Today the weather was typically Icelandic: The day started rainy, but it cleared pretty soon and when we left the harbor in the morning the sky was bright blue. During the day it became a bit more cloudy again, but it was still quite warm and conditions were perfect for heading out and searching for the whales.
In the morning we spotted two humpback whales in the western part of Skjálfandi Bay, close to the mountains. One of them was tagged with a transmitter. Researchers use the signals of this tag to track the migration routes of the animals and to gain more findings on their behavior. But apart from tagging there are other methods which we use to research the whales. On many of our tours researchers join the boats, using them as research vessel and recording sighting data as well as taking photos of the animals. Especially the humpback whales are easy to identify because of their unique black and white pattern on the lower side of the fluke. So we’re not only observing the animals in our bay but also taking the chance to support research on them.
In the afternoon we encountered a minke whale very close to harbor, which was a nice surprise and of course a perfect start for this tour. When we headed further west, we spotted at least 4 different humpback whales! We had a closer look at them. Several times they surfaced right next to our boat, turning this Saturday into a perfect whale watching day!
Tagged humpback whale (photo: Luisa Klotz)