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Oh no! Whale Watching Iceland; We found all sorts of gorgeous birds, including some gulls, geese and guillemots, but there were no whales to be found by anyone in Faxa Bay today. Free returns for everyone for 3 years!
Yesterday we saw a beautiful humpback whale so it made sense to go to the same area to begin our search. That area is known to be a great feeding group, the waters are extremely rich and lots of species spawn there. It took us about 45minutes to get out to it, but we look all the way as we also have had whales in the harbour. Twice last year we had a curious humpback come and investigate where we moor the boat!
We found a humpback, it was gorgeous, with very clear scarring on its dorsal fine so we knew we’d seen it before. It wasn’t fussed by us, and carried on feeding, popping up for a minute to breath and then diving back down for another 10minutes. It remaining relaxed and continuing to feed is extremely important to us, the welfare of our ocean mammals has to be our top priority and we always make sure we are responsible around them, no fast turns or getting too close. By remaining predictable and calm these intelligent, curious giants know to trust us and so chose to approach us.
There was a humpback, not to far from the ship, and then, whilst we waited for that one to resurface another one appeared. These two were possibly old friends, feeding together. We could tell the two whales were different because of the marking on one of their dorsal fins. Normally we identify individuals with their fluke markings, but sometimes they have easy markings on their dorsals, and, in the case of one minke whale we frequently see, no dorsal fin at all, probably due to a collision with a speed boat.
It was undeniably a humpback, a large baleen whale known for their huge pectoral fins and acrobatic breeching displays. We got closer, whilst respecting the whale’s space and allowed it to approach us. As it was it chose to do so, it seemed quite a young one and, as such, was extremely curious and came right up to us. Everyone got amazing photos and they could clearly see all it’s marking and tubercles on its rostrum. It was exactly the kind of up close and personal experience everyone dreams of with whales and one lucky ( or unlucky!) customer had some whale blow over them!
As we got closer we could see its smooth skin and swept back fin, this was no humpback, we were pretty sure this was a fin whale! Normally they live 30miles off the coast, but this curious beast had come only a kilometre or so off the shore. To get a proper identification we looked between the dorsal fin and the tail flukes. Another name for a fin whale is a razorback, because it has a prominent ridge in that area. When the fin whale arched its back to do a deep dive we saw this line clearly.