Elding tours located in the old harbour of Reykjavík claim a staggering 95% sighting guarantee. If you’re one of the unfortunate 5% then you’re generously offered another tour for free. Lucky for me, and a few dozen others, we saw a whole lot of blubber – both on board and in the ocean of course.
We set off punctually at 9:00 aboard SS Elding I, complete with 3 viewing platforms, a bar (serving special Whale Punch – a coffee and rum concoction) and numerous children kitted out with luminous orange light jackets and packed lunches. Strangely reminiscent of a school trip, the journey was both restless and nauseating.
First stop was the tiny landmass of Akurey, otherwise known as Puffin Island. An accurate description as it is solely inhabited by puffins; by this I mean a shit load of puffins! Be sure to catch these vibrant birds when they’re there (between the months of May and August).
Our voyage to the unsheltered Faxaflói bay was pleasantly interrupted by not only Harbour Porpoises but also three White-beaked dolphins showing off for the numerous cameras. It proved to be a rather moving experience, or that could have just been the seasickness.
Everyone rushed to the front of the deck, crammed like seamen in the proverbial nut sack, at the first mention of a Minke Whale from our very pleasant and informative tour guide. Apparently a juvenile surfaced just less than 5 meters away from us, but I couldn’t see from the masses of people and their lenses. However, the absolutely frenzied look on those folk’s faces was in and of itself well worth the trip.
What a lovely day to be out, the sun shining for once with a crisp sea breeze. Perfect conditions to clamber aboard a boat and spot some sea mammals. Note: not the perfect way to nurse a hangover.