Friday, 5 April 2019

SPERM WHALES in Eyjafjördur. April is just full of surprises here at the entrance of the fjord. We sailed out from Dalvik and soon it became apparent that we would have to go far North today. Luckily the seas were calm so that we could leave the shelter of the fjord and go past the area of Olafsfjördur. And that is where we saw it, multiple blows in the distance. They looked different from the humpback whale blows and when we got closer, we could confirm these were sperm whales. We counted at least 5 individuals who stayed on the surface for 7-8 minutes at a time, before raising their flukes up high and going down for their long dives. How fascinating to see this special type of whale. Interestingly we encountered sperm whales for the first time last year at roughly the same place at the beginning of April. Hopefully these majestic toothed whales will stay around for a while.

Text and pictures by Babsi Neubarth

Thursday, 4 April 2019

What an Incredible day to be out at sea. The conditions were perfect, the best i’ve seen in quite some time. The fjord was mirror flat, there was no wind and the hot sun warmed our faces as we sailed. It didn’t take hardly any time to find cetaceans today as we set sail from Dalvik. Only 20 minutes from harbour and we were viewing probably the most striking cetacean, the Orca or Killer Whale as they are sometimes known. This pod of at least 6 individuals was quite spread out, each focused on filling its belly with fish. We viewed one male very close up as it swam towards us and actually checked us out, swimming on its side and then circulating the boat. A female pod member even raised it’s tail for us, a rather rare happening with Orcas. It was such a spectacular tour. None of us can wait to be back on the water again.

Pictures and text by Tess Hudson

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Winds had calmed down compared to yesterday and we were accompanied by sun, clouds and a bit of wind on our afternoon tour. We sailed from Akureyri and ended our tour in Dalvik. Since the past tours were full of surprises, we were eager to go out and search the whole 60 kilometers of the fjord. Today a pod of white-beaked dolphins showed their lovely fins just outside of Hrisey. We counted between 7-10 individuals. They were quite busy, likely herding fish and we were kept on our toes to follow all their movements. Very fun and handy because it got chilly outside. Afterwards we went further North, however no other cetaceans were spotted. Still, a fun afternoon out in the fjord!

Text and pictures by Babsi Neubarth

Monday, 1 April 2019

April Fools and Orcas are still fooling around the Fjord! This morning we had perfect conditions, clear sky, flat sea and full sun. We sailed out from Akureyri and again headed out all the way to Olafsfjordur, to find a family of Orcas. It was a different group from the one we’ve seen yesterday. Four individuals were active but keep staying together. We stayed with them longer than we usually do and the tour was ended in Dalvik instead of Akureyri. Thanks to that we were already much closer to the destinated area in the afternoon and next tour was simply stunning. We found the same orcas family that we’ve seen yesterday and we were able to see two more families further in the distance. Today we officially extended our spring schedule and from now on we’ll be going out on the tours at 9:00 and 13:00 giving us more chances to observe wildlife of Eyjafjordur!

Pictures and Text by: Ania Wojcik

Sunday, 31 March 2019

The Killer Whales are back! Today’s tour was definitely one of the best ones we had this year. Again we had to go quite far out, this time we went all the way beyond Olafsfjordur but it was absolutely worth it. We found a family of Orcas travelling together. Killer whales are known to travel in family groups and this time we were able to notice two younger individuals among the group. Three whales were inseparable and almost synchronized in movements most of the time and two more were moving around them. At some point it seemed that they became curious about us and we had an incredible encounter when they approached the boat from the side and we could observe them just meters away. In total we've seen 5 orcas today. Amazing experience!

Pictures and Text by: Ania Wojcik

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Today we had incredible tour with White beaked dolphins! We sailed all the way to Olafsfjordur where we found this amazing group of dolphins. At first we saw them speeding and it looked a bit like they were running away from something but we didn’t spot any potential predators in the area, also we were the only boat there. At some point they slowed down and seemed to stay in a certain area - then we spotted the buoys of fishing nets so it might be that they weren’t actually running away but speeding in reaction to “cry for help”. Of course we can’t know that for sure, we could only be sure if we’d go underwater but fishing nets are one of the biggest dangers to cetaceans and if there would be an entangled individual deep in the water, we couldn’t help him. This is why it is so important to rise awareness of this problem and hopefully with time - create better rules for fishing industries. We stayed there for a longer while at some point being surrounded by dolphins. Few of them approached us following the boat on the side just a meter away. We could also notice many playful, younger individuals among them and this is always a precious sighting to watch.

Pictures and Text: Ania Wojcik

Friday, 29 March 2019

Beautiful sailing conditions, very little wind, combined with the warm sun and a very flat fjord made sailing a delight. On the tour we encounter a huge diversity of bird life including: northern fulmar, kittiwake, eider duck, long tailed duck and black guillemot. The stars of the tour were most definitely the beautiful harbour porpoises. Usually an elusive species, these animals only pop up once or twice before they disappear, but not today! Today they surfaced all the way around the boat coming up many times. They were porpoising out of the water at points, a beautiful sight to see. No larger cetaceans were seen and complimentary tickets were given out but regardless, the passengers enjoyed the wonderful little “Pig” whales as they are known in many languages.

