DAILY DIARY

05.07.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - OFF

It is to windy and to rough on the ocean for fishing tour.

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

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - OFF

 

08:45

Today we left harbor with some rain and a strong breeze that was supposed to gain in strength latter on in the day. Despite the wind conditions were excellent and as soon as we left arbor we saw plenty of puffins flying in and out of their colonies on the neighbouring islands.

 

As it is the norm in the summer on approaching the feeding area we saw large groups of birds. Then, we began to sight minke whales here and there. 

 

As it has been the case these days on the  we encountered plenty of sea birds, fish and all the cetacean types that visit the bay, including porpoises,white-beaked dolphins, minke whales and humpback whales.

 

12:45

Conditions for the second tour did not change and again we saw all types of cetaceans. We encountered first a group of dolphins and spent a while with them. Then, while searching for more minke whales we found porpoises and finally more minke whales. When we found a humpback in the company of a pair of minke whales  we focussed our attention on that humpback whale and got good pictures before sailing back to harbor with all passengers satisfied.

 

On the second tour we captured this fine picture of this individual humpback whale.we got 

04.07.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - ON
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

 

08:45

 

In our first tour we left Reykjavík harbor with some rain, but no significant wind, that made excellent conditions for whale watching. We left on the flowing phase of the tidal cycle so we had little to sail out. As we approached the feeding area to the west of Reykjavík we focused on large groups of birds that could be seen at a distance. As it has been the case these days, we began to sight minke whales here and there. 

 

 

As it has been the case these days on the  we encountered plenty of sea birds, fish and all the cetacean types that visit the bay, including porpoises,white-beaked dolphins, minke whales and humpback whales.

 

12:45

Conditions for the second tour did not change and again we saw all types of cetaceans. We encountered first group of dolphins and spent a while with them then porpoises and minke whales.

Two fine shots of a minke whale, not far and some juvenile white beaked dolphins.

 

Finally, we focussed our attention on a humpback whale nearby and got good pictures before sailing back to harbor with all passengers satified.

 

 

On the second tour we captured this fine picture of this individual humpback whale.

 

17:00

 

This evening we decided to sail straight for the feeding area, once there we had deployed the dredge and watched some whales we started fishing. Today's fishing was very good we caught plenty of large cod and a wolffish, not bad!

 

-JHF 

03.07.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - ON
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

 

 

8:45

It was a lovely sunny morning today, although it got a bit cloudy later on, but thankfully we only had a little shower of rain! On our way out from Reykjavik this morning we spotted a group of white-beaked dolphins, which came and played with us for a little while, swimming along just under the water beside the boat. We decided not to stay with them for too long though as we wanted to get a bit further out to where we have been seeing lots of minke and humpback whales over the past few days. As we travelled a bit further out we had a nice surprise when two harbour porpoises briefly came and swam right up to the front of the bow, and we could see them very clearly down through the water! We then spotted lots of seabirds, and several minke whales. And then we were treated to another very close encounter with a humpback whale. It came very close to the boat for a few minutes, which is always a very special experience for everyone on board! 


White-beaked dolphins

 


​​The tail flukes of a humpback whale.

 

12:45

The wind had dropped a bit by the time we went out for our afternoon tour, so the sea was nice and calm which is perfect for spotting whales. We sailed straight back out towards the area where we had seen the minkes and the humpback this morning, hoping to see them again. And soon we were surrounded by minke whales! We lost track of how many we saw, but it must have been at the very least 10 or so. We then drove a little further west, and found not one but two humpbacks! They were both spending a lot of time at the surface, most likely resting, perhaps taking a nap after a busy morning of eating lots of fish and krill. We managed to get a very close view of one of them and then finally it dived and we got to see that lovely tail. It was teasing us a bit too, as it surfaced towards the back of the boat and nobody noticed until it slapped its tail on the water! But since it was behind us most of us (myself included sadly) missed it I am sure these whales are more intelligent than we give them credit more... Anyway it was still a great sighting, and a great way to end the tour. 


A minke whale that came very close to the boat!


​​A diving humpback whale.

