Daily Diary
  • Humpback Whale March Iceland Reykjavik

Windy morning - Amazing evening!

16.5.2017 Whale watching

09:00

This Tuesday morning the strong wind from yesterday was slowing down and since we did expect some wave movement we warned our passengers that the condition might be rough. It turned out to be a lot calmer than we thought with clouds clearing up slightly over the course of this wildlife excursion. We searched the feeding ground towards west with the wind in our back. Further to south a pod of white beaked dolphins appeared. We managed to stay with them and eventually we got a good look at the pod as they came up for air between feeding turns. At a location further south we heard of a baleen appearing so we headed there. When we got there no further signs were seen so we headed north.There a minke whale showed up a couple of times to the front of the ship. We searched the southern part of the bay of Faxaflói and got back to the Old harbour in Reykjavík.

 

Tour status: ON

Sightings:  minke whale, white beaked dolphins

 

10:00

Clouds and breeze for the first tour of the day on Lilja. We went straight to the feeding ground and we started the tour spotting few harbour porpoises, the smallest of the species we see in Faxaflói bay. A passenger saw a back and it was a minke whale but after surfacing one more time, went for a deep dive and we couldn't find it again. The porpoises were surrounding the boat during all this time. Then it was the captain who spotted another elusive minke whale, but it didn't allow us to approach. More harbour porpoises again, and when we were heading back to Reykjavík, one minke whale showed up at 10 meters from the boat, we could have a nice view few times before it went down and a fourth whale, also minke, was spotted just one minute after we left the third one. We went back to the Old Harbour, cold after spending two hours outside but happy. 

 

Tour status: ON

Sightings:  minke whale, white beaked dolphins

 

13:00

This Tuesday afternoon the wind had turned to south and increased a little since this morning. The clouds started parting and the sun shined to the delight of yours truly. We searched the feeding ground towards west and came across presence of birds like puffins, arctic tern and northern fulmar. We heard of baleen whales further to south so the course was set in that direction. On that course a pod of white beaked dolphins appeared briefly and dived again. Further south we searched for some time with a lot of patience until all of a sudden a minke calf came up to the surface just in front of the ship. A couple of full grown minke whales also appeared to south and west.

 

Tour status: ON

Sightings:  minke whale, white beaked dolphins

 

 

14:00


When we sailed out on our afternoon Whale Watching Express tour on the Lilja, there were strong winds blowing from the west, and there was a bit of rain. But fortunately, on our way to the feeding grounds the sailing was nice and smooth. Once we were farther out in Faxaflói Bay, we searched our usual areas where we've had our most success. It took some patience, and the animals were a bit shy for us, but we managed have good looks at both minke whales and white-beaked dolphins. Throughout the tour, the weather was classically Icelandic. Happy with our sighting success, we sailed back to the Old Harbor once again.

Tour Status: ON

Sightings: minke whales, white-beaked dolphins

 

 

17:00

After a day of sighting success, we boarded our main boat, the Andrea, and sailed out for our evening whale watching tour. The wind had calmed down quite a bit, and we fortunately had smooth sailing throughout the tour. Once we entered the feeding grounds of Faxaflói Bay, our first sighting was a pod of 10 white-beaked dolphins! Among this pod were 3 mother and calf pairs, meaning this was likely the same pod that we saw on yesterday evening´s tour. We were able to enjoy these dolphins for quite awhile, with the baby dolphins popping out of the water every few seconds. Eventually we said goodbye and sailed farther out, where a minke whale came up in front of us but vanished quickly. We sailed west, and we spotted many feeding seabirds. We slowed down and checked the area carefully, and we soon realized there were at least 3 more minke whales in this area... and a humpback whale! We followed this massive animal around the feeding grounds for a while as it led us on a bit of a chase, but we did get to see it lifting its fluke and diving 3 times. It was always a bit far, but we at least got some good looks at it! And throughout the tour, we also had several sightings of harbor porpoises, but they were quite shy as usual. So this means we saw all 4 species of cetaceans in one tour, a rare occurrence! We were very happy to see that. On our way back to the harbor we saw a few puffins flying around, but perhaps most of them had already returned to their burrows and went to sleep. Overall it was a very nice tour with many sightings!

Tour status: ON

Sightings: Humpbacks, Minke whales, white beaked dolphins and Harbour Porpoises