DAILY DIARY

26.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN TOURS

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

12:45

It was a slightly grey but beautifully calm day on the water today, perfect weather for whale spotting. And we had some fantastic sightings again - on our morning tour we had an encounter with some harbour porpoises and were also lucky enough to see several minke whales in two different locations during the trip. 

 

On our afternoon tour it just got even better as we spotted at least 6 minke whales, another big group of feeding porpoises, and the star of the show - a humpback whale! The humpback seemed to be just swimming calmly and taking some shallow dives until it surprised us all by jumping out of the water right in front of us! You can see a great video of this on our Facebook page. All in all a great day out in Faxaflói Bay.

 

-Astrid

 

25.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

12:45 - ON

Lovely day for a whale watching

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - OFF

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

8:45 / 12:45

A very complete whale-watching tour!

We left this afternoon morning in very calm conditions when the tide was beginning its flow phase. Initially, we saw very little signs of life, basically little of fish and birds near the coast. However, very early on the tour, we encountered a nice family pod of white-beaked dolphins. 

After these dolphins began to get bored with us we set course further out into the bay in search of some baleen whales. Not long after we arrived at the sand banks, where cetaceans gather to feed on sandeels, we encountered groups of harbor porpoises in large numbers here and there. 

As our captain knew and we have often discussed porpoises are often found feeding along with minke whales and that didn't take long for one to show up.

Finally, we got quite lucky as we were the first to get close to a humpback whale that had entered the bay right between tides. Our intuition, coupled with experience and a bit of luck, helped us get there before the faster speedboats that were nearby. 

We even managed to get a valuable picture of this individual's fluke (tail) which can be used for identification.

 

 

 

Even that we only had one tour it was a very rewarding one and it will be definitely one of the best this year.

 

-JHF

 

24.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

Not sunny but still nice, cold breeze but wiith us you don't have to be cold.

12:45 - ON

Come and see the whales with your own eyes!

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - OFF

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

Today conditions are just about perfect we encountered lots of birds and even a few skua chasing arctic terns with fish in their bills. We sighted white-beaked dolphins first, then minke whales and finally a humpback whale lunge feeding close to the surface. There were large numbers of fish everywhere and diving auks feeding on that fish everywhere. We saw common guillemots, razorbills, and puffins an interesting mix actually. There were also kittiwake seagulls and gannets taking dives and the noisy arctic terns being harassed by arctic skua bird, watchers would have been delighted.

 

A frequent sight today, common guillemots emerging from their feeding dives.

 

In the later tour, we went out with similar conditions i.e., diving birds everywhere. Then we stumbled upon a small group of male white-beaked dolphins that were fun to watch, although a little far. and we encountered minke whales that appeared to have entered the bay in groups and were spread over large areas. We watched a group comprising two or three individuals that soon disappeared and gave us a hard time to find again.

Minke whales were in numbers that we had not seen since last year.

 

Searching for more minke whales to watch on the way back we sighted harbor porpoises everywhere and at one point a small group of them approached the boat and swam along with us, we had witnessed this earlier in the year in March but it happens seldom with these often shy and secretive cetaceans.

In all, today was simply a fantastic whale watching day we had pleasant weather, saw plenty of wildlife and all visitors had a wonderful experience.

 

-JHF

23.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN TOURS

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

We were very lucky today, and both our morning and lunchtime whale watching tours were treated to a spectacular humpback show! The whale stayed by our boat for quite a while on each trip, and displayed some interesting behaviour including breaching and slapping its pectoral fins on the water, like it was "waving" at us. 

Our 5pm Creatures of the Sea tour was also a huge success, with 6 cod and 1 wolffish being caught by our customers. We then cooked and ate our delicious catch of the day - you can´t get fresher fish than this!​

 

-Astrid

22.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN TOURS

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 / 12:45

"We had two very successful trips today - we spotted several harbour porpoises, had a great encounter with a family pod of white beaked dolphins, and even saw a family group of 3 minke whales!"

 

Astrid :)

 

 

21.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

 

12:45 - ON

Sunshine in Reykjavik, and in the bay!

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - ON

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

The lone visitor

 

We had only one tour today,but it was a fine one. We set course to the southern lava field and on the way we spotted many auk diving birds and groups of gannets. The gannets were first  quiet but soon they began to take dives on mass and we saw the diving birds very busy, these were signs of plenty. Not long it took until a large spout was sighted, and it was the spout of a humpback whale.

 

 

This sequence show the slapping of the whale that we encountered today.

 

On the tour we also saw a group of white- beaked dolphins teasing the humpback whale for a while and a minke whale that appeared too quickly to take pictures of it. Right, hopefully this was the first of many other humpback whales to visit the bay the next days.

 

-JHF

20.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

Nice and calm day, we love whales, how about you?

12:45 - ON

Sunshine and calm winds, lovely day today. If we can find a beautiful whale it might even get better.