 

17:00 - Creatures of the Sea 

We headed out towards Hvalfjörður on today's Creatures of the Sea trip as the wind had got a bit stronger since our afternoon tour. This area is more protected from the wind, which is better for fishing. First we put down our plow, and we collected some really interesting things - lots of soft corals, 3 huge sea cucumbers, starfish, brittle starfish, a few hermit crabs and a whelk! We then started fishing and caught 5 large cod, which we grilled and ate for dinner on our way back to the city. We definitely have the freshest fish in Reykjavik, you can't possibly eat fresher fish than this!


Some of the creatures we ​collected in our plow today, including starfish, soft corals and sea cucumbers.


The freshest fish in town, straight off the grill!​

 

-Astrid 

 

 

02.07.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - ON
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - OFF

 

8:45

 

It was a little bit winder today than it was yesterday, but it was lovely and sunny so still a pleasant day to spend out at sea! Once we got out to the usual feeding grounds of the whales in the bay, we were treated to an amazing sight. There must have been thousands of seabirds in groups all around the area, all flocking and diving into the water to catch themselves some fish. And as we got closer, we could see why - there were at least 4 or 5 humpback whales lunge feeding at the surface! They were not bothered by us at all, and two of them came incredibly close to the boat several times. It was very exciting to be able to see this interesting feeding behaviour so close, and we even got to see their baleen plates as they opened their mouths wide to take huge mouthfuls of water. They stayed close to us for at least half an hour, but then they suddenly disappeared, probably to go and find some more fish somewhere else. So we decided to sail a bit further north in the bay, and briefly spotted a few minke whales but none of them were very close to the boat. We then headed back to the city, hoping to maybe spot some dolphins on our way back. And we got a lovely treat just as we were heading back into the harbour, as we spotted a small family group of white-beaked dolphins, and there were some babies too! What a lovely way to end the tour. It was definitely a very special tour today - we definitely don't get to see humpback whales displaying this feeding behaviour every day!


Humpback whales displaying lunge feeding behaviour​

 

 

12:45

 

It was still beautiful sunny weather for our afternoon tour, and we headed straight out into the bay, back to where we had seen all of the humpback whales this morning, hoping that we would see them again. And we did indeed! We saw at least 3 different individuals, and one of them spent around 20 minutes just casually swimming around our boat in circles - it was great to see it in such a relaxed mood! There were many flocks of seabirds all around us, just like this morning, which is a very good sign that there is a lot of life in Faxaflói Bay right now. After leaving the humpbacks we headed east in the hope of spotting something else. And lucky us - we spotted a group of white-beaked dolphins jumping through the water! It looked like a fairly large family group of maybe 10-15 individuals, including calves. So it is quite likely that this is the same group we encountered at the very end of our morning tour. They played with us a for a little bit, swimming back and forth under the boat, before heading north, probably to find some food. Unfortunately we were running out of time so had to start heading back to the city, but on the way we saw a minke whale surface 3 times quite close to the boat. 


The tail flukes of one of the humpback whales we saw on today´s afternoon tour


​Mother and calf (white-beaked dolphins)

17:00 - Creatures of the Sea

 

After the success of yesterday's Creatures of the Sea trip, we decided to do the same and sail back out to the area in the bay where we saw lots of whales earlier today. When we got about 10 miles out we were greeted by a friendly humpback whale that was waving one of its long white pectoral fins at us! We saw it diving a couple of times too, so we got a good view of its tail flukes. We then put down our plow, but did not collect very much from the seabed today, only a few shells and starfish. So we moved on to sea angling, and it turned out to be one of the most successful fishing trips we have had. We caught enough cod to make ourselves a seafood feast for dinner! And just as we were heading back to Reykjavik, we had another humpback whale breaching just in front of the boat! (sadly it took us so much by surprise that we didn't manage to get any photos). Just an absolutely perfect end to the trip, and a lovely summer's day of whale watching.

 


A humpback whale waving hello!


​A perfect summer's evening for fishing.

