Friday 23 June 2017

Wow! What an exceptional day to be out on the water! The day started out with some rain but a nice calm sea. We saw lots of different humpbacks surfacing and feeding. Some really close to us! Of course of regulars were out in their drones including; The Dark Knight, Fjall, Sting, Arnar and Tattoo. We saw some very interesting group associations;  there was a group of three and one of two, they then came to feed together and then split off again into a three and a two again but made up of different members. Our next tour was definitely our star of the show though. Not only did we see group association behaviours but we were spoilt by up close logging, pectoral slapping, rolling, spy-hopping, tail lobbing, head slapping and most fantastically breaching!! It was such an exceptional tour and one of my best by far. All of our 167 passengers went away extremely happy. Our final tour of the day delighted us with even more group associations this time four whales were coming up all together and sometimes only meters from the boat. Such a spectacular day! - Pictures and text by Tess Hudson

Wow! What an exceptional day to be out on the water! The day started out with some rain but a nice calm sea. We saw lots of different humpbacks surfacing and feeding. Some really close to us! Of course of regulars were out in their drones including; The Dark Knight, Fjall, Sting, Arnar and Tattoo. We saw some very interesting group associations;  there was a group of three and one of two, they then came to feed together and then split off again into a three and a two again but made up of different members. Our next tour was definitely our star of the show though. Not only did we see group association behaviours but we were spoilt by up close logging, pectoral slapping, rolling, spy-hopping, tail lobbing, head slapping and most fantastically breaching!! It was such an exceptional tour and one of my best by far. All of our 167 passengers went away extremely happy. Our final tour of the day delighted us with even more group associations this time four whales were coming up all together and sometimes only meters from the boat. Such a spectacular day!

- Pictures and text by Tess Hudson

Thursday, 22 June 2017

A Beautiful day to be out of the water! The day started off most fantastically with some wonderful whales including some of our favourites; Arnar, Manu, Tattoo and Grenade. The four of these whales were diving and feeding together coming up with their mouths full of water and food. What a fantastic event to witness! Later on in the tour we were very lucky to witness not one but four breaches! So incredible on just one tour too! We were also joined by another whale called Giljagaur, which translates as Gully Gawk and is one of the 13 Icelandic Santa clauses, as this animal was first spotted just before last Christmas. On the next tour as these whales seemed fully fed they came up to greet us in slow measured movements. One of our regular whales also joined the party and we got to see a lot of the whale Fjall. A minke whale also popped up as did a few beautiful harbour porpoises. The next tour on our amazing speedboats also did not disappoint with more whales and even a bit of sunshine. On the last tour of the day the sun was setting in the background as even more wonderful whales surfaced all around us. A beautiful end to a lovely day. 

- Pictures and text by Tess Hudson

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

What a day the fjord had in store for us today! The day started out beautifully with sun and a wonderful flat sea. We saw 4 different whales including some of our regular favourites such as; The Dark Knight, Fjall, Nibbles and Tattoo. These animals surfaced wonderfully for us, and were often raising their beautiful flukes into the air as they went for deeper dives.  The next tour on our larger boat Hólmasól was a tour not to be missed, as we saw more beautiful whales one of which (The Dark Knight) even tailed lobbed three times! What wonderful behaviour to watch! The whale Fjall also surprised us all by suddenly surfacing only a meter from the boat! Right in front of us, giving us all an enjoyable jolt. The final tour of the day started well with some wonderful large blows and a very close encounter with the majestic humpback whale. However, the weather suddenly picked up so we had a rather bumpy return. Nevertheless, this just added to the fun of being out on the fjord and all got to experience the only rollercoaster Iceland has to offer.

-          Pictures and text by Tess Hudson

 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Fantastic day in Eyjafjördur today with flat seas in the morning and evening tours. Not a day to be missed, as the humpback whales were relaxed, and we could enjoy them resting on the surface, blowing strongly, and slapping the pectoral flippers in the water sometimes. We were in the big boat, Hólmasól, and there was a moment that one humpback just breached as we were leaving. In the afternoon tour, there was a  moment that two humpbacks swam and surfaced directly next to us at the starboard bow of the boat when we were just stopped waiting for their next appearance. However, the remarkable moment of the evening tour was a minke whale just swimming close to us and showing its mouth many times, as the animal was feeding in the area and did not seem bothered about us. Utterly an amazing day in the Eyjafjördur. 

