Whale Watching from Reykjavik, Iceland;
Minke whales found during whale watching from Reykjavik, Iceland on a luxury yacht.
Awesome! We found minke whales as well so many guillemots, kittiwakes, fulmars and cormorants and the mountains around us were incredibly beautiful.
The morning rain had cleared when we left to go whale watching from Reykjavik when we set out on the yacht Amelia Rose. We set out from the harbour, surrounded by the majestic mountains, and in amongst the islands next to the city shoreline. The islands had plenty of sea birds hanging around them, a very promising sign that there was a lot of food – meaning fish – in the area and we continued out in high expectation of a wonderful day.
On our hunt for cetaceans – whales, dolphins, and porpoises – we look out for several things, firstly we look for sea birds, either in quantity or actively diving for fish. We’d already seen a lot of them today from the off so fingers crossed all round. We also look out for dorsal fins, all the marine mammals we commonly see have them, we love whales, dolphins and porpoises, and very rarely, whenever we do we love the sharks we see. It’s a real treat to find them.
A blow as they breath out is also a dead give-away that there’s a whale nearby, as whales are mammals, so they breath air and are warm blooded. Fish don’t make blows! If you aren’t sure if something is a fish or a cetacean look at their tail, fish tails go side to side like a door, but cetaceans are the opposite, going up and down.
We are very practised at looking for them, but sometimes a wave breaking in a weird way can look like a whale with a blow. Or sometimes a duck in the distance can be mistaken for a fin. But we would far rather our lovely customers point our a hundred ducks than miss one whale! For more information on how we search for whales and dolphins, and learn how to be a pro-cetacean spotter yourself have a look at our guide here.
Today we went out to an area we know to be extremely rich in fish, and a prime hunting ground for hungry whales. Suddenly we saw a fin…We found a minke, it was gorgeous, and only a second later another one surfaced quite close to it! They weren’t fussed by us, and carried on feeding, popping up for a minute to breath and then diving back down for another 10minutes or so.
We were excited to find them so close to the city, and whilst we were watching the first two minke whales a couple more appeared in the same area. Even if you can’t see all the whales at once to count them you can identify individuals why their fins and markings. There may have been more than four, but we got 4 confirmed IDs.
What a totally amazing day on the waters of Faxa bay. We stayed as long as we could, however eventually we had to turn around and head back into Reykjavik harbour as our time was up. It was such a treat to show our customers these amazing gentle giants and we hope what they learnt will help them to respect our oceans throughout their lives.
People also come here to see the bewitching northern lights, and we take people out to see them, again on our lovely super yacht Amelia Rose. If you book a whale watching tour with us you can get a Northern lights trip for 50% off!
Sea Trips Reykjavik sail everyday from Reykjavík Old Harbour, Iceland. Our yacht Amelia Rose was built as a super yacht in 2003 and as such is extremely comfortable and stable. However the seas often change here, and people are affected differently by the movement of the oceans. As such we have seasickness tablets available for free at the bar. We also have warm blankets and ponchos around the yacht for your comfort, though the inside of the ship is extremely warm and snug.
What is the difference between baleen and toothed whales?
We see both toothed and baleen whales here in Reykjavik harbour, Iceland. Did you know that dolphins and porpoises are also part of the same family? www.uk.whales.org is a brilliant website that goes into a lot more detail however this is the basic description!
They write that;
“Baleen whales have baleen plates, or sheets, which sieve prey from seawater. Toothed whales have teeth and they actively hunt fish, squid and other sea creatures. Dolphins and porpoises all have teeth and rather confusingly are known as ‘toothed whales’ too!
Another obvious difference between baleen and toothed whales is the number of blowholes on top of their head; baleen whales have two whereas toothed whales have one. There are only 14 baleen whale species and they are generally larger than the 76 species of toothed whales – except for the mighty sperm whale, the largest toothed whale.”
If you are interested in learning more we recommend these websites, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/group/whale-facts/ and https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/whale They have a lot of extra learning materials about cetaceans all over the world.
Whale watching from Reykjavik