 

 

-Astrid

01.07.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - ON
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

 

8:45

The sea was beautifully calm and the sun was trying to come out on this morning's tour - lovely Icelandic summer weather and just perfect for whale watching! And in what must be record time we spotted a humpback whale very close to shore. It was very small, and so we think it is likely to be the same young calf we saw on our tours yesterday, just sheltering in the shallow waters of the bay, but we cannot know this for sure unless we can compare photos of its tail fluke pattern - this black and white pattern on the underside of a humpback's tail is like the whale version of a fingerprint, it is unique to each individual. Again, this calf was very relaxed and friendly, and we spent around 20 minutes with it around our boat. We then sailed further out into the bay, towards the well known feeding ground of the whales, and spotted two white-beaked dolphins. They were being quite playful and swam under our boat twice, giving us an amazing view of them through the water. We also spotted several groups of harbour porpoises in the area, along with at least 5 or 6 minke whales! A couple of these minkes came very close to our boat, so everyone on board got a good view of them as they swam by. We stopped briefly on our way back into the harbour to look at another humpback, an adult this time, which dived just in front of us as showed us its tail flukes. So we were very lucky this morning, to see all 4 of the main species seen around Reykjavik all in one trip!


The little humpback whale - possibly the same one we saw yesterday 


​A white-beaked dolphin just under the surface of the water

 

 

 

12:45

It was still very calm out in the bay for our afternoon tour, so we sailed straight out into the bay feeling optimistic about sightings. We headed towards the well known local feeding ground of whales and dolphins, looking for the signature signs such as blows/spouts, backs and fins, any unusual splashes and flocking seabirds. And boy, were we spoiled today! Once we reached the feeding grounds there were just minke whales everywhere! We must have seen at least 50 during the whole trip. And one of them even came right up to the boat, and flipped onto its side to have a look at us, showing us all its white belly! We also spent some time with a humpback that was busy feeding, but we saw its tail flukes 3 times as it dived. There were also several groups of harbour porpoises around, and we spotted two white-beaked dolphins again, possibly the same pair that we saw this morning. At one point we had 3 different species all swimming around our boat! I really wish every day was like this - today was just the absolute perfect day of whale watching. 


A harbour porpoise


The very friendly minke whale, just before it showed us its belly!

 

 

17:00 - Creatures of the Sea

Our Creatures of the Sea trip started off quite slowly, as we tried sea angling close to the harbour but only caught 3 small haddock. So we decided to sail out a bit further and put down our plow. We collected, amongst other things, a lot of starfish, a sea cucumber, a tiny hermit crab and some bright orange soft coral. It is always interesting to see what is on the bottom of the sea! We then sailed back out to where we had seen all of the whales earlier today, and they were definitely still there as we saw many minke whales and two humpbacks. We then decided to do some multi-tasking and combine our whale watching with some more fishing. And we definitely chose the right spot, as we caught at least 10 smaller whiting, and then - the surprise of the trip - a HUGE pollock! So after a slow start, we had another very successful Creatures of the Sea trip today!


Fishing with a view - that's a humpback whale in the background!


The catch of the day! A huge pollock (also known as saithe).

-Astrid

 

 

 

30.06.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - OFF
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - OFF

 

8:45

We had an absolutely incredible start to our morning tour today - despite starting out with very heavy rain, the weather soon cleared up and we even got a bit of blue sky! And that was not the best part - after only around 20 minutes of sailing out from the harbour, we spotted a humpback whale only around 100m from our boat! We stopped the engine and spent half an hour with this very curious whale. It seemed very relaxed, and came right up to the boat several times, seemingly checking us out. It was a very small individual, possibly a calf from last year that is spending its first summer alone - we definitely do not get sightings like this every day, so this was a very special experience for customers and crew alike! We never want to be causing any stress to these animals so we left after around 30 minutes to allow some other boats to have a closer look and to give the whale some space. We also spotted the blows of at least two more humpbacks closer to Reykjavik, meaning there were at least 3 individuals in just one part of the bay. This is great to see - the summer humpback season is really picking up now! After leaving the little humpback, we sailed further out into the bay, hoping to spot some of the other species we often see around here. We had a brief encounter with a small group (maybe 4-5) of white-beaked dolphins and spotted a minke whale in the area. However the minke must have taken a deep dive as we only saw it once. We were just starting to run out of time so had turned around to head back to Reykjavik, when we saw two very big splashes around 2 miles away - it is possible this was the result of a humpback breaching, but unfortunately it was too far away for us to tell for sure. We sailed past the area where we saw the splashes keeping all eyes around the boat but sadly did not get to see anything more. Not that we could really complain after the trip we already had! 