Pictures and text by Tess Hudson

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Snow storms blazed the fjord today but that did not stop us from sailing! As we made our way down the fjord the snow storms gave way,1 and the beautiful sun shone through the clouds. Due to the recent storms the sea conditions were a bit more bumpy than usual but nothing uncomfortable. We saw a large variety of bird life on the tour today including: eider duck, long tailed duck, black guillemot, icelandic gull and kittiwake. Some beautiful harbour porpoises also popped up out of the surf to show us their amazingly streamline bodies, which were just brilliant to watch. No larger cetaceans were seen so complimentary tickets were issued to passengers. But we never know what tomorrow will bring.

Picture by Anna, text by Tess Hudson

Monday, 25 March 2019

A beautiful day out on the fjord. Not too much wind, calm seas and warmer than usual temperatures. Today the sail led us around Hrisey Island where we found some beautiful dolphins. There was a large pod of them approximately 15-20 individuals. There was also a few calves with them, one of which had a very unique white and black patterning. The dolphins gave us a wonderful show and surfaced many times swimming all the way around the boat, coming up only 20 meters away at times. Delighted to see the dolphins back in the fjord.

Pictures and text by Tess Hudson

Sunday, 24 March 2019

A beautiful day, with a clear sunny sky and good sailing conditions as we made out way down the fjord. Once further out we did experience a seasonal snow storm but were quickly out the other side. On our tour we found a small pod of beautiful harbour porpoises which we got to see porpoising out of the water. It was so lovely to see their tiny forms popping up so elegantly. Lots of birds were also seen including: black and common guillemot, kittiwake, northern fulmar, icelandic gull, eider duck and the beautiful long tailed ducks which were in huge flocks flying, feeding and resting. Did you know that the long tailed duck can dive up to 60 meters? It’s one of the best diving ducks in the world! They do this so they can get to their prey on or near the ocean floor. They feed mainly upon mollusks and crustaceans. Unfortunately, no larger cetaceans were seen and therefore, complimentary tickets were given out to allow our guests to try their luck again. Regardless, it seem everyone enjoyed the wonderful sail out on the fjord.

Pictures by Ania Wojcik and text by Tess Hudson

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Lovely sailing conditions today and a wonderful view. Yesterday we had snow blizzards all day and night so this morning the whole landscape was capped in a beautiful fresh powdered snow. The sun was also shining and warming our faces. We sailed all the way to Hrisey Island and back and saw some wonderful wildlife including; eider duck, kittiwake, northern fulmar, icelandic gull, storm petrel, long tailed duck and harbour porpoises. Throughout our sail we also noticed a large amount of fish on our fish finder as we sailed the fjord. However, there weren´t any whales to eat them today, so complimentary tickets were given out to passengers so they can come back and see some of the fantastic cetaceans Iceland has to offer.

Pictures and text by Tess Hudson

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Spring is slowly arriving in the Fjord, You can feel it and see it as more and more birdlife is magnetised to the area. We started the tour again from Dalvik, in the beginning we headed out north but the swell was picking up and after a while of rocking on waves we decided to turn around and scan deeper part of the Fjord. We enjoyed travelling in the sun again being followed by lots of birds - Fulmars and Kittiwakes were acompaning us all the way. We finished the tour in Akureyri harbor. No whales today, we gave complimentary tickets to all our passengers.

Pictures and Text: Ania Wojcik

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Another beautiful day in the Fjord. Today we started the tour from Dalvik as recent sightings were happening further out we decided to start the search from Hrisey area. We spotted lots of birdlife including Seagulls, Eider Ducks, Black Guillemots and even had a chance to see a group of Long tailed ducks which are rather a rare sighting in our area. Sailing through winter scenery of Eyafjorður in the sun is always enjoyable. Few of our passengers were lucky enough to see small group of dolphins but they were too quick to follow this time and not everyone was able to notice them. No whales today, we gave out complimentary tickets to all our guests, hopefully we’ll have better luck tomorrow!

Pictures and Text: Ania Wojcik

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

A beautiful sunny day out on the fjord today, sailing conditions were a little bumpy but nothing uncomfortable, as the passengers had a great time riding the waves. We sailed all the way to Hrisey then turned back but found a wonderful group of white-beaked dolphins on the way. They were jumping, breaching and side slapping all at once! It was incredible to watch. The pod, about 10 strong stayed with us for some time before heading further north but not before they came zooming up to the boat and popped up just a meter and a half away. Dolphinatly a great day!

Pictures and text by Tess Hudson

Monday, 18 March 2019

What a wonderful day to be out at sea! The conditions were just lovely, it was sunny and not too cold and the waves gave us quite some entertainment. Our tour today started and ended in Dalvík, this meant we could go further out and see what was further out of the fjord. Very close to Ólafsfjörður we found a whole array of bird life, from fulmars to storm petrels, who were feeding, flying and diving. Not long after we found some beautiful white beaked dolphins. Who repeatedly swam up to us and were checking us out from under the water was really amazing to see! The dolphins showed us their wonderful dorsal’s and patterned bodies as they swam around the boat, just fantastic!

Pictures and text by Tess Hudson

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Orcas in the Fjord!!!! Finally after few days with lack of sightings we found nothing ordinary - we found Killer Whales. It took us quite a while to find them, we had to sail out all the way to Olafsfjordur but it was worth the effort. It was our first sighting this year with those magnificent animals and it was at least one big family travelling together and we were able to recognize that there were many young individuals among them. We had two amazing encounters when few of them approached us very close to the boat - it looked like they were as curious about us as we were about them. Amazing day to be out there!

Text: Ania Wojcik
Pictures: Tess Hudson