DAILY DIARY

21.2.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - OFF

Due to unfavorable weather contitions,we are not sailing out today.

 

 

Northern Lights:

21:00 - Running

Finally we have the chance to se the nothern lights. 

 

 

20.2.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - Cancelled

Due to unfavorable sea contitions.
The sea is to rough so we will be staying in for now. 

 

Northern Lights:

21:00 - Cancelled

Due to cloud cover

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

 

19.2.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

There will be some movements on the boat and we provide complimentary seasick pills, just ask at our office or crew on the boat

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF

Clouds....... clouds..........only clouds tonight.

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

 

12:45-13:00

Today we set sail on a thick fog with a very reduced visibility of ~ 100 m navigating with the aid of our RADAR and GPS, without this technology in the old days, boats would not venture out of the harbor. After 1/2 hr we reached the end of the low cloud that blanketed the near shores of the bay where we had a better visibility, may be 2 or 2+1/2 miles. We set course due west and again 1/2 hr underway we came across the rest of the whale watching fleet viewing a small group of white-beaked dolphins and we joined them for a while. 

These days there is an urge to search further out in the bay, particularly on the SW of the bay in the area around Syðra-Hraun (Southern lava field). Around this part of the bay, there are extensive underwater sandbanks, that constitute the regular feeding area for whales and dolphins. However, since the sun was already on its way down the fog that had lifted at mid-day began to settle again and soon we foud ourselves immersed in a thick fog again. Then, just as we were giving up our captain Siggi slowed the boat and Voila!! two sizeable pods of dolphins, one possibly a family pod of more than dozen individuals greeted us.
 
To see a short video please visit the link below:

 

After the pod of dolphins had left we heard over the radio that the other boats had sighted a minke whale, no problem said our captain Siggi, and we set course for them. When we arrived there was a good visibility and we managed to get a glimpse. We, the crew saw it too briefly to identify it with certainty, but some passengers did actually see the dorsal area of the animal and a distinct falcate dorsal fin typical of minke whales. The animal was not likely to have been feeding and it showed itself only a few times probably remaining motionless under the surface. Baleen whales often exhibit such patterns of behavior when resting and they may remain submerged for over 20 minutes at a time since we had run out of time we had to leave for harbor and we called it the day.   

 

During the previous weeks, there have been signs of improving conditions in the bay, increasing numbers of birds such as auk-like gillemots (Uria aalge), and on clear days northern gannets(Morus bassanus). Also, we have been noticing shoals of mid-water fish that could be capelin (Mallotus villosus). In addition there has been a continued presence of large numbers of white-beaked dolphins (Lagenohryncus albirostris) and  a strong indication of the presence of both minke whales (Balenoptera acutorostrata) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeanglia). The temperature of the waters at these latitudes is increasing as well as the length of daylight hours, setting the conditions for many species of fish and crustaceans to lay their eggs to hatch when the seasonal spring bloom takes place soon. Humpback whales in particular, are likely already on their way north in large numbers after their breeding season in the west Indies is over and should be arriving on the shores of Iceland seeking the huge congregations of capelin that begin to approach their usual spawning gravel beds near the coastal areas of the bay.

 

-JHF

18.2.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOUR

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

Just calm wind.... it will be nice day for a Whale Watching 
 

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF

Once again sky will be cover with clouds :(

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

 

12:45 / 13:00

We left harbor today with a fog over areas of the bay, mostly in the Kollafjörður area north of Reykjavík.  As a thick fog had been sitting over the coastal areas most of the morning there were total calm conditions and waters were smooth as in a lake.  Today the seagulls, mostly black capped, kittiwake gulls, eider ducks and juvenile black-backed seagulls were roosting over the reefs of Akurey island. 

 

After sailing for about 3-6 miles we encountered a small pod of White-Beaked Dolphins. The dolphins set course towards us swimming around and along with the boat. 

After surfacing a few times, which gave us the opportunity to take good pictures, the dolphins left and we continued searching for baleen whales further out in the bay. We set course to the western area of the bay with large sand banks, where whales are usually found feeding on large shoals of fish. However, unfortunately when we reached the area a thick fog set in again and it hampered our chances of spotting any animals present there. We were optimistic because the day before a whale, possibly a humpback whale, had been spotted and we hoped it may have happened today as well. 

 

JHF

17.2.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

It might be rought on the boat today so if you are sensitive to motion we provide seasick pills, just ask at the office or on the boat.
 

