Success! There were puffins everywhere in Faxa bay as we went out on the RIB. Gorgeous weather. Calm seas and 30,000 puffins. What more could we ask for?
It was such a perfect day, the water was flat calm, the sun was shining and we were eager to go out and see the colorful puffins that flock to our islands in summer to breed. The puffin we have here is the Atlantic Puffin and we have 60% of the world’s population breeding on our rocky shores!
Despite Iceland having one of the best responses in the world to Covid-19 we haven’t been going out much this month, we can’t wait to have you all back here soon! But nothing stops our ache to be out on the water, we love seeing our cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sea birds. So when we were asked to take someone out on the speedboat to look for puffins we jumped at the chance!
We wrapped up in our waterproof snowsuits, as even in this glorious weather it’s a lot colder on the water, and set off. There are several different colonies on the islands just off the coast of Reykjavik, the burrows are reused year after year. Puffins mate for life and will reuse their burrows, with the males returning before the females to spring clean!
In the burrows, each pair will raise one baby puffin…rather adorably called a puffling. As they raise it both parents will go out feeding and bring it back small fish in their beaks, which is when we get the photos of them looking like they have a mustache! The first place we went to was Lundey. Its name literally means ‘puffin island.’
It lived up to its name and even before we got there we saw the puffins flying on and off it at great speed. Whilst they can fly their wings are very small so they must beat them 400times a minute to stay aloft. They are often very clumsy taking off and landing, but in the water they are incredible swimmers, going down as deep as 60m!
As we got closer we could see great rafts of them bobbing around in the water. At the slowest speed, we approached them, careful not to disturb them or get too close. From our position, we could see them popping out of their burrows. At the moment they don’t need to feed their young as they are still just an egg! Once they have hatched there will be less time for them to float about as raising the chick will be extremely demanding.
Their beaks and feet were the bright colors that we tend to associate with puffins because it is their breeding plumage. In the winter they are much duller, to the extent that for a long time they were considered to be a different species entirely.
It was a joy watching them come and go from their island homes, and we went to several other spots too, seeing porpoises, eiders, and many other seabirds. It is great to see so much wildlife here, proving our waters are still rich and healthy!
We, Sea Trips Reykjavik, sail every day from the center of Reykjavik. Our superyacht was built in 2003 and is extremely comfortable and stable. However people react to the ocean differently, so we always have sea sickness tablets on board. We also have lots of blankets and ponchos in case you get chilly, though you can always come inside to warm up in our cozy saloons.
For more information on our boats, our trips, and any accessibility questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org