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    Whale diary

    SUNDAY, 13 AUGUST 2017

    Tour at 19:00

    Report from Hafsulan: When we left the harbor we did not know what an amazing tour was ahead of us. Just before we left it started to rain and the sky was more and more covered by thick clouds. After making sure that all of our passengers were ready to go for longer journey the captain decided to head south to the area around Keflavik as there was apparently still a lot of mackerel and bigger wildlife. Thus, we headed southwards. On our way we saw a few cute harbour porpoises (2 pods of 3-7) and also two very great minke whales, One of them surfaced in less than 10m distance to the boat. When we arrived in the Keflavik area we saw four more minke whales. All of them were in some distance to the boat but good to spot as the sea was amazingly calm. When getting closer and closer to the coast, we got more and more excited as we got news that there were at least two humpback whales in the area. And only a few hundred meters from the coast we found what we were looking for: a humpback whale! When slowly approaching the area we saw it surface a few times and even showing its beautiful fluke. But then the show began!!! It started breaching - lifting its massive body out of the water. Again and again. It always came up with an opened mouth obviously feeding. And we saw this behaviour not only once but many times. The whale always took a couple of breaths, then speeded up, went down showing its fluke and after a few seconds it jumped out of the water, a few times in even less than 30 meters to our vessel. Mind blowing!! The captain even turned off the engines to enjoy also the sound of the blows and splashes to its fullest. We had a really, really great time with this giant. Unfortunately, we had to return to Reykjavik. So, with a heavy heart, the captain turned on the engines and we started heading back north. But to our surprise, we were not the only ones which were heading in that direction. On our way we spotted a big pod of 20-30 pilot whales. The pod was quite spread out, so that we saw these beautiful whales all around the right side of our boat. As the encounter with this whale species is also a very rare and memorable experience, we also spend some time watching these guys feeding and milling, coming up in almost perfect formations and sometimes even showing their tiny flukes. After all these new impressions everyone was very happy, satisfied and sat together inside to have some warm drinks and listen to the great life music of Garðar. This was definitely a tour of a lifetime. Something none of us will ever forget!!!

    -Nicole Koestner

    Tour at 17:00

    Report from Eldey: It was a nice afternoon, sunny and the sea was still some still. After we left the harbour we found a pod of 3-4 white-backed dolphins. They were traveling so a bit difficult to follow. Soon we left them but after a bit of time we found on other pod! This was a bit of bigger pod of about 7-8 white-backed dolphins, and they were very playfully, jumping around so awesome! We left them and found a minke whale he was a bit in de distance but while watching him more dolphins came up. Then we got a call for on other boat they had seen an other minke whale we when over there this was a very nice minke that came really close to the boat and we heard the blow. It was a very nice evening at sea.

    - Alexandra Bouman

    Tour at 14:00

    Report from Hafsúlan:This afternoon had fantasticweather for whale watching - as evidenced by our early sighting of harbour porpoises. Their little black bodies were very evident against the mirror-like surface. But we were soon distracted from the harbour porpoises by a small minke whale! It was only about 5 metres long and it stayed with us for a good ten minutes. Venturing further out into the bay, we came across another minke, this time a bit larger. It was great, surfacing very close to the boat. Finally we were joined by some white-beaked dolphins who continued to follow the lethargic theme of the day and seemed to almost lazily investigate us. What a marvellous day! 

    -Rachel Pool

    Tour at 13:00

    Report from Eldey: What a day - what a tour. The weather is practically never this perfect - the water was like a mirror and the sun shining. We could see kilometers into the distance. Our first area to stop was with 4 feeding minke whales. They were around all the boat so passengers could spread out easily to see them. Some surfaces were far away whilst others were within less than 50 meters of our boat. We saw their blows as well as the tips of their heads as they were lifting them up high out of the water to feed. On top of that, there were shoals of mackerel fish close to the surface, a spectacle to watch. Further on we spotted another 3 minke whales that were traveling. We could even smell one of these minkes - an experience I am sure the passengers will never forget. Alongside those minkes was a pod of 3 harbour porpoises showing themselves numerous times. In addition, we found a pod of 8 white-beaked dolphins in close proximity. As they were avoiding the boat though, we decided to leave them in peace, respecting their well-being. Even close to the harbour we had another group of 3-4 harbour porpoises. It was an amazing tour with loads of wildlife to enjoy.

    - Sabrina Voswinkel

    Tour at 10:00

    Report from Hafsulan: Another sunny day in Faxafloi: Concerning the weather and sea conditions you could not have asked for more. We had a mirror-like sea and no wind. Thus, we had an amazing view and could spot animals even from very far away. That is how we found our first minke whale. We saw its shiny black back far in the distance. As the animal chose quite a deep area for feeding we had to wait for quite a while when we reached the area where we spotted it first. But then it surfaced a few times in less then 50 m distance to our vessel, so that most of our passengers got to see it. After this first encounter we sailed further out in the bay where briefly later we found a great pod of 12-15 white-beaked dolphins which were spread out resting or searching for food. Some of them even came very close to the boat. On our way back we were found by another minke whale, which surfaced only about 100 m next to us. At the end everyone could see the last surfacing sequence of this beauty in less than 30 m to the boat. What a great finish!

    -Nicole Koestner

    Our first stop was after about 45 minutes

    Tour at 9:00

    Report from Eldey: it was a beautiful morning for whale watching. The sea was like a mirror, so nice. It was also sunny and almost no wind. It took us a bit of time before we spotted our first cetaceans but than we got a call from one of the other whale watch boat that they had spotted white-beaked dolphins. As we got closer we saw them jumping around! There where about 8-9 of them. We spent some time whit them because they where really giving us a show. After a bit of time we left them but soon found an other pod of 10-12 white- beaked dolphins! They were also very playfully so cool! When we left them as well a bit after we found a minke whale. He was surfacing very nice and slowly so we all got a good look at him. On the way back we all enjoyed the sun. 

    - Alexandra Bouman

    Birds seen on today's tours: Northern Gannet, Atlantic Puffin, Northern Fulmar, Eider Duck and Kittiwake. 

    Status: RUNNING

    We are sailing out from the Old Harbour in Reykjavik today. There is ittle wind and hopefully the sun will shine on us today. We hope you can join us!