Somewhere in the Republic of Moldova.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode, Ontario, Canada. Just south of Ottawa.

And where are they going next? We leave November 1st for a six week trip to Romania and Moldova.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Whale Watching in Iceland

We signed up with Elding Whale Watching this afternoon for an adventure at sea! They picked us up at our hotel at about 12:45pm and it was only a short drive over to the marina here in Reykjavik. But when we got there, we were told we were going for a longer bus drive.

Because it was such a windy day, they decided that for the tour to go ahead, we had to use a boat that was docked on the south shore of the peninsula. It was about a 45 minute bus drive, but nobody seemed to mind, and we didn't either.

The main ticket booth at Elding Whale Watching.

Elding is a big operation and they have several different boats available in Reykjavik Harbour.

So, we got to the boat on the south shore and everybody got on board. As soon as we got going, they explained the safety rules and also said that we might be warmer and more comfortable with one of the "overalls" they had available for us to wear. It can get pretty cold out there, even though it was a bright sunny day. The temperature was about 10C (50F), but it was still really windy. I figured I was okay with what I had on, but Ruth decided to put on the suit they offered.

Ruth, showing off the 2012 lineup of Elding whale watching gear!

And then we headed out to sea!

When we are in Mexico along the Pacific coast, we spend a lot of time just sitting on the shore and watching for sea life. Quite often we have seen whales, but we've also seen dolphins playing and quite a few other things jumping out of the water. Problem is that some days we see a lot of things, and other days we see nothing at all. You just never know when nature is going to give you a show. 

So we spent a lot of the afternoon, along with everybody else on the boat just staring out at the sea, trying to get a glimpse of a whale breaching the surface or the spray of water coming from the blow hole. We knew what to watch for, but today the whales were not co-operating. 

Here's out guide Sunna. She was really good despite the fact that the whales were not co-operating. She kept us informed as to what was going on, and pointed out a few interesting things along the way.

And then the excitement started. No, I couldn't get any decent pictures. But everyone was scooting from one side of the boat to the other and then to the front while Sunna was directing us to look out for a pod of harbour porpoises. Sure enough, we did see these small marine mammals a couple of times before they disappeared, but the strong winds made getting a photo of these guys pretty tough. These porpoises average between 5 and 6 feet in length.

We did get to look at some nice scenery though.

The sea was pretty rough!

Good thing this person had their cold weather outfit on. That splash even got me a little wet on the top deck!

And then, as we were getting close to the harbour, we spotted a group of white beaked dolphins. We think there were four of them, and they played and swam around for a while, but they are pretty quick, and again no decent pictures. But we had fun watching these slightly larger creatures. Still not as big as a whale, but the white beaked dolphin grows to between 7 and 10 feet long.

We had a fun time, despite the fact that the whales didn't co-operate. Elding knows what they're doing with this whale watching stuff, and they make every effort to make sure you can see something. We stayed out there for almost four hours and they investigated every possibility. It just didn't happen. Glad we did see the porpoises and dolphins though, so that made it all worthwhile. 

Here's Kevin staying warm!

The winter whale watching tour runs every day at 13:00. Cost is 8,000 koronas ($64.00) for adults. Length of tour is between 3 and 5 hours depending on the animals!


  1. Too bad you didn't see any whales. It was probably quite an experience in itself just being out on that boat.....and you did get to see the porpoises and the dolphins. Nice pictures too.

  2. When we go out on our boat off the Delaware coast, we almost always see porpoises and dolphins. Once in awhile we see a whale. It's always hit and miss! Your trip looked like so much fun - love your photos - glad you had a fun time!

  3. Nice that you enjoyed the cruise, too bad no whales. It sure looks too cold for us there.

  4. Looked to be a large boat to be whale watching... In Barkley Sound off of Vancouver Island we had a couple of grey whales circle and push our Zodiac around for 45 minutes. Quite the experience with 2 whales literally inches away... made for quite the photo ops.

    1. So it turns out we were a day early. Here's the report from Elding's Friday afternoon tour...

      Tour at 13:00 Report from Elding: What a beautiful day! The sun was shining and the sea was calm and nice. We spotted somewhere between 6-8 minke whales and lot of harbour porpoises! We were seeing porpoises throughout the tour and the minke whales kept surprising us by surfacing close to the boat many times. It was a magical tour in a beautiful weather!

  5. The people who did the whale watching tour on our cruise didn't see them but as we were sailing out that night there were 3 right beside the ship for all to see. Luck of the draw.


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