Blue whales in September!
When I left the harbour this morning at 10:00 onboard “Bjössi Sör” together with captain Már, we had no idea of how amazing this day would be for whale watching: At the end (if you count both trips together) we have seen 5 (!!!) different whale species today.
On the morning tour, it started with a small group of harbour porpoises, that we could follow for some minutes. We then continued sailing further north-west into the area where we had seen both the minke and the humpback whale yesterday. We entered an area of thick fog, but as soon as we had passed this area, the visibility got better and better. It did not take long until we realized that there were two humpback whales and at least two minke whales in the area, so this area, in the north-western part of the bay, still seems to provide a lot of food for the whales.
Humpback whale (Sept 26th ´11) © Christian Schmidt
A Humpback whale doing the majestic fluke lift before deep diving © Christian Schmidt
(Sept 26th ´11)
When coming back to the harbour, everybody was satisfied and after a short break we left again at 13:30.
After some sailing, we found quite a big group of about 20 white-beaked dolphins in the middle of the bay. We followed them for a short while, before we set the course further out and about half an hour later, we saw an enormous spout, that was way to big for a humpback whale. We continued sailing and soon we realized: The Blue Whales are back!!!
White beaked dolphin (Sept 26th ´11) © Christian Schmidt
White beaked dolphins playing around (Sept 26th ´11) © Christian Schmidt
Blue whale in Skjálfandi Bay, (Sept 26th ´11) © Christian Schmidt
A few minutes later we saw two more blue whales blowing a bit further north, so there were three of them in total! A really nice surprise to see the largest animal on the planet again, as we usually only see them earlier in the season, in June and July. We were watching two of these three blue whales for a while and all of a sudden, a minke whale came up feeding, not far away from the boat. A bit later, we also got a really close look at a humpback whale. And at one moment, all three baleen whale species were up at the surface at the same time: blue whale, humpback whale and minke whale.
Just another example that autumn whale watching can be really fun here in Skjálfandi Bay and of course we hope that the blue whales will still be around tomorrow ;-).
A Blue whale feeding. Taken from air, June 21st 2011 © Heimir Harðarson