​Our new friend - the baby humpback!

 

12:45

The Icelandic weather was up to its usual tricks today and the rain had returned for our afternoon tour. However, we still encountered that same young humpback whale from this morning in almost exactly the same spot in the bay. It was just as friendly and curious as it was in the morning, and kept swimming right beside and even under our boat! It seemed to especially like our boat, as it stayed close to us despite a few other whale watching boats coming to have a look too - and we were not complaining! After we had spent another 30 minutes or so with our new friend, we decided again to sail a bit further out into the bay in the hopes of spotting something else. We didn't have to travel very far before spotting some big splashes on the horizon, which as we got closer turned out to be another humpback displaying a behaviour called tail slapping (which is exactly what it sounds like - slapping its tail on the surface of the water to create a big splash). As we got closer the humpback stopped doing this but we got another very close up view of it at the surface, and it dived right in front of us, giving us a fantastic view of its tail flukes - complete with barnacles! A couple of our eagle-eyed customers also spotted a minke whale swimming past the boat as we approached the humpback, and we saw the blows of two more humpbacks in the distance. Unfortunately as usual, time flies when you are having fun, and not long after finding this humpback we had to turn around and head back to the city. But we have had two incredible whale watching trips today - if only it was like this every day! 

This humpback had a very unusual hooked dorsal fin



​Barnacles on the tail flukes of the same humpback whale

 

-Astrid

29.06.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON 

12:45 - ON

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - OFF
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

 

8:45

 

We headed out into Faxaflói Bay this morning with a slight breeze coming from the west. This meant that the sea surface itself was pretty calm but there was a fairly big swell, causing some movement on the boat. However, because there was not much wind, it was still very good conditions for whale spotting. Once we reached our usual spot, about 10 miles out from Reykjavik, we spotted a couple of big flocks of seabirds, and among them at least 4 or 5 minke whales. We stopped the boat and saw several of these minkes surface very close to us. They were even close enough for us to be able to smell their breath - and let me tell you, there is a reason they are known as "stinky minkes"! After a few minutes these whales and the seabirds seemed to disperse, so we drove a bit further out and again encountered at least 5 more minkes! There was pretty much a minke whale in every direction you looked, so all of our customers got a great view of them. We drove a bit further out into the bay in the hopes of spotting a humpback, but unfortunately if there were any there, they were doing a very good job of playing hide and seek. So we turned around and slowly made our way back to Reykjavik, spotting a couple of harbour porpoises along the way. 

 

12:45

 

After sailing out of Reykjavik for around one hour, we reached the usual feeding grounds of the whales and briefly spotted a few minke whales, but from quite far away. We then noticed some unusual splashes on the horizon and once we tracked them down discovered that the source of the splashes was a pod of white-beaked dolphins! They were clearly in a very playful mood as they were jumping and spinning through the air, which is always just so great to watch. They came quite close to our boat a couple of times, so everyone on board got a fantastic view of their beautiful white striped markings. Despite a slightly grey and rainy start to the tour, the sun then decided to come out, turning the sea from grey to a lovely deep green/blue colour. After spending around 10 minutes with the dolphins we decided to turn back in the direction of Reykjavik, and after spotting a small group of 3 or 4 harbour porpoises, we stumbled upon possibly the same group of minke whales that we saw this morning. There were lots of seabirds around and we must have spotted around 4 or 5 minkes all feeding in the area. We then heard from another boat that they had spotted the blow of a humpback, so we headed over there but the whale was being quite elusive, and all we really saw was its blow a couple of times. There were lots of whale watching boats in the area all trying to see this one whale, and as we were starting to run out of time, and didn't want to distress the whale by crowding it, we decided to call it a day and head back to the city. But despite this very brief sighting of the humpback, we still saw 4 out of 4 of the most commonly seen species all in one trip! 

