DAILY DIARY

08.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

12:45 - ON

 

 

Puffin

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

 

12:45 / 13:00

This was a fun day.

 

Really cloudy out there today.

A bit of a western breeze as we head out on our whale watching-trip.

 

Nothing much to be seen at first.

But then I had an interesting conversation:

 

Passenger 1: How does a minke whale look like when it surfaces.

 

Me: Dark, small dorsal fin at the back, kinda sleek.

 

Passanger 2: [Points at minke whale in front of the boat, squeals with delight]

 

Me: Yeah, like that.

 

:D

 

So that was nice.

We stuck with her for a little while.

We saw her a few times. But she wasn't in a showy mod.

She was rather small and busy eating.

At this point in the story it's getting crowded around our friendly minke and quite late so we take off.

Maybe we stumble upon something else.

 

And we did.

White-beaked dolphins appeared near the boat on the way in.

4 adults, 2 calves.

One of the adults had a big notch in his dorsal fin.

Showed themselves well, but never really got close to the boat.

 

All in all a very fine day.

 

Looks like it's gonna be a little bit windy tomorrow.

And really windy tomorrow.

But we will see what will be ;) 

-JIB

 

07.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

 

12:45 - ON 

A nice day to out to the sea, so why not go whale watching?

 

Puffin

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

All the pretty whales are still out on the bay :)

 

It was very overcast as we headed out on our whale watching trip this afternoon.

But it was rather calm and not very cold, despite the northern breeze.

We headed out in a northwesterly direction, and it wasn't long until we came upon a group of white-beaked dolphins.

They showed themselves well and joy derived from dolphins was had :)

 

And then soon after we found a minke whale.

And another one.

And a few of them.

At one point we had at least 4 minke whales swimming around in our vicinity.

All very busy feeding from just beneath the surface, so a lot of them coming up snout first. 

 

So to sum it up, we saw a whole lot of white-beaked dolphins and minke whales.

Much like yesterday, there was just whole lot of them out on the bay, eating and feeding.

 

So another fine day out on Faxaflói.

 

-JIB

06.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

Good day, how about starting your day with a bit of fresh air from the sea!

12:45 - ON

Sun is shining and little wind. Great day to go whale watching.

 

Puffin

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

What a day !

 

First tour: Calm as a cucumber, if that can be applied to bodies of water.

A bit nippy, the sun was shining up in the sky.

Read that carefully: up in the sky. 

It didn't really make it all the way down to the surface do to the heavy fog that was hanging over the bay.

The second foggiest day out here I ever remember.

So we pretty much saw nothing.

Except for 3 white-beaked dolphins that appeared all of a sudden.

And they showed themselves really well and we could see them clearly through the water.

Good times in fog :)

 

Second tour: The fog cleared up nicely. Still calm.

And we found dolphins pretty early into the trip.

And more dolphins.

And more.

There were probably about 50 white-beaked dolphins swimming around us at one point.

 

And then, we saw a minke whale off in the distance.

And another one closer by.

And another one further off.

And then on close by.

And a few further off.

We saw at least 9 minke whales today.

Some near and some far.

 

All in all a fantastic day.

Hopefully more to come.

Probably.

But we will see what will be :)

 

-JIB

 

 

 

05.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON

 

 

Puffin

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

04.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON

 

 

Puffin

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

Today we had a mixed day kind of sweet and sour, we expected great results, but we got little luck in the end. We left harbor on a warm and mostly windless day and set course to the feeding grounds. As yesterday, we began to see birds in large numbers and some auk diving birds, mostly puffins. Then further out we could see gannets plunging into the surface and we saw large shoals of fish. We were looking for a humpback whale we had spotted the day before, but we found a minke whale that was seen twice, but very briefly.

 

            

 

We waited for the minke whale we had sighted to return to the surface for a long while, it never did so we just had to leave the area. Then, we heard reports over the radio of a humpback whale in the vicinity. Again we waited for quite a while with no sight of that whale, we had actually exhausted our available time so we were just heading back to harbor when the large humpback was seen at a 300-500 m distance, it spouted once and quickly took a dive showing its fluke clearly. It all happened so fast that unfortunately there was no time to get a picture of the fluke.

 

                     
                   Note that this is not the whale we saw today, but it looked just like that.

 

The second tour of the day was futile, we saw large numbers of birds, especially gannets in groups taking dives everywhere. We also found massive shoals of fish, difficult to tell whether it may have been capelin on their final attempt to spawn in the bay or the first sand eel shoals of the summer. Despite all this plenty, not one of the six or seven whale watching boats encountered any whales in the bay in today's evening tour, so all passengers will have a chance to try again with the same tickets.

