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!