Pictures and text by Manu Bassoi.

 

Monday, 19 June 2017

One could say that the weather conditions were the exact opposite to yesterday. It started off quite windy and cloudy but ended in beautifully calm seas and a bright blue sky during the midnight tour. Also today the Eyjafjördur humpbacks did not disappoint us. Six-seven humpbacks on the morning and afternoon could be observed and 8 whales in the evening. Many of them were very close to Akureyri from the morning onwards. We saw many of our favorites including Dark Knight, Fjall, Jackson and Arnar and met an old fellow from Faxafloi again, a humpback whale called Shaniqa. It is really interesting to see that we have more and more matches between our Eyjafjördur and our Faxafloi Photo-ID Catalogues. The midnight sun tour was indeed something special since four whales were literarily only 5 minutes away in the harbor area so we could start watching whales immediately before making our way further out into the fjord. A very fine day today with plenty of humpbacks and sun.

Text and pictures by Babsi Neubarth

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Today we could witness the sometimes moody Icelandic weather, starting off with super flat and calm seas over rain and wind picking up a lot within a few hours after the morning tour. That did not stop us from many good sightings in the fjord including special things like pec slapping and even a breach on the 13:00 tour. We saw a total of 6-8 humpback whales in the morning, about 5 in the afternoon and 3 in the evening. Dark Knight, Arnar and Jackson were some of our regulars which we could admire today. Food really must still be fantastic in the fjord since we saw them mainly feeding. After a successful day we are excited to see what tomorrow will bring.

Text and pictures by Babsi Neubarth

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Lovely conditions expected us on two tours today, calm seas, sun and a bit of rain here and there. The mix of clouds and sun was responsible for a lot of stunning light effects on the landscape surrounding us. You sure can tell that it is summer now with fields glooming in lush green. Once more we found the humpback whales in the area around and a bit behind Hjalteryi. On each tour we saw at least 4 humpbacks. Manu, Dark Knight and Arnar were some of the regulars which we encountered today and which came very close to the boat, feeding and one maybe just to check us out. Whatever the reason, we really love these close encounters. So wildlife in Eyjafjördur please keep on being like this.

Text and pictures by Babsi Neubarth

Friday, 16 June 2017

Text  by Manu Bassoi an Photo´s by Manu Bassoi and Megan Whittaker
Eyjafjördur today was fantastic with beautiful weather and flat seas. When we were looking out the whales in the morning tours, we spotted about six to eight humpbacks just ten minutes after leaving Akureyri. The animals were showing the flukes several times, and the pictures were marvellous with such amazing sea. The well-known humpbacks ´Tattoo´ and ´Dark Night´ were swimming together today. In the afternoon tour, there were many humpback whales in different sites, but all them in the same area just a few minutes after sailing north from Akureyri. A small pod of 3-4 harbour porpoises also showed up but shy as they can sometimes be. During the evening tours the rain came to refresh us, but as the whales are not worried about been wet, they were all there again. We could enjoy a group of four humpbacks diving together with all the flukes "waving us" at the same time. An enjoyable and pleasant day. Other individuals seen today were ´Arnar´, ´Manu´, ´Mystery´, ´Fjall´, and a few others that are still to be matched. 
Bird´s seen on today´s tours include: Arctic terns. arctic skuas, fulmars, black-headed gulls, black-backed gulls, swans, greylag geese with goslings, eider ducks with ducklings. 
 

 

Thursday, 15 June 2016

Text and Pictures by Megan Whittaker

The clouds came in today and threatened rain but most of the day it kept dry but chilly. Everyone stayed warm in the warm overalls. It was easy to find the Eyjafjord humpbacks this morning, just by Hörgádalur was found at least 7 individuals, 3 pairs and one individual. Amongst the individuals we saw Tattoo, Arnar, Manu, Fjall and Mystery. They were all feeding and with the abundance of food around they obviously where having a good munch. They didn´t really move much from the area throughout the day, enjoying the food. It´s always amazing to see how these humpbacks interact with each other, on the end tour, Tattoo and Arnar were feeding and then Mystery came to join in and three of them were almost touching as they feed together. An amazing day!