 

-JHF

03.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

12:45 - ON

Real summer weather, perfect for sailing and looking for whales

 

Puffin

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

Gannets in business

 

There was no tour in the morning today as there was a strong gale blowing in the earlier hours. After midday, the wind decreased to a moderate gale and all whale watching boats to sea to try their luck. Initially, there was little sign of activity near the shallower areas of the bay, but there were plenty of schools of fish near the bottom. About half an hour out all boats began to sight large groups of birds, as we got closer it became clear that there was a mixture of fulmar, kittiwake gulls and most importantly gannets taking dives.

           

                 

 

It didn't take long before we saw huge shoals of fish under the boat, all together these are the signs of plenty that attract cetaceans (whales, porpoises and dolphins to the feeding areas in the bay. There must have been plenty of harbor porpoises driving the fish to the surface as the birds were spread over large areas, we actually did see some porpoises briefly later on the tour. We also expected minke whales to be present and to show up anytime. Indeed, that was the case and we spotted a minke whale surfacing briefly a couple of times near us while other boats were sighting other minke whales. However, these animals were very busy getting to fish and with the rather windy conditions, it was very hard to get to see them properly so only a lucky few saw these animals.

 

All the whale watching boats began sailing in circles as no one was sure were these minke whales would surface next and our captain Björn decided to take a look a group of gannets further out. On getting closer I saw a large dark shadow to starboard (right-hand side) and we stopped to wait for it to return to the surface. Then we saw it coming to the surface and spouting twice that to our satisfaction confirmed it was a humpback whale. It dove again to remain submerged for 10-15 minutes and when it surfaced again in front of us it took a deep dive and presented its fluke or tail clearly. It was good to have seen that humpback whale twice, but the conditions today weren't perfect and the whales were very unpredictable, so we didn't manage to get decent pictures of them, unfortunately.   

 

JHF 

02.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

Due to weather we are not sailing out this morning. 

12:45 - OFF

Due to weather we are not sailing out this afternoon.

 

Puffin

15:00 - OFF

17:00 - OFF

19:00 - OFF

01.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

Due to weather we are not sailing out this morning. 

12:45 - ON

There will be some movement out there. If you are sensitive to motionsickness we provide seasickness pills free of charge.

 

Puffin

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ....

19:00 - ....

30.4.2017 - WHALE WATCHING TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON

Pleasant weather conditions for whale watching tour.

A taste of summer

 

In the morning tour, we left at low tide on a mild westerly breeze, but it did not feel too cold. Checking on the sea currents we noticed a typical summer southwesterly prevailing current, so the first choice was clear, set course west toward the feeding sand banks. Just before reaching the sand banks large numbers of auks (puffins and guillemots) were seen diving all around us. After a while, we also noticed the presence of harbor porpoises and gannets.

 

                                                         
​ 

 

In all this combination, with the addition of large numbers of fish (sand eels), seemed perfect. However, we searched the area up and down with little to see except for the porpoises we had previously encountered. We came across a couple of minke whales that surfaced too briefly to get a proper look at them.

 

                               

 

We were getting ready for one of these days when minke whales start playing hide and seek when our captain suddenly set course to a large group of birds some half a mile away. Arriving we were greeted by a larger than a usual number of porpoises, there were at least 15-20 porpoises feeding at leisure and showing themselves repeatedly. Only a few minutes later we started to sight minke whales sharing the fish with these porpoises, at one point we reckoned that there were at least three to five minke whales there.

 

                                                      

 

After the successful tour in the morning we knew where to head next, so in the second tour, we set course west again. The breeze that was blowing in the morning had calmed and it was warmer so conditions were just perfect. Since we left on the flowing tide we expected to find activity closer to shore on this occasion. Not long after leaving harbor we began to encounter minke whales, but this time the shoals of sand eels were enormous, there were fish and diving birds just about everywhere. 

 

We had to wait for a little for the minke whales in the area to return back to the surface after their feeding dives, but we got decent views of them on several occasions. Then, about one mile away or so, we spotted some larger shade over the sea surface. We hoped it was a humpback whale so we headed there without hesitation. As we approached it became clear, it was a large humpback lunge feeding slowly at the surface. We got closer to the animal and watched it rolling gently sideways to fill its mouth with large gulps of water and fish, it was a great sight. 

 

                

 

 

We had found that individual first so we enjoyed the privilege by spending the best time with it until other whale watching boats caught up with us, then we left so as to not disturb that individual too much.

 

-JHF

29.4.2017 - WHALE WATCHING TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

Due to bad weather we are forced to cancel morning tour.

To reschedule or get a refund please contact us at info@ReykjavikSailors.is

12:45 - ON

It will be calmer in the afternoon but might feel some movements on the boat.

