NS-2 Whales, Puffins & Sails
Have you tried going out on a whale watching trip on a sailing boat?
North Sailing offers passengers to go on a whale watching tour on one of our two sailing boats. The Puffin Island is visited and of course the crew puts up the sails with the passengers assistance.
It‘s always amazing to be able to shut off the engine and just sail with all the sails up.
We went out on schooner Haukur at 09:30 and as soon as we had left the harbour the first whale of the trip was spotted. That was a minke whale which came up very close to the boat, and suddenly another one came along right next to it. There was some size difference between them so most likely it was a mother travelling with her calf. It‘s not very common that the minke whales are spotted together so both the crew and the passengers were suprised and satisfied with the sighting.
After taking a good look at those two minke whales we decided to go further out in Skjálfandi Bay and only a few minutes later we ran into another minke whale, which was very calm and showed itself very well. So we had only been out in the bay for a while and spotted three minke whales already!
The Puffin Island was our next destination.
The puffins are quite common in Skjálfandi Bay, and in the eastern part of the bay is an island which is called Lundey in Icelandic or Puffin Island. This island is home to around 250.000 puffins during the summertime, but the puffins can actually be spotted all around the bay. The island was filled with life this morning and everywhere we looked we could see loads of puffins, either sitting on the ocean, in the island or just flying around it, which seems to be a popular hobby amongst the puffins. After we had watched the puffins around the Puffin Island for a while we decided to go a bit further out in the bay and try our luck there. A few moments later we spotted a group of White-beaked Dolphins which were in a very good mood this morning, occasionally leaping out of the water and swimming all around the boat.
Now it was time for the sails.
The crew prepared the sails and we got great help from some of the passengers that were willing to help us out. We shut off the engine and put up all the sails but Haukur has 6 sails, total of 132 m2.
We didn‘t get too much wind this morning but still we managed to reach 3 mph with the engine shut off and just sailing by the power of the sails and the wind. It‘s always fantastic to experience the silence and sail in the same way as our ancestors did in the past.
Some more breaching White-beaked Dolphins showed up and splashed around right next to the boat while we were sailing and but a big smile on our faces.
Then it was time to head back to Húsavík, but meanwhile we served the passengers some hot chocolate, cinnamon rolls and some of the captains privilege to put into the hot chocolate.
We reached Húsavík harbour again around 13:30 after 4 hours well spent out in Skjálfandi Bay. Our passengers got some great photos of the whales along with some great memories they will hopefully never forget.
Photos taken on our NS-2 trip on the schooner Haukur this morning:
The captain, Alli.
Halla Marín, guide and passengers on board Haukur.
A minke whale close to the boat.
Another minke whale.
A proud puffin with a great catch.
Loads of puffins flying around the Puffin Island.
Puffins in the Puffin Island.
A breaching White-beaked Dolphin.
Two breaching White-beaked Dolphins in Skjálfandi Bay.
Passengers enjoying the hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls.
The guide, Halla Marín, going through what we saw at the end of the trip.
Ármann Örn, guide.