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - OFF

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

 

Another mixed day

 

On this day we sailed out in the morning towards the usual location where whales and dolphins usually gather in the Faxa bay. We had a low cloud initially that lifted as soon as we were out of the shallower areas near the coast. As it had been the case these days we began sighting auk diving birds as we approached the shelf areas or the sand banks of the feeding grounds. After a short while we came across a small group of dolphins, then we also noticed porpoises and finally minke whales.

 

Today's minke whale surfacing near a group of auk diving birds, puffins and guillemots.

 

 

Harbor porpoises were seen in large numbers today we were quite lucky to have a close encounter with a group of them that came very close to the boat and we even managed to get close up pictures that are rare, as these cetaceans are very elusive. 

 

A good closeup picture of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena)

 

Today was different from yesterday in that there was a complete cloud cover most of the morning and that made itself evident in the higher proportion of guillemots compared to puffins. Guillemots do tend to dive deeper and may have better vision at lower light levels than puffins. This could also affect the foraging behavior of whales and dolphins by affecting their foraging success. The waters were mirror calm so it made it very easy to spot the cetaceans that were out there. 

 

For the second tour conditions had already changed with a mild breeze that had set in, also the phase of the tide and this combination made our job harder. On the second tour, we also encountered white-beaked dolphins first and just managed to get a quick glance at a minke whale that showed up briefly. After that, we searched over a large area to find nothing and that forced us to grant our visitors a return ticket. Today was a little mixed with a very successful morning tour but a less rewarding afternoon one, the weather forecast is still good for tomorrow so lets see...

 

-JHF 

19.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

Beautiful day, even better if we find some whales!

12:45 - ON

A wonderful day, hopefully we will see some whale swimming in the ocean.

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - OFF

 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

 

A true summer day,

 

Today we had a complete whale watching day everything was perfect except for one thing, the absence of our dear friends the humpback whales. Initially, we didn't know what to expect since today it was the first calm day after a whole week of strong gale winds. We left harbor on a warm and mostly windless day and set course to the feeding grounds. Soon, we began to see birds in large numbers and some auk diving birds, mostly puffins, although there were also guillemots, gannets and arctic terns

 

The initial view of a busy birds day in the bay.

 

Then further out we saw large shoals of fish and we noted the presence of harbour porpoises. We then realized that conditions were just short of perfect, all the best signs we could hope for right in front of us. Not long after chasing groups of birds, there they were minke whales in pairs all around us. They were spread over a large area and all whale watching boats out today had animals to watch here and there. 

 

One of today's minke whales, a large individual possibly a female. 

 

The animal we had encountered had been feeding on sand eels near the surface and we got very good close ups several times so everyone on board was satisfied. Then after approaching the whale, cautiously as recommended by ICEWhale's code of conduct, we decided to leave the animal to its endeavor. Only a short while later we spotted a group of white-beaked dolphins nearby and we decided to pay them a visit.   

 

A female white-beaked dolphin with her calf.

 

It was very rewarding to discover that it was a group of females and one of them was in the company of her calf, maybe just 3-4 years old, it was a nice view to see the curious naughty calf detaching from its mother's side to get a closer view of the boat. Une of our lucky passengers latter showed us pictures of another juvenile dolphin breaching with its whole body out of the water and we asked her to post it on our facebook page. 

 

The afternoon tour had a similar tone, but all the bird activity had waned, we again found harbor porpoises first, the auks and finally the minke whales. We think it had to do with the different phase of the tide that was already ebbing when we reached the feeding grounds.However, fish was abundant and the whales were, again in groups of 2-4 individuals spread over a large area of maybe 5-6 square miles.  

 

The weather forecast predicts stable high pressure over Iceland for most of the next weekend, that means we would expect these conditions to endure for a few days. Therefore, the abundant fish schools and the influx of zooplankton should keep attracting cetaceans into the bay's shelf. 

 

-JHF

18.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

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

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

 

12:45 - OFF

Due to bad weather conditions we are forced to cancel our afternoon tour.

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

 

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - OFF

Due to bad weather conditions we are forced to cancel our afternoon tour.

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

 

Puffin:

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

Due to bad weather conditions we are forced to cancel our afternoon tour.

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

 

17.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - OFF 

Due to bad weather conditions we are forced to cancel our afternoon tour.

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

Creatures of the sea:

17:00 - OFF

Puffin:

15:00 - OFF

17:00 - OFF

19:00 - OFF

Due to bad weather conditions we are forced to cancel all our afternoon tours.
To reschedule or get a refund please contact us at info@ReykjavikSailors.is

16.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

We are heading out to find us some whales, to watch.

12:45 - ON

Nice weather, even if we are missing the sun so why not go whale watching? We do provide you with free warm overall so you won't get cold.

Creatures of the sea

17:00 - ON

What will the catch of the day be this time?