 

-Astrid

28.06.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - ON
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

 

08:45

This tour seemed like it was going to turn out well and indeed this was the case. We left harbor with some shower spells,as it has been the case since the weekend. As soon as we had left the shallower areas the rain had cleared. We headed out west towards the whale feeding grounds and reaching these we spotted some minke whales first, but not for long enough to get pictures.Then,as it is becoming the case these days, we saw the spouting of a humpback whale and we approached it to take some pictures. 

However, after following this individual for a while, then we got news of another humpback whale splashing the water with its tail and quickly moved there. It engaged in this behavior for 10 to 15 minutes before it got tired and left the area.

12:45  

The afternoon tour was warmer, we enjoyed a sunny weather, but the humpback whales we had encountered in the morning were not seen. Again we went towards the feeding grounds, but we saw harbor porpoises often, even inside the harbor area. As we arrived at the feeding grounds we saw large groups of birds feeding at the surface. On approaching the birds we watched a pair of minke whales lunge feeding and got a very good view. We heard about some white-beaked dolphins nearby but we had no more time left and had to head back.

-JHF

27.06.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - ON
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

 

08:45

 

On this day we left harbor with shower spells near the coastal areas that soon cleared as we sailed out. It was not sunny, but there were clearings here and there. As we were on the high tide we expected to encounter bird life close to the shore, but it wasn't the case and just arriving to the feeding area we spotted more and more seabirds. Then we spotted a minke whale or two nearby, but only the crew had a good view of it 

It didn't take long for the spouts of a humpback whale just under the birds to call our attention and we didn't hesitate to approach it. As we got closer we noticed it was lunge feeding and we got even closer. We disengaged propellers and turn our echo-sounder off. We got very good pictures of that individual as it swam towards us and stayed with us for a good 5 minutes. as it was busy feeding we never saw its tail, but we took good pictures of the dorsal fin which is also used for identification.

The whale came very close to us and it even took a dive under the bout it was as good as it can get. 

 

 

12:45

 

For the afternoon conditions had already changed the tide was ebbing, there were also plenty of whales and birds. However, although we saw minke whales quite close  a few times the humpback whale was it was not as spectacular as it had been in the morning.

 

 

-JHF

26.06.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - OFF
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

8:45

 

It was a little overcast this morning but there was hardly any wind so the sea was lovely and calm for our morning tour. We headed out of Reykjavik on the high tide, and only around 30 minutes or so into the trip we spotted a humpback whale! It was feeding close to the surface, and was surrounded by lots of seabirds. Then we realised that there was also a pod of white-beaked dolphins feeding right next to the humpback, just like yesterday! We managed to spend around 10 minutes with just us with the humpback and dolphins before a lot of other whale watching boats arrived. Not long after they arrived we decided to give the whale some space and drive a little further out to see what else we could find. We encountered at least 5 minke whales very close to where the humpback was first spotted - it is amazing to be able to see 3 different species all in the same area! One of the minke whales surfaced right beside the boat, then dived underneath us, giving us a great view of its whole body (even the white patches on its pectoral fins) through the water. So it was a great trip out this morning! 

 

12:45

 

As we sailed out this afternoon we were greeted with an unusual sight - there was a NATO training exercise going on in the bay involving several warships and a submarine. Not something you see every day! So to avoid getting in their way we travelled a bit more south in the bay than this morning to see what we would find. The sun came out about an hour into the tour, and it turned into a lovely summer afternoon, with still only a gentle breeze meaning the sea was still nice and calm - perfect for whale spotting. And we did spot some whales, not just one but two humpbacks! We stayed with them for quite a long time, at first alongside another whale watching boat, but when they left we had this pair of humpbacks all to ourselves. The whales in Faxaflói Bay always like to surprise us, and just as we were all staring intently to the front of the boat, these two humpbacks surfaced RIGHT behind us! They then swam past us incredibly close to the boat, so we could even see the white of their pectoral fins through the water. It was a very special encounter. After a while we decided to give these whales some space as a lot of other whale watching boats had arrived again, so we slowly started heading back to Reykjavik, enjoying the sunny weather - finally, it feels like summer! 

