A fantastic trip to the Edge of the Arctic!
We departed from Húsavík around 8 o‘clock in the morning of Wednesday June the 5th and set our course to Lundey, the Puffin Island. The weather was extraordinary; it was sunny, clear skies, no wind and flat sea.
We reached Lundey and the puffins were, as usual, flying clumsily around the small island and watching us as we sailed by and had our breakfast.
A clumsy puffin by the Puffin Island.
Once we‘d had a good look at the puffins and Lundey we set our course west; heading for Flatey, the Flat Island. On our way to Flatey we hoisted the schooner sail to introduce sailing on schooner Hildur. Suddenly we had an unexpected encounter with the largest animal living on earth: a blue whale! Even though we couldn’t get very close, the enormous size of this whale is something to marvel and to admire. We also got a good look at one humpback whale, which was very nice.
We reached Flatey at noon and took a walk around the island. Once we returned to the boat, lunch was served on deck of schooner Hildur. We enjoyed a traditional icelandic meat soup and set our course further north to reach the island on the Edge of the Arctic: Grímsey.
A humpback whale.
When we got close to Grímsey we saw a couple of minke whales feeding just below the surface. We stopped by and watched them for a while. It was great. The whales together with a lot of birds and the snow covered mountains of the main land in the background. Close to the harbour of Grimsey we stopped again to catch some fish for dinner. We managed to catch four big cods. Just the right amount for dinner for all of us.
A close encounter with a minke whale.
Once we arrived at the harbour we got a guided tour around Grimsey, the northern most inhabitant place of Iceland. We learned about the wildlife and experienced daily life of people living on Grimsey. It was very interesting to learn about the daily life of people living on an island by the Arctic Circle.
The dinner was served when everyone got back to schooner Hildur around 8 o’clock in the evening. Fresh fish with a variety of salads and other delicious food.
At midnight we went to the northern part of the island, up a hill called Stóribratti, to watch the midnight sun. We got the most beautiful view ever!
It is simply amazing to experience the midnight sun by the Arctic Circle.
Next morning at half past seven we were off to sail around the island and explore the bird cliffs and caves at the north-eastern part of Grimsey. Everybody was very excited to see the caves. The weather conditions were still excellent. Sunshine, flat sea and no wind at all. We have seen thousands of birds. Guillemots, Puffins and Razorbills. The birds were curious and not afraid at all. It was such a nice and peaceful time in pure icelandic nature.
We continued our journey around Grimsey and crossed the Artic Circle. Everyone got a certificate from captain Hördur for crossing the Arctic Circle at 66,56° North. It was a special moment for all of us.
Captain Hörður giving out certificates for crossing the Arctic Circle.
On our way back to Húsavík we had a good time sitting on deck enjoying the scenery and the sun. At the eastern part of Skjálfandi Bay, close to Húsavík we found some more humpback whales and we got really close to them! A perfect ending of an amazing trip!
Once we were back in the harbour of Húsavík, everyone said goodbye with a smile on the face. It was one of the most beautiful tours at the Edge of the Arctic we experienced and without any exaggeration we believe that all passengers are eager to have more adventures soon in and around the North of Iceland.
Following are more pictures from the successful trip to the Arctic Circle.
– Guide Kristófer
Passengers on the bow sprit of Schooner Hildur.
A lot of birds around Grimsey Island.
Passengers were able to take a good look at the birds.
Schooner Hildur by the cliffs of Grimsey Island.
Captain Hörður and a happy passenger.
A trip to the cave.
The sea conditions were excellent so we were able to enter the cave.
Grimsey Island and Schooner Hildur.
Schooner Hildur by the Arctic Circle.
Passengers and crew on board the zodiac.
The zodiac being used to get closer to the wildlife of Grimsey Island.
Life is good when you have crossed the Arctic Circle.
Happy passengers arriving in Húsavík harbor after a successful Edge of the Arctic tour.