 

Puffin

15:00 - ON

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

 

15.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & CREATURES OF THE SEA & PUFFIN TOURS

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 - OFF

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

 

14.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

12:45 - ON

We might feel some movement on the boat today, but we provide complimentary seasick pills, if you need one please ask at our office or crew on our boat.

 

 

Puffin

15:00 - OFF

17:00 - OFF

19:00 - OFF

 

Not much to say about today's tour we only went to sea in the afternoon with similar conditions as they have been over the weekend i.e., strong winds. We did, as in previous days see large shoals of fish on the feeding grounds and plenty diving auks, but unlike other days very few gannets. 

 

There were some minke whales around and some lucky passengers managed to see the dorsal fin of one or two whales and some porpoises very briefly. Ater waiting in the area for those animals to resurface on both occasions we had to give up as they were apparently gone. In summary, not a very succesful day, we hope that the cyclones that bring these windy conditions will dissipate next week and calmer conditions will allow whales and dolphins to enjoy their feeding activities in the Faxa bay again.

 

-JHF

13.05.2017 - 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

 

8:45 / 12:45

 

Today we left harbor on a mostly windless morning and set course to the feeding grounds. Soon we began to see birds in large numbers especially northern gannets, kittiwake seagulls and some auk diving birds, both puffins and guillemots. It is noteworthy mentioning that arctic terns were sighted among the birds in small groups, yes they are arriving after the longest migration of any animal on the planet.

Then further out we could see gannets plunging into the surface at large shoals of fish. After a while, we noticed the presence of large numbers of harbor porpoises that at times swam in our direction to then disappear. The porpoises today were no captured on the picture as they appeared too quickly, However, after a short while a family pod of white-beaked dolphins appeared and we could take some good pictures.

After all that activity and the presence of large shoals of sand eels in the area we began speculating about all this activity attracting minke whales to the area. We heard rumors over the radio about the presence of minke whales in the area but they were seen briefly on short surfacings to then disappear quickly. On the evening tour we left on the ebbing of the tide and set course to the same location where we had encountered the dolphins and porpoises, but conditions had somewhat changed by then. When we arrived we saw few porpoises briefly, but there was no sign of the dolphins, However, there were mike whales nearby although again they were seen at a distance and too quickly to manage to take any pictures. Conditions are expected to improve in the following days. 

 

JHF   

12.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

12:45 - OFF

Due to bad weather conditions we are forced to cancel today tours.

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

 

Puffin

15:00 - OFF

17:00 - OFF

19:00 - OFF

 

11.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

12:45 - ON

Might be a bit windy and cold but we have warm overalls you can use to keep you warm.

If you are sensitive to motionsickness we do offer seasickness tablets free of charge at the office and on the boat.

 

Puffin

15:00 - OFF

17:00 - ON

19:00 - ON

 

10.05.2017 - WHALE WATCHING & PUFFIN TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - OFF

12:45 - OFF

 

 

Puffin

15:00 - OFF

17:00 - OFF

19:00 - OFF

 

09.05.2017 - 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

 

8:45 / 12:45

 

Hey hey hey, the western swell is back :D

 

A couple of whale watching-trips out on the ever majestic Faxaflói today.

And the western swell was acting up quite a bit.

The roughest in a while, but nothing terrible.

 

We were hoping that some of the creatures we have been seeing for the past few days might still be out there.

They were.

A few anyway.

 

We played hide and seek with a minke whale late in the morning.

She appeared to the front right of us a little ways of first and we lost track of her quickly after for a few moments.

We looked for a little while and then in a really Looney Toonish manner it came up right next to us !

And I think it might have stuck its tongue out at us like The Roadrunner before it dove again.

And then we saw it a bit between the waves before we decided to not play the role of Vile E. Coyote. 

 

Later in the day we found some nice white-beaked dolphins.

Around 4-6 of them, they showed themselves alright.

Except for the one that was jumping in corkscrews repeatedly, he showed himself really well :D

So there are some dolphins out there still.

 

One really interesting thing that happened today was "The Mystery Whale".

So in the morning one of our fellow whale watching boats saw a great big spout and the back of whale. 

Once. 

Didn't come up again and probably ran off somewhere.

And then, in roughly the same area, we see a great big spout and the back of a whale !

Well our captain and a couple of passengers saw it.

And here is where it gets interesting, we are not sure what kind of whale it was.

It did kind of look like a minke whale, but they usually don't visibly spout.

Nobody has described a minkes spout as "great" nor "big", it's usually more of a puff....

Anyway, we kind of think it might, possibly, maybe, have been a sei whale.

Which is basically a bigger, faster minke whale.

Actually the fastest baleen whale in the ocean. Gets up to about 50 km/h in bursts.

Supporting that was that soon after we saw it, a couple of passengers saw something a few hundred meters to the north of us.

Which lends a bit of credence to the theory it was a large, fast, super shy whale.

Or maybe it was just a minke whale with good lungs :P

 

Storm coming tomorrow.

So be careful out there.

 

-JIB 

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