 

-Astrid 

25.06.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON

Beautiful sunny day :) - good weather is back let's hope it is for good

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - ON
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

After several days of wind and rain, we finally got some beautiful sunshine again, and today was just the perfect day for whale watching! 

 

8:45

 

We sailed out into Faxaflói Bay this morning in lovely sunny weather, feeling very optimistic about whale sightings. And we were definitely not disappointed! First of all we spotted many big flocks of seabirds, and on closer inspection spotted a couple of minke whales swimming amongst the birds. We then decided to sail a bit further south in the bay, in the hope of spotting our favourite - the humpback whale. And we were in luck! We spotted one from seeing its blow from quite far away, in the middle of yet another big flock of seabirds, so we sailed closer. We stayed with this whale for at least half an hour and watched as it kept diving, giving us some great views of its tail flukes each time. But the show was not quite over - suddenly we spotted some unusual splashes a few hundred metres away, which turned out to be a group of white-beaked dolphins. The dolphins not only came close to us, they swam right up to the humpback whale and seemed to be feeding right alongside it, almost as though they were stealing fish from the whale! And to top it all off we spotted another minke whale too while this was all going on. Just amazing! Sadly, time always flies when you are having fun, and not long after this we had to say goodbye to all of these amazing animals and head back to Reykjavik. But on the way we briefly spotted a group of harbour porpoises too, meaning we saw all 4 of the most commonly seen species in one trip -  you can't get much better than that! 

12:45 

 

The wind had picked up a little by our afternoon tour, and it took us a little longer to get some sightings. However, after some patience, we again spotted the huge flocks of seabirds - they had moved a bit further out into the bay since the morning. And not long after we encountered the birds we spotted the spout of a humpback whale! We managed to get very close to this whale, and got just perfect views of it diving at least 5 or 6 times, and again were able to take some good photos of its tail flukes. We also spotted two minke whales while we were watching the humpback. We stayed with the humpback for around 45 minutes, but then decided to drive a little further north to give the whale some space, and allow the other boats to have a closer look too. We saw a few more big groups of seabirds but did not spot any other whales or dolphins, so we headed back to the city with some great memories and photos of that humpback!

17:00 - Creatures of the Sea

 

It was a perfect summer's evening for our Creatures of the Sea tour, and it turned out to be a great trip. We were pretty successful with the sea angling today as we caught lots of fish including cod, haddock and whiting, and enjoyed a lovely fresh fish BBQ in the sun once we got back to the harbour. There is just something so satisfying about catching your own fish and then eating it too!

-Astrid

24.06.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON 

Our boat will not stop at Harpa today, so please meet us at Hlésgata 

12:45 - OFF

Due to strong gale, we are forced to cancel afternoon tour today.

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

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - OFF
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

 

 

8:45

The lone breacher

 

Today the weather forecast had predicted a northwesterly moderate gale to blow for most of the day. However, in the morning we noticed that there was a corridor free of swelled seas north of Hvalfjörður so we took the chance. Even with northerly winds blowing strong the temperatures of the water in the bay are stable and on the incoming phase of the tide, we expect plenty of fish on the feeding grounds west of Reykjavík.

 

We were sailing along the northern coast and once we had passed the mouth of the fjörð we entered the relative shelter we had spotted earlier and then set course west. With the wind astern we enjoyed a gentler ride and after about 1/2 hour we began noticing groups of birds at a distance.On approaching the sand banks of the western feeding grounds we encountered more birds in particular arctic terns gannets and puffins, just the type of birds we want to see. We sailed towards some of the bird gatherings and saw a couple of minke whales very briefly, we knew there were whales around, but we expected to have a hard time finding them. 

Then out of the blue, we sighted a humpback's spout not far just next to a large group of birds and we felt like we got the prize for our efforts. 

We approached the animal and to our surprise it began slapping and swimming about very relaxed, just a treat.

After a short while,  it began to breach repeatedly it did it five or six times very close to us and all passengers on board had a delightful payoff for enduring the rough seas.

-JHF

 

23.06.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON
 

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - ...
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ...

17:00 - OFF

19:00 - OFF

Superb whale watching tours today.