We provide complimentary seasickness pills just ask in our office or crew on the boat.

 

 

12:45 / 13:00

 

Another day, another whale watching trip.

 

We headed west, the wind blowing at our backs.

After about an hour of sailing we came upon an elusive minke whale.

But she proved to be a tricky creature, and we gave up our chase after a while.

 

And we looked into the west a little while longer.

But one doesn't have all the time in the world to look for whales.

So we turned around and sailed back east.

 

The wind started picking up a bit.

And we keep heading back. 

BUT !! Out of the corner of our eyes we see a great big spout !

 

Some distance away, but there he is, a humpback.

It takes a while to get a good look, but we see him lunge feed a couple of times and a nice side view as well.

 

So another fine day out on the bay.

 

- JIB

28.4.2017 - WHALE WATCHING TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

12:45 - ON

We might feel movements on the boat, we provide complimentary sea sickness pils just ask in our office or crew on the boat.

 
 
 

12:45 / 13:00

 

A break between storms today, as we headed out on our whale watching tour.

A lot of rain and not a lot of visibility, and a little bit of movement as well.

 

We headed out in a northwesterly direction and after about an hour a large minke whale popped up in front of us.

We chased it around a little bit, saw it quite well and quite close.

It's possible that they were two. There seemed to be a bit of a size difference between the sightings, so, probably maybe two of them.

And then a gale greeted us on the way back in.

A fine day that was :)  

-JIB

27.4.2017 - WHALE WATCHING TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

Due to bad weather conditions we are forced to cancel morning tour.

To reschedule or get a refund please contact us at info@ReykjavikSailors.is

12:45 - ON

We might feel some movements on the boat, we provide complimentary sea sickness pils just ask in our office or crew on the boat.

 

26.4.2017 - WHALE WATCHING TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

12:45 - ON

Cloudy day in Reykjavik, so why not go whale watching! Not to much wind and not to cold, good day to spend on the sea. 
To book email info@reykjaviksailors.is or book online (and pay) and get 15% disscount.

25.4.2017 - WHALE WATCHING TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON 

Today we had only one tour and the odds were not great as we left in the middle of the flowing tide so there were strong currents out there. That translated in little of the sand eels available to cetaceans and diving birds today. We saw puffins and gillemots, but they were more spread than they had been on previous days. Doolphins were not in the bay today and little sign of minke whales according to reports from other whale watching boats. Some porpoises were sighted briefly by other boatfors, but it was noning like it had been on previous days. 

 

We had been scanning the usual feeding grouds with little success until all the sudden two of our passengers began pointing to the right hand side of the boat in excitement. When I cought up with them it turn out that there was a minke whale breaching about a quarter of a mile away. I called all passengers to the right and everyone witnessed the acrobatic breaching and splashes of that whale that seemed to be in trance. Our captian Bjõrn had also been whatching that individual breaching more than seven times, once it had its entire body out of the water, a possibly 7 or 8 tonn animal, just impressive. Unfortunately, it all happened too far away and too fast to get decent pictures but it was a formidable sight. After we had reached the location where the animal had been breaching it just vanished from view and despite our search we didn't get to see it again.

 

In all, the brief viewing of that single whale made the tour worth and all passengers, despite a slightly unconfortable wawy sailing agaist the waves, and the lack of pictures of whales were satisfied.

 

-JHF

24.4.2017 - WHALE WATCHING TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON 

Beautiful sunny weather for whale watching 

Today there was a very cold moderate breeze from the northwest, we set course west towards the area of sandbanks in the bay were we know sand eels are abundant. Today there were plenty of birds out there, and also large numbers of puffins in the feeding areaOur guests managed to get nice pictures of puffins emerging from their dives and also when some individuals that were quite close to the boat. Once on the feeding grounds, we as it is becoming the usual pattern, we found harbor porpoises that were showing up here and there in small groups. There were groups of northern gannets taking frenzy dives here and there probably associated with the porpoises, Not long after we sighted a minke whale and it became clear it was in the company of other minke whales, at least three or four. 

 

Today it was extremely difficult to get good pictures of those minke whales as they were appearing suddenly, briefly and sporadically. I just managed to get one sequence on multiple shots when one suddenly appeared beside our boat,  

In the afternoon there were probably stronger tidal currents out there, and all the bird life was gone, We proceeded towards the same area where we had encountered the minke whales in the morning tour. However, we got there and except for puffins, we saw no sign of the minke whales nor the porpoises, just like the day earlier. Today, we found large numbers of white-beaked dolphins spread over large areas there must have been hundreds of them in a few square kilometers. It seemed that the dolphins had arrived in large numbers into the area chasing away the porpoises we had encountered earlier in the morning tour.

