before disappearing out of sight. After losing this minke we went further out to spot a pod of 10-14 white-beaked dolphins that displayed a far less shy behaviour than the previous encounter. Some of them were staying quite far from us, dashing through the sea surface and feeding, but few of them were following us from the side, surfacing nice and slow, giving us plenty of opportunities for nice pictures. They even came less than 2 meters from the boat, you had to lean overboard to be able to see them! After staying long time with those dolphins, we had the opportunity to sight a second minke whale, also more cooperative than the first one but also a lot smaller! It was an adorable encounter that kept us in awe before it was time to go home.

    - Guillaume Calcagni

    Tour at 13:00

    Report from Hafsulan: We left the harbour of Reykjavik under a blue sky and with a slight breeze in our face. Due to the calm sea it was easy to find our first minke whale just after we reached our main sighting area. What a start! The individual surfaced a couple of times around our vessel, most probably feeding on the schooling fish we could see in our fish finder. After we enjoyed this beauty for about 20 minutes, we headed further out to just encounter a small pod of 4-6 white-beaked dolphins a few minutes later. It was challenging to keep up with this pod of dolphins as they alternately slowed down and speeded up, jumped out of the water even, and changed directions quickly. Of course this was very entertaining and everyone got to enjoy these elegant swimmers. On our way back home, we were surprised by another minke whale which showed up a few hundred meters away from us. We decided to stop by and give our passengers the opportunity to see this graceful animal one more time, before we had to sail back to Reykjavik.

    - Nicole Koestner

    Tour at 09:00

    Report from Hafsulan: What a brilliant start of the day! Almost as if the bay was trying to make up for the past days of storm and bad weather, we headed out under a blue sky 100% cloud free and a warm sun! With that the wind was almost non-existent, allowing the water to be silk-smooth. And with perfect visibility came a guest that we had not seen for a while: the Snæfellsjökull glowing proudly in the horizon. And matching with the perfect scenery we had perfect sightings! We spotted at the beginning of the tour 2 minke whales, and of them contrasted surprisingly with the behaviour they got us used to recently. It surfaced less than 100m from the boat numerous time and it did so slowly, making it easy to sight it and take pictures. After enjoying these two individuals we had the chance to spot a curious pod of a dozen of white-beaked dolphins. and the loveliest thing about them was the presence of one calf and two juveniles! The sea conditions were calm, we approached slowly, so the dolphins were relaxed with us and even came closer to have a look at us on a couple of occasions. The clarity of the water combined with the bright sun made it perfect to follow them underwater as they were closing in and passing beneath our vessel! We stayed with them for about half an hour, before moving on. And before the end of the trip, we spotted another pod of dolphins, one more minke whale alongside many seabirds feeding like there's no tomorrow. A perfect trip that replenish after tough times!

    - Guillaume Calcagni

     

    Bird species seen on today's tour include: northern fulmar, Arctic skua, Atlantic puffin, lesser black-backed gull, northern gannet, eider duck, common guillemot, razorbill, iceland gull, arctic tern & black-legged kittiwake 

     

    Status: RUNNING

    We are sailing out from the Old Harbour in Reykjavik on this beautiful day. Hope you will be able to join us on our search for these magnificent animals in their natural environment.