 

08:45 

 

In the morning tour we didn't see much life initially, but.as we approached the sand banks that form the feeding grounds of whales and dolphins in the Faxa bay it became clear we were in for a treat. As it its usually the case these days there were large groups of seabirds of several types feeding near the surface. Then as we approached the bird gatherings we began to spot minke whales feeding close to the surface and then we saw the spout of a humpback whale. we approached the locations where the spouts had been sighted and saw the whale close up a few times and also managed to see its fluke as it took repeated dives.

 

 

After following this whale for a while we noticed that it was in the company of other whales and one of them just showed its fluke when taking a dive.

 

 

 

12:45 

 

On this tour we had similar conditions only that the wind had strengthened to a strong breeze and there were fewer minke whales around. However, on that tour we saw both minke whales and humpbacks breach several times. One of the whales brached right beside us just meters from the boat but it happened so fast ist was not possible to take pictures. Today we encountered humpback whales in numbers and may me they will be seen in groups the next days.

 

-JHF

22.06.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON
 

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - ON
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

In our morning tour we left Reykjavík harbor with a mild rain, but no significant wind or swell at sea, that made excellent conditions for whale watching. We left on the ebbing phase of the tidal cycle so we had to sail a little far out. As we approached the feeding area to the west of Reykjavík we focused on large groups of birds that could be seen at a distance. As it has been the case these days, we began to sight minke whales here and there. 

 

At first, the whales were spending a short time at the surface and moving constantly, that made it hard to follow them to get proper views of them. At times here were several whales in small areas and we sighted them a few times. Then we spotted a spout twice not far and when surfacing it became clear it was a humpback whale, just like it had happened yesterday, in fact, the pictures of its fluke showed us it was the same individual. Meanwhile near the humpback minke whales were seen closer several times, probably feeding on the same fish as this humpback whale.

 

then on our way back we just stumbled upon a small family pod of white-beaked dolphins with one calf and we got to view them closely for a few minutes.

 

On the latter of the whale watching tours, we simply went back to the area where we had encountered the humpback whale earlier and found it there again. There were also minke whales there but not as many as on the morning tour. However, on the latter tour we noticed the presence of harbor porpoises instead of dolphins.

 

-JHF

 

21.06.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

12:45 - ON
 

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - OFF
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

 

12:45

Due to adverse weather conditions we had to cancel our morning tour so we went out to sea only once today. The strong gale that had been blowing for a whole day finally calmed and let us sail out into the regular feeding area. As it has become usual these days, we began by sighting large aggregations of sea birds, a mixture of sea gulls, gannets and diving auk many of them puffins. We expected to encounter minke whales and that was the case, but we only saw them briefly and far.

After following one of several minkes in the area we spotted a spout just 100m ahead of the boat. Usually, a spout means a humpback is near, so to make sure we set course towards it, and soon as it surfaced it became clear it was in fact a humpback.

 We followed this individual for a while and saw it surface a few times and we even managed one of those precious pictures of the individual's fluke.

Great there is plenty of fish in the bay these days and with a better weather we will have good whale watching opportunities in the next days.

 

-JHF

 

20.06.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - OFF
 

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - OFF
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ....

17:00 - ...

19:00 - OFF

8:45

 

Despite this very "Icelandic summer" weather we were having today (the classic combination of wind and rain) we decided to be optimistic and sail out on our morning tour to see what we could find. After around 1 hour into the trip we encountered several flocks of what must have been hundreds of seabirds, which indicated that were was a lot of fish in the water out in the bay. This is usually a very good sign, and not long after this we heard from another boat nearby that they had spotted a humpback whale! We sailed closer and did get a very brief view of its exhale and its back as it took a dive, but unfortunately this seemed to be a very deep dive and we did not manage to spot it again. We sailed a bit further in the hope of spotting some minke whales, but it was very choppy out at sea so even if there were some minke whales around, we did not get to see them as they were hidden by the waves. So unfortunately it was not the most successful tour but at least we did get that very quick glimpse of a humpback

 

As the weather was predicted to become even worse later in the day, we made the decision to cancel our remaining tours for today. Hopefully the weather improves for us tomorrow!