Birds seen today included: Black headed gull, black-backed gull, common guillmot, red-breasted merganser, red throated diver, arctic terns, northern fulmars, northern gannets, arctic skuas, pomarine skua, great skua, greylag geese, eider ducks, cormorants.  

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

In the morning there was no wind, and the sea was amazingly flat. We sailed up to the north, and all onboard could appreciate the beautiful landscape of the Eyjafjördur. After spending some time searching, we finally found a humpback whale, which was showing its fluke many times for the enjoyment of all. We left this whale and could find more humpbacks with similar behaviour. It was a lovely morning as many passengers could spot the difference of the underneath colour patterns of the flukes, which we use to identify the animals individually. For Eyjafjördur we have already about 170 humpbacks identified. In the afternoon, Northern of Hjalteyri we met five humpbacks. There were a group of three and two animals, but they were leaving and getting together many times,  but at the end, just one whale called Karo started breaching time after time - no stopping! The whale was also raising its flipper out of the water and slapped many times.  No more words to describe today, just astounding!

Photographs and text by Manu Bassoi.

 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

A thick layer of clouds replaced the blue sky today, but that doesn't mean we were out of luck!  On both tours today the sailing was easy with calm sea and weak winds. And with easy conditions come easy spotting! On both tours we witnessed 4 individuals of humpback whale. Rogue showed up again, and on the afternoon tour the whale treated us with some breaching actions! We also found again Tattoo, a resight from Faxafloi of last year. And we were also thrilled to meet two new individuals that need a new name, so we have exciting times ahead! As a sweet bonus, we also got to see a minke whale at the beginning of the 13:00 tour. Today was a good day!

Text by Guillaume Calcagni, pictures by Manu Bassoi and Guillaume Calcagni

Monday, 12 June 2017

Today was a historical day for us with the return of the great, the one and only ‘Dark Knight’, one of our most sighted individuals from last year. But let’s start from the beginning, we had a nice tour in the morning with 5-6 humpback whales surfacing very close to the boat in calm sea conditions under a clouded, but dry sky. In the afternoon we went out and pretty soon saw 3 blows of humpback whales in the distance. So we went there and observed them swimming very close to each other and could hear them communicate with very low growls which could even be felt as vibrations on our Rib boat. What an extraordinary experience that was topped when the group of 3 was joined by a 4th whale. It turned out to be our beloved Dark Knight from last year and we were very happy to see him or her again. Overall we saw a total of 10-12 Eyjafjördur humpbacks. For the passengers it was a great day and for the crew a historical one due to the return of the Dark Knight.

Pictures and text by Babsi Neubarth

Sunday, 11 June 2017

The weather was cold and overcast, though we were very excited to get out on the water to watch our majestic humpback whales. As we travelled north, a blow was seen, and our first humpback was sighted. The whale was swimming smoothly but not showing its fluke. Therefore we decided to continue searching for other whales further north the fjord. Soon another blow could be spotted, and we saw our second humpback whale.  The cetacean was more active and also showing its fluke many times, which was very appreciated by the passengers onboard. After a time the captain decided to sail southwards, and we were very lucky again to meet two humpbacks. This time was even better as the individuals came swimming towards us while the vessel was stopped. What a delightful moment.
In the afternoon our vessel Homasol joined the Seafarer Celebration Day in Iceland - Sjomannadagurinn. Congratulations all Icelandic Seafarers! Even the whales seemed to celebrate with many breaches on our afternoon tour, stunning pictures were guaranteed.

Photographs by Babsi and Manu and text by Manu Bassoi.

 

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Blue sky and glittering mountains in the sun were the stunning backdrop of our tours today. The morning tour was a real treat with humpback whales around us, not much wind and lovely passengers on the boat. In the afternoon the wind had freshened up a bit so that there was some movement on our boat Holmasol and we could feel a slight chill, luckily the humpbacks made absolutely up for that. We saw about 5 whales in the afternoon, one of them being a well-known individual from Faxafloi called ‘Tattoo’. It is always so exciting to welcome a familiar fluke from Reykjavik here in Akureyri. Once again a very successful day here in Eyjafjördur.

