Daily Diary
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A Nice Morning with Good Sightings

17.7.2017 Whale watching

09:00

Today, we started our tour by going North and searching along the entrance of Hvalfjörður, the fjord between Mount Esja and Akrafjall. It was a beautiful scenery, but there did not seem to be any cetaceans in this area today. We did spot a blow a bit further West though, so we sailed off in this direction and we found the animal belonging to the blow. It was an impressive humpback whale, that was busy feeding and did not come up to the surface to breathe very often. We managed to follow it for a couple of surfacing sequences, and once it even showed its fluke when it went for the next deep dive. It was a wonderful sight, but as the animal was very busy we decided to keep searching after a while. We saw many nice sea birds, including a lot of Puffins and a Common Guillemot with a juvenile, which is a very rare sight. We were surprised by a fast minke whale, that surfaced only 15m away from Andrea, but it disappeared just as quickly. Still, we were happy to have come close to the two biggest species we commonly see in the bay of Faxaflói. 

Tour: ON

Sightings: Humpback whale, Minke whale

 

10:00

Today we found some wind from the south during the morning, but the visibility was very good for our whale watching tour. We sailed out heading west to the feeding grounds and soon from the distance we spotted a big blow next to some other boats. We joined them to have our first sighting. It was a humpback whale swimming slowly and without showing up too much. Then, the animal went for a deeper dive and we waited patiently with our eyes wide open. Our patience was well rewarded when the animal came back to the surface next to us, less than 20m away from the boat! We saw the humpback breathing a few times in a row and we could also see its body with the massive white pectoral fins underneath the surface. Was nice to see that it was swimming slowly and relaxed, without caring at all about the boat. After this beautiful encounter, we spotted another humpback whale blow in the distance. This one was a bit more shy and we saw it reaching the surface twice. When it went for a deeper dive, we were surprised by a fast minke whale that came up in the area. The Minke didn't stay for a long time with us but it was enough for us to see the main differences between them and the humpbacks.When we were almost starting to come back to the harbor, our humpback came up to the surface again and gave us a nice last sighting to finish the tour.It was challenging to wait and search for this animals today, but we were well rewarded with some beautiful sightings of our bigger species.

Tour: ON

Sightings: Humpback whale, Minke whale

 

 

13:00

As we sailed out for this second tour we were very pleased by the change in the weather. The sun had shyly come out of the clouds and the waves had calmed down. We went to the same area where we had seen the humpback on the previous tour, to find it it was still wondering around there. We had a very good look at a humpback we know very well, Goggi, with a piece of meat missing from its right side of the fluke. We stayed with it for a little while until it decided to go for a veeeeery long dive. So after about 10 minutes of waiting we decided that it was time to move on in search for some other whales. After a while of searching we had a very nice encounter with our friendly pod of friendly dolphins, together with our Nicholas, the dolphin that can be easily recognized by the scars on its dorsal fin. They were very happy to see us and swam with us for a little while

Tour: ON

Sightings: Humpback, White beaked dolphin

 

 

14:00

On our afternoon tour on Lilja the sky had cleared a little bit, it was not raining and the sun even came out for a few moments. We started searching the feeding grounds of Faxaflói and the first encounter we had was with a pod of seven white-beaked dolphins. These friendly toothed whales came close to the ship and we got great looks at their backs and dorsal fins. After a while, they left us and we continued searching the bay. It was not extremely easy today to spot cetaceans, but we did not give up and found a minke whale after a while. We saw this animal surface a couple of times, before it went for a deeper dive and disappeared. At the end of the tour, there was a nice surprise waiting for us. We saw a harbour porpoise, the smallest species of whales that lives in this bay, that was riding the bow wave of a sailing boat. That was a rare and great sighting and we were very happy with it!

Tour: ON

Sightings: Minke whale, White beaked dolphins, Harbour Porpoise

 

17:00

The search for the whales for this second tour lasted a long while. But the beauty of whale watching is that when you least expect it something amazing happens. So we searched for over an hour, and just when the hope started fading we found ourselves in between a pod of dolphins and a humpback! What a great surprise to find so many interesting animals all at the same time and same spot. The dolphins where very festive and jumped for us a few times, very close to the boat, whist slightly further in the distance the humpback kept surfacing until it showed us its beautiful fluke before it went for a longer and deeper dive. 

Tour: ON

Sightings: Humpback, White beaked dolphins

 

21:00

Tour: ON

Sightings: White beaked dolphins