 

We took pictures of all sorts of single individuals, groups, far away and just next to us. 

 

For the next days, it is predicted to warm up so it is possible that conditions will improve in the bay and also it will make whale watching a little easier that it was today.

 

JHF

23.4.2017 - WHALE WATCHING TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

Su nis shinig but it is cold. We sail out today

12:45 - ON 

Beautiful day, su n is shining and little wind and we are sailing out!

Today Sunday the 23rd sea conditions were fine, there was a coldish mild breeze from the northwest, but it was sunny and pleasant, especially on the way back. We set course west on low tide. Today there were few birds out there, but there had been larger numbers of puffins in the seen in the bay, especially in the feeding area. Our guests managed to get nice pictures of puffins emerging from their dives and also when some individuals that were quite close to the boat. Once on the feeding grounds, we began to notice the presence of harbor porpoises that were showing up here and there briefly. Not long after we sighted a minke whale. 

 

  

We saw that individual once more and not long after it appeared as if it had been joined by other whales we think that at some point there were at least three individuals near us.

 

In the afternoon the phase of the tide was on flow or incoming and there were probably stronger tidal currents out there. We proceeded towards the same area where we had encountered the minke whales in the morning tour. However, we got there and except for puffins, we saw no sign of the minke whales nor the porpoises. we persevered in our search and eventually, we found a nice group of white-beaked dolphins that spent a while with us. 

 

  

In summary, it was a rather cold day but it was pleasant on the sun and sailing with the wind on our way back. We had a reasonable sighting success and the arrival of large numbers of puffins spiced the day.

 

-JHF   

22.4.2017 - WHALE WATCHING TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

Cloudy but pleasant weather. We are sailing out today.

12:45 - ON

It is still nice wather, warmer than this morning so we will sail out again this after noon

On this day we left harbor in a cloudy but pleasant day, conditions at sea seemed fine from the shelter of the harbor, but it proved a little rougher than we had anticipated. We left the harbor and set course west towards the feeding grounds in the bay. On our way out we had noticed the increasing numbers of puffins just outside the harbor area. Upon reaching the feeding grounds we stumbled upon a nice group of 5 or 6 white-beaked dolphins that were spotted first by our captain as they were splashing and breaching leisurely.


 

That was all for that morning tour we searched the vicinity for the presence of some minke whales with no success. Wenger had heard over the radio that some had been seen briefly further out in the bay, we didn't find that surprising because we were right at the lowest phase of the tidal cycle. In the second tour of the day, we also found dolphins a little further out in the bay, but this group was larger but less exciting to watch. 


After having spent a while with these dolphins we moved away from them to let them rest and luckily, again our captain, spotted a large minke whale a few hundred meters right in front of us. 


This was great as we finished the day in style and is great news for the coming days, the whales are beginning to enter the Faxa bay after two long days of stormy weather and may begin to show up in larger numbers.

 

-JHF 

21.4.2017 - WHALE WATCHING TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON

 

Today we had a little cold day sailing out into the bay, we also had some waves that did not amount to swell. Afer a couple of days of rough weather, when no boats did go out at all. We did not know what to expect so we decided to set course west towards the feeding grounds. A humpback whale had been around in the bay the days before the storm.

 

                          

We were hoping that this individual may have just returned to the bay after the stormy weather had calmed, but no one of the whale watching boats spotted it today. There were only small groups of white-beaked dolphins to be found out there on the morning tour. 


Later on, we noticed the presence of diving birds (guillemots and puffins) in the area as well as more fish under the boat. All these observations made us suspect that minke whales may have been attracted to the area, indeed while on our way back a minke whale showed up right in front of us. Although some passengers saw it well we did not manage to get a picture this time as it all happened too fast. We called all passengers back on deck and searched for that individual for a while but it just didn't show up again, it probably swam away too fast in some direction and we just lost it. 

 

In summary, the day was reasonably successful considering the turbulent conditions out there after the stormy days. The presence of auks (guillemots and puffins) is very encouraging they arrive into the bay because they expect sand eels to begin to come off the sandy bottom after their long hibernation.

 

-JHF  

20.4.2017 - WHALE WATCHING TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

Too strong wind expected in the morning to sail :(

To reschedule or get a refund  please contact us at info@ReykjavikSailors.is

12:45 - OFF

Nothing change, it is still too windy to sail today :(

To reschedule or get a refund  please contact us at info@ReykjavikSailors.is

 

19.4.2017 - WHALE WATCHING TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

We might feel some movement on the boat on the morning tour but we provide complimentary seasickness pils, just ask at our office or crew on the boat

12:45 - OFF

It will be to rough on the ocean to sail in the afternoon.

To reschedule or get a refund  please contact us at info@ReykjavikSailors.is