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Photos taken by Radoslaw Krol

Photos taken by Radoslaw Krol

Photos taken by Radoslaw Krol

ISSUE 24 ARCHIVE - WHALES IN THE WILD

Chantelle Wyatt

Whale watching is a totally unique and exciting experience and beyond impressive when you see a whale breach the surface. The intimate relationship that arises with you and nature is hard to describe but completely breathtaking.

We went to visit Reykjavik Sailors in Iceland to explore the Icelandic ocean and to try to spot some of its marine life. Making our initial enquiry with a wonderful lady called Valdis Arnardottir, the process of visiting was easy. She provided us with all of the key information for the booking and trip and was quick to reply to questions. She also came to meet with us at the harbour to welcome us and get feedback.

This fabulously branded company nestled in the Old Harbour of Reykjavik was easy to find and offered up some fantastic pre whale watch information with its high quality looking flyers and guides.

On arrival myself and photographer, Radoslaw Krol were met by a team of approachable and smiley staff who welcomed us on board. We were given a lengthy safety briefing, thorough tips about what me might see and how to identify things as well as some of the history and facts surrounding those animals.

We sailed out of Vesturbugt, located in the downtown area of Reykjavik and were kitted up with warm, floatable overalls, given refreshments and comforted in a heated indoor cabin whilst we began our journey out into the open ocean.

What a trip it was, within minutes of arriving to the well known feeding ground we were surrounded by harbour porpoises of up to 2 meters in length as well as humpback whales, which grow up to 17 meters in length and can weigh up to 40 tons. It was almost too good to be true! The diver in me wanted to jump in and gaze at them underwater but in all honesty watching them with the pristine backdrop of the Arctic ocean was overwhelming and jaw dropping.

Staff on board were as excited as the guests, pulling out binoculars to watch the spectacle of these grand creatures gliding through the water. Minke whales popped up here and there, teasing us with their elongated bodies and showing themselves off in the good weather. I really don't think we could have asked for more of a first time whale watching experience and it was quite emotional.

Having a love of the ocean and marine life and then to see real life whales in the wild is a experience that stays with you and is really quite fantastic.

The staff were able to tell us about sea birds and migration patterns as well as seasonal changes that occur in Iceland with marine life and sightings. The high season running from April-September allows people to spot over 20 species of cetacea, including Orca (Killer Whales) and even the great Blue Whale.

The selling point for me for this company is their mission to educate and inspire people to engage with wildlife. They run a super project called 'Creatures of the Sea' where anyone can join an outing, give sea angling a try and then investigate what they catch. Sailing out to Faxafloi Bay in search of sea creatures and then talking about finds and being enlightened about various species is an incredibly practical way to learn.

The staff and Boat Captain were really quite something on this trip. Marine enthusiasts with nothing short of total passion to share their love of the sea and its inhabitants was obvious and it only rubs off on the trip goers.

This company was highly professional, knowledgeable, passionate, inspiring and fun. I would highly recommend them to anyone visiting Iceland who wants something a step up from just a good trip out for the day.

You can visit Reykjavik Sailors on their website, follow them on Facebook or spot them on Instagram to find out more.

Regaldive
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