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF

Clouds cover in full expected tonight, again :(

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

 

12:45 / 13:00

This day was somewhat special because it left a very pleasant sensation, let me elaborate. We left Reykjavík harbour heading north initially, but after a short while, we started to change course west. Once out in the bay, we encountered a small group of white-beaked dolphins as it has been happening this past week. This group did not stop for long enough to get a proper look at them and soon they were gone. After about 10 minutes or so we encountered another group that approached us and allowed us to get a decent view, but nothing like in previous days since a strong breeze was blowing today. 

 


Then, after having spent some time with these dolphins we decided to continue searching further out in the bay. As we approached the sand banks of Syðra-Hraun (the southern submerged lava field) we began to see more and more fish under our boat with the echo-sounder. We also noticed a few gannets, and most importantly, a noticeable increase in the number of auk-like gillemots. these diving birds, that are in fact closely related to puffins, are a good indication of the presence of fish, possibly capelin. 

 

After a while searching it looked like it was going to be like another day when some passengers began shouting full of enthusiasm, a Whale!!! I saw a Whale!! Yes, finally a whale has been spotted for quite a while. Then, looking in the direction they were pointing to we saw splashes several times at a distance, it seemed that the animal was moving away and we could not get closer to take pictures or confirm its identity. Initially, we the crew thought it may have been a minke whale, but after asking the passengers that had spotted the whale it turns out that they saw its tail when diving, this is a clear indication that it must have been a humpback whale since minke whales never show their flukes when diving. Clearly, today it was a special day and it seems that the baleen whales may be starting to pay visits to the bay more regularly. Hopefully, soon the bulk of the population will be arriving in large numbers.

 

JHF   

 

16.2.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

Nice and calm day here in Reykjavik. We are sailing out to find some whales and hopefully we will. 
If you are sensitive to motionsickness we provide preventable tablets at the office and on the boat free of charge, just aks for them.

 

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF

To cloudy tonight for the northern lights.

Today we had the calmest conditions so far, there was a slight breeze from the NE and no waves at all. Everyone had a very enjoyable tour and it felt just a little bit like an Icelandic summer day. Only about an hour sailing towards the NW of the bay and we noticed the presence of a few diving birds of the auk family (gillemots) and some northern gannets. We also noticed shoals of fish, both near the bottom and in mid water. It didn't take long for groups of white-beaked dolphins to be spotted, far at first a then closer until we realised that they were, literaly, everywhere!  Then to our suprise a group headed our way and began bow riding, fantastic.

These dolphins that had approach us became very interested with the boat and began swimming alongside the boat for a good while. 

 

The day was marked by the large numbers of dolphins in the nearshore areas of the bay, there were groups of them wereever we looked, groups of females with calves, juveniles and adult males all spread over large areas in the bay. It seems that the dolphins are the first ones to take advantage of the large numbers of fish entering the bay these days. We looked at our log book abd noticed that last year humpback whales and minke whales had already been seen by this time, so fingers crossed, the baleen whales should show up in the bay soon. These whales are on their way from their breeding grouds and it all depends on where they encounter fish first that will lead them to the bay's ussual feeding grounds.

 

- JFT

15.2.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

Nice and calm.
We might feel some movements on the boat out in the Faxafloa bay. If you are sensitive to motion sickness weprovide complimentary sea sick pills, just ask at our office or on the boat.

Northern Lights:

21:00 - ON

Finally we get to see some sky so we are going out to look for Northern Lights

12:45/13:00

 

Today we set course north towards the mouth of Hvalfjorður and after barely an hour there were a large pod of white-beaked dolphins. They were busy taking 5 to 7 minute dives in a relatively small area. Some of them decided to approach us a few times and we had nice close-up views of them. Another good day in terms of sightings and plenty of pictures for our identification database.

After a while we decided to continue our search for baleen whales, but it was futile, no lone whales had entered the bay today. There are signs of conditions becoming right for their return in numbers, but we have to wait possibly a few more days.

-JHF

14.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

Rain and calm wind.
We might feel some movements on the boat out in the Faxafloa bay.
We provide complimentary sea sick pills, just ask at our office or on the boat.

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF

Rain  and clouds expected tonight :(

12:45 / 13:00

 

Today we had very good conditions, no wind whatsoever and no swell at all. We set course north at first to head west towards the ussual sighting area. After sailing for about 1 hour a small group of dolphins were spotted. We got closer to them and then they approached the boat. Then, to our delight, the dolphins started swimming along with the boat and bow riding, we got very nice close views and photographs.