Pictures and Text by Babsi Neubarth

Friday, 9 June 2017

Conditions were just perfect today in the morning: flat seas and fantastic visibility. A large blow was then seen further out and as we sailed north, a humpback whale. The whale was very calm and only resting on the surface. The captain decided to continue sailing north, and more three humpbacks were spotted in different places. This time the whales were more active, diving and showing the flukes. Moreover, in the way back, watching our last humpback whale, what a surprised when the animal just started waiving its pectoral flipper! A whale wave surely is something special and we truly enjoyed this moment. At the way back many seabirds were seen: arctic terns, eider ducks, herring gulls, black-headed gulls, northern fulmars, arctic skua, and kittiwakes.

Pictures and text by Manu Bassoi.

 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Eyjafjördur today was overcast, bit cold, but flat seas! We only have to sail to Hjaltery to find humpback whales. When we were looking out on the morning tour, we spotted about six to eight humpbacks. They were serene and swam slowly, and the pictures were amazing with flat seas.  In the afternoon tour, there were four humpback whales in different sites. By the same token, one of the whales decided to check out the vessel's bow closely and showed its fluke just in front of the passengers. Everybody was just amazed by this imminent hello! Furthermore, just beside of Hjaltery seemed that there was a seabird party, with many arctic terns, gulls, and kittiwakes. A very pleasant day with the Eyjafjördur whales and seabirds.

Text by Manu Bassoi and pictures by Babsi Neubarth. 

 

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Strong northerly wind was responsible for quite a chilly day in the fjord and some swells to face the further we would go out into direction of the open ocean. Nevertheless we went out in the morning and in the afternoon and surely the humpback whales did not disappoint. Skittles, Rogue, Karo and Mariposa were the ones we got to see up close and could stay with for quite some time. Especially Karo decided to spend most of its time in sheltered waters which we of course really welcomed because it kept us out of the cold wind. Humpback whales are absolutely graceful and impressive when they are sort of surfing the waves before taking a deep breath to go for a deeper dive which left our passengers and us very happy on both tours . Once again a successful day here in Eyjafjördur.

Text and Pictures by Babsi Neubarth

 

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Three tours, three different experiences for us and our guests today. In the morning we saw plenty of whales, resting and surfacing right next to the boat, in the afternoon the humpback whales were a bit more elusive, but still, we had an excellent tour. The evening tour as it turned out should top everything that we had witnessed over the day and maybe even over the last weeks. Humpback whales a plenty were busy bubble net feeding for over two hours. First, we could always see the water surface bubbling in bright turquoise and then one, two and on some occasions even three wide open jaws coming up. Breathtaking for everyone on board and it got even better when one whale appeared centimetres literarily in front of us, surfacing slowly as if it was checking our boat out. What an incredible and stunning day today.
Pictures by Babsi Neubarth and Manu Basssoi and text by Babsi Neubarth.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Today the weather kept changing as time passed by, but what remained untouched was the presence of many humpbacks in the fjord! Even though in the afternoon the wind picked up, a careful and patient approach allowed us to get close encounters with wildlife. We evengot to witness some feeding action! Adding to the excitement, there was a small humpback that we don't know yet very close to the harbour, and also a minke whale. Of our regulars, we saw today Arnar, Rogue, Sai, Gemini and Lumière. Again, it was a nice day spent among friends!


Pictures by Guillaume Calcagni and Manu Bassoi, text by Guillaume Calcagni

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Today we could enjoy Eyjafjördur at its best, no to only a little wind, partially cloudy sky and magnificent feeding humpback whales. In the morning we saw four different humpbacks displaying a variety of behaviors ranging from being elusive over resting to intense feeding. Sai, Gemini, Jackson and Arnar stayed with us so that we could make sure all of our guests had a close encounter. In the afternoon it was feeding frenzy time with Jackson and Gemini. The food must have been especially good today since they were coming just right next to our boat, while we had the engines off, and fed. We got to enjoy this amazing display for over an hour before we had to go back. Fantastic feeding adventures today in the fjord.

Pictures and text by Babsi Neubarth