 

-Astrid

19.06.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

12:45 - ON
 

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - ON
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

 

12:45

 

We sailed out into Faxaflói Bay this afternoon with beautifully sunny weather but a brisk northerly wind, creating lots of small waves and whitecaps. These conditions are not ideal for whale spotting, and it was quite a slow start to the tour today. We drove out in a northwest direction, hoping to spot some dolphins where we had often seen them before, but unfortunately luck was not on our side. We then decided to change direction and head a bit more south in the bay, but still did not really spot anything. It was only as we turned back towards Reykjavik again that we finally encountered a huge flock of seabirds which usually means one thing - whales! And we were not disappointed, as we spotted around 5 minke whales all feeding around the same area. Some of them came very close to the boat, so everybody on board got a great close up view of these inquisitive animals. It was definitely worth the wait. Sadly not too long after this we ran out of time and had to sail back to Reykjavik, but it turned out to be a great tour after all! 

17:00 - Creatures of the Sea 

 

It was an absolutely beautiful summer's evening as we sailed out for today's Creatures of the Sea tour - the wind had dropped and there was barely a cloud in the sky. We started the tour by putting down our plow, but the first attempt gave us only lots and lots of kelp! So we tried again in slightly deeper water and collected a lot of empty mussel shells, but also some interesting living things too including several spider crabs, plenty of starfish, a couple of small sea urchins and a huge whelk

Just after we pulled the plow back in we got a very nice surprise of a minke whale extremely close to shore - we were only about 15 minutes out of the harbour at this point! We followed it as it took a few breaths but then lost it as it went on a deeper dive. It was a great surprise so early on in the trip! 

We then tried some sea angling, aiming to catch some cod but unfortunately even after trying 3 different locations we didn't manage to catch anything. Sometimes this is just the way it goes with fishing. But we decided to try one final time and then our customers managed to catch 3 small haddock! And luckily we always have a back up plan just in case, as we had some left over cod from a previous trip in the freezer, so we combined this with some of the haddock caught today and still had a lovely seafood BBQ dinner in the sun! 

 

-Astrid

 

18.06.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

12:45 - ON
 

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - OFF
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - OFF

 

12:45

Outstanding whale watching tour.

Today we went out only once on the midday tour it was rainy mostly near the shore and as soon as we left the shallow parts of the bay it cleared. Initially, we didn't see much life, but as usual, we noticed groups of puffins flying low in the direction of the feeding grounds where sandeels gather in large shoals.

 As we got close to the sand banks that form the feeding grounds of whales and dolphins it became clear we were in for a treat. There were several types of birds including gannets and diving birds of many types. Then as we approached the bird gatherings we began to spot minke whales feeding close to the surface. Today we found them in groups, sometimes surfacing in pairs, it was a sight.

 

Our customers were just delighted to see so whales again and again.

In all, it was a fantastic tour one of those to remember!!

 

-JHF

 

17.06.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON
 

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - ON
 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

 

National Holiday

Today was the Iceland's national day and we paid due respect by lifting the national flag on the highest point on board. 

In the morning we left on the incoming phase of the tide when tidal currents bring plenty of plankton to the bay that encourages fish to gather in large numbers to feed. We had a good tour and soon found large groups of birds over large areas feeding on fish that is brought to the surface by the activities of whales. On arriving at the feeding grounds we encountered minke whales lunge feeding close to the surface and we got good sightings. Although the whales stayed a little bit far we managed to get reasonably close a few times to get some fine pictures.

The second time we went out was a little harder the tide was already on the ebbing phase just after high tide and that meant less opportunity for whales to feed. We did find some minke whales also but it was much harder to view them properly as they spent long periods underwater on each dive.

-JFH

16.06.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - OFF

Puffin:

15:00 - ....

17:00 - ...

19:00 - ...

 

Today we had mild breeze not too cold but good conditions for whale watching. On arriving to the feeding grounds we found many minke whales feeding. We saw minke whales several times, but they were busy chasing fish and we only saw them briefly since they spent a little tima on the surface. We had a enjoyable tour overall but it was difficult to take good pictures.

-JHF