This group of dolphins stayed with us for a good 20 minutes until they had enough of us and started swimming away, at that point we decided to leave them along. Soon after a second group of dolphins appeared in the vicinity, it turned out to be a small family pod of mostly females, some with young, and immature males.

Overall today's tour was quite successful although we didn't have enough time to search further in the feeding grounds for the presence of minke whales or some humpback whales, the spawning season for capelin should start soon and hmpback whales should already be migrating back from their breeding grounds so any day they will show up.

 

Thanks, JHF.

13.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

We might feel some movements on the ocean today but we provide complimentary sea sick pills, just ask at our office or on the boat.

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF

Activity is low tonight so there is really poor chance to see any spectacular aurora show tonight :(

 

12:45/13:00

 

A lot of movement as we sailed out today.

Quite a bit of wind coming from the southeast, not so much that I would expect that kind of movement though.

Anyways, it was how it was.

 

We headed towards north today.

And after not too long we managed to spot the dorsal fin of a white-beaked dolphin.

They were quite hard to follow at times but they paid of nicely when they started jumping.

Quite often they did that rather far away, but it was a fun display nonetheless.

 

A decent numbers of birds were seen out there today as well.

Some gannets and a few shags, and a boatload of fulmars as well.

So hopefully some fish starts getting into the bay and with it some larger creatures..

 

We shall see what the future brings.

 

-JIB

 

 

12.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

The weather isn't bad any more so we will try our luck and try to hunt down some whales today.
If you are sensitive to motionsickness we provide seasickness tablets free of charge, just ask for them at the office or on the boat.

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF

Still to cloudy to go hunting for the Norther Lights

12:45/13:00

A fun trip today.

The weather was calm but there was quite some swell out there today. Along with some rain, so visibility was rather limited.

We headed out west pretty much straight into the swell. Which we can allow ourselves to do because I think we pretty much have the sea worthiest boat in the business ;)

And some white-beaked dolphins were found pretty soon.

They were a bit shy today, but we manged a few decent glimpses of them.

All was well and joy was had.

 

The weather looks alright for the coming week. Tomorrow does look pretty windy though.

Southeastern winds. So not a lot of swell but quick frequent waves.

Dress well.

See you then.

-JIB

11.2.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - OFF

There is to much wind for whale watching today.

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF

To much clouds, not enough arurora activity.

10.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

Nice and calm weather.

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF

Heavy cloud cover and low aurora activity.

12:45/13:00

 

A beautiful day as we headed out today.

The sun was shining (as such) and the waters were calm (compared to a lot of other days) as we headed out there today

 

The view was excellent and spotting conditions were more than adequate.

And there is no reason to drag on about our exodus because we found white-beaked dolphins in no time.

Spotted swimming past us at a range of about 100 meters.

The pod was quite sizable, probably more than a dozen. And we also found a bit smaller pod quite close by.

The dolphins showed themselves very well, jumping a few times, swimming under the boat and being quite playful.

Maybe one of the best dolphins pods of this year ;)

So that was thoroughly enjoyable. 

And with the dolphins being ever more prevalent in the bay in the I have high hopes for the future.

 

-JIB

09.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

We might feel some movements on the ocean today but we provide complimentary sea sick pills, just ask at our office or on the boat.

Northern Lights:

21:00 - ON

Good forecast for tonight :)

 

12:45 / 13:00

After three days in a row of gale winds over the SW coasts of Iceland we finally got the opportunity to sail. It has been overcast all day but the conditions today were very good, a mild breeze from the SE and no hang over from the storms i.e., not many waves. We set out sailing toward the feeding area out in the SW of the Faxa bay, but just 1/2 an hour out a small group of white-beaked dolphins were spotted and in no time all three whale watching boats were up on them.

We spent a while with that small group of males that were very busy feeding, as they were taking repeated dives until we decided to let them feed in peace. At one point we got very close to them and some passengers took very good pictures and videos. 

JFT.

08.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - OFF

Due to extreme weather conditions we are forced to cancel.

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

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF

Strong gale and to much clouds tonight 

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

07.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - OFF

Stormy conditions so we are not sailing out today.

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF

Tonights forcast isn't looking good for northern lights. Clouds all over the skies.

 

06.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - OFF

There is to much wind today so we will stay on land for now.

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF BY BOAT, ON BY BUS

It is to windy to go out to see the Northern Lights on boat, but our friends at happy tour are glad to welcome you on their bus.
It is a nice aurora forcast for this night.

