DAILY DIARY

1.3.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

8:45 - ON

12:45 - ON

Beautiful day in Reykjavik. Why not go whale watching?

Northern Lights:

21:00 - ON

Clear sky and good activity.

28.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

Beautiful sunny day - perfect for Whale Watching :)

Northern Lights:

21:00 - ON

Another day with clear sky and very high activity -  Hurray....hurray!!!

27.02.2017 - 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 boat but we provide complimentary seasick pils, just ask at our office or crew on the boat

Northern Lights:

21:00 - ON

Clear sky and high activity -  Hurray!!!

 

12:45 / 13:00

After a white weekend with snow up to1m (3ft) deep in places we left harbor. 

 

 

The day was magnificent, sunny and cloudless. Initially, we set course along the northern shores overlooking Reykjavík, but found nothing. We kept encountering large groups of fulmar (seagull like birds). The view of the snow covered mountains was stunning.

 

 

After one hour or so we thought best to head west. When we reached the southern lava fields we found little, but more fulmar and some kittiwake gulls. After a while we encountered shoals of fish in mid water and we started to increase our searching efforts. Not long time after one of our guest rushed to the other side of the bout shouting, over there!! twice. He just saw the back of a humpback whale. I managed to get a glimpse too, then the whale showed up on the other side and most people got to see it spout twice. Right, we didn't get an awesome view, but we saw one of the humpback whales that are arriving first from their annual breeding migration in the Caribbean.

-JHF

26.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

Northern Lights:

21:00 - ON

Clear sky tonight so hopefully we will be lucky to see Northern Lights

25.2.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - OFF

Still strong wind after yesterdays storm so we are forced to cancel our Whale Watching tour today

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

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF

Due to cloud cover

24.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - OFF

Violent gale is expected today so we are forced to cancel our Whale Watching tour today

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

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF

We are not going out tonight. It has been a stormy day and with storms come clouds.

23.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

It might be rough on the ocean today but we provide complimentary seasick pills, ask at the office or our crew on the boat.

Northern Lights:

21:00 - ON

Partly clouded and northern lights active, so fingers cross :)

 

 

12:45 / 13:00

There is a lot of things to say about the weather these days.

First of: Winter is back. For now. We'll see how long that holds.

Secondly: A Storm Is Coming. More on that later.

Thirdly and last: There was a ridiculous amount of swell today. Let's start with that.

 

The swell today was, in a word, unexpected.

It was coming in from the west, mostly, a bit from the north as well.

But the last real wind from the west was on Monday, so this was quite unexpected.

So it was a bit rough on the way out, but Sailor can handle anything out here.

 

And we headed southwest, into the swell to minimize movement.

Not a lot of visibility, roughly 150-250 meters out. So the radar got to do his thing today. 

But let's mention whales along with the weather.

Despite a prevalent downpour of snow through a sizable part of the trip we did manage to locate some white-beaked dolphins on our way back.

There were 4 of them, and I think they might have been sleeping since they just bobbed along the surface.

I also think we might have woken them up and startled them, because they disappeared as fast they appeared.

 

Heading further back we saw a few more dolphins, quite close to land, but managed only a few glances at them.

So even though we were happy to get a taste of nature, we didn't feel like this lived up to our rigorous standards for whale watching trips.

And thus it was that everyone got a free retry valid for the next two years.

 

And that's nice.

But storms ain't.

And A Storm Is Coming.

Tomorrow. And it's coming hard, and it will snow and sleet and rain.

So we pretty much have booked ourselves a day off.

You guys be careful out there, dress and drive accordingly.

If you really, really need to see a whale tomorrow to scratch that whale itch we all get from time to time, I would recommend the Whales of Iceland exhibition.

(http://whalesoficeland.is)

If you purchase a ticket with us you receive a ticket to them as well.

Safe and sheltered from winds and weather and you'll always find a whale there.

 

It's gonna be hot and cold and quick and calm in the weather for the next week so it's probably best that I say as little as possible about how it's going to turn out.

 

We will see what will be.

 

-JIB

 

22.02.2017 - WHALE WATCHING AND NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

N64°12’03.59”
W021°59’3077”

Whale Watching:

12:45 - ON

We will feel some movements on the boat today so we provide complimentary seasick pills, ask at the office or our crew on the boat.

Northern Lights:

21:00 - OFF

Way to cloudy to see any Northern Lights tonight

 

12:45 / 13:00

Oh look.

It's starting to snow again.

A bit at least.

 

It did as we headed out this afternoon, finally, after a couple of days of storms.

We were all terribly excited due to the first minke sighting of the year happening on Sunday.

So we headed out with the wind at our back, observing and gazing as we went along. 

A few fulmars and seagulls were seen out there. 

The swell and waves were a bit rough, but nothing too bad. A few white tops, so all in all not ideal spotting conditions. But we gave it our best.

 

But, despite the minkes being there, somewhere, none were found.

So returns and retries for everybody, valid for the next couple of years.

 

But the minkes are back now.  So any day now we are going to see them well, and then we will see them more, and then maybe a humpback, and then a few humpbacks.

It will be glorious.

 

We shall see what will be.

-JIB

 

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