 

05.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

Beautiful weather today, sun and calm wind :)

Northern Lights:

21:00 - ON

Beautiful sunny day and beautiful night, one of the best days during this winter :)

 

12:45/13:00

Today was a very fine day.

The sun was shining as we went out today. The weather was impeccable, not a single white top to be seen.

The view was fantastic out there and the sea was so incredibly calm.

And just 15 minutes outside of the harbor limits we started seeing our first white-beaked dolphins of the day.

And then we were seeing dolphins for pretty much the rest of tour.

They looked to be going after fish for quite some time, swimming around, jumping.

Some swam under the boat.

At one time we found a pod of about 20 dolphins as well.

Today kind of reminded me of things were here in summer.

A lot of birds out there as well. Fulmars and gannets.

Lots of fish seen on our echo sounder as well.

So anytime now the bay will fill up with life.

So what did today bring us ?

The nicest weather we have had since August. Check

Hardly any swell. Check.

A whole bunch of dolphins. Check.

04.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

Might feel some movements on the boat because of the wind.

We provide complimentary sea sick pills, just ask at our office or on the boat.

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF

Clouds, clouds, clouds .....only clouds tonight :(

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

13:00


The sun shone for a bit today. 

We had that going for us, which was nice.

 

The sea in general was not too rough, but it did roughen up a bit the further out we got.

The wind was rather cold, coming from the northeast, but well within manageable levels.

Once again: A bunch of birds, the view was nice, but we didn't spot any whales, nor dolphins.

So everyone gets to come back anytime within the next two years to try again.

 

But with the ever present fulmars and gannets out there, the fish in the bay are going to be coming into the bay in force.

And whales shall follow.

We will see what the future holds.

 

-JIB

03.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

Might be a little bit rough on the ocean today but we provide complimentary sea sick pills, just ask at our office or on the boat.

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF

Clouds cover in full expected tonight :(

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

12:45 and 21:00

 

Strong winds blowing from the northeast as we headed out this afternoon under cloudy skies.

We sailed north towards Hvalfjörð, just looking around trying to see if anything could be spotted in the rough waters.

And all of a sudden white-beaked dolphins !!!

Coming at us from the northeast and coming in fast.... Vrooom. Under the 

And they are gone. Just like that. Went as fast as they came.

We searched for them for a bit, but to no avail.

So we head further north and see nothing there. And finally we have to turn around.

And heading back we see our dear dolphins again !

And now we get really good looks at them. There seemed to be at least 4 of them out there.

They showed themselves quite well and swam under the boat again.

Seeing them just under the surface is always fun.

So today was a fine tour.

But let me tell you about .....

------

..... yesterday evening.

The forecast looked decent. Not great.

The skies were clear as we headed out. A bit of movement in the bay, kind of unusual. but not terrible.

The clouds were looming around us the whole time, threatening to blow over and engulf the sky.

And then they didn't.

And we start seeing a good strong arc of auroras to the north. And a few wisps here and there.

And the get a bit stronger. And start to move a bit.

And then.... they turned SPECTACULAR !

They covered the sky, the turned purple, they danced from one end to the other and they just kept going.

It was great. Everyone was happy and joy was spread far and wide.

Good times.

 

02.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

The weather is nice to day, cold and a calm wind blowing from the west.
If you are sensitive to motion sickness we provide motionsickness tablets free of charge, just ask for them at the office or on the boat.

To book a trip contact info@reykjaviksailors.is or book it on our website.

Northern Lights:

21:00 - ON

Forcast is looking good so we will sail out to night.

To book a trip contact info@reykjaviksailors.is or book it on our website.

13:00 and 21:00

Today we went out against a calm wind coming in from the west.

The sky was blue, the sun was shining and the grass was a pale shade of yellowish brown. 

Conditions for spotting were quite good, the weather was about as nice as you can get here in February.

A bit cold though, mostly due to wind chill.

We did see a lot of birds, fulmars mostly, so there is some life out there in the bay.

An ever increasing amount of life out there.

But even though we went out as far as we could, no whales were seen today.

So everybody gets to come back anytime they want in the next two years.

.....

But let me tell you about yesterday evening.  Yesterday evening was great ! 

We went out as quick as we could and that sure paid off.

A grand spiralling bloom of beautiful green Auroras covered the night sky as we headed out.

It didn't stay with us for very long but it was wonderful while it lasted.

It remained for a good while after, glowing faintly in the air and even got stronger again for a few moments.

A very nice night that was.