t outside of Húsavík we find beautiful accommodation in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. At night it gets so cold here that I don’t even trust my survival blanket to survive, but the light is incredibly beautiful and we are rewarded for our freezing in the open air with an incredible sunset.
While we are comfortably sipping our whiskey, we are already full of anticipation for the next day. A day to spend on a sailing ship hunting for whales. With the camera, of course. Although Iceland is one of the few nations that are still officially active in whaling, all Icelanders we have met have clearly spoken out in favor of protecting whales.
We reach Húsavík early in the morning. The place is the northernmost city of Iceland and one of the northernmost cities in the world. The Arctic Circle is only a few kilometers north of it.
It’s cold and the mountains are covered with snow. Only because it hardly gets dark at night and the sun is high in the sky early in the morning do we notice that it is actually the middle of summer.
Of course we are extremely lucky with the weather again. It is sunny and there is no wind, which increases our chances of survival in the Arctic Ocean considerably. We find our ship, the two-master Haukur, and learn from the first officer that there is also another measure to promote survival on deck: a cinnamon roll per man / woman / divers and the serving of cocoa with rum, from the captain personally, at the end of the ride.
We are allowed to wear red rompers and otherwise concentrate on observing the animals. We pass a rock outside the bay of Húsavík and can see our friends, the puffins, in action again.
There are also a few dolphins who seem to have spotted a small school of fish.
Since we do every nonsense, of course, we persuade the captain to let us take the helm once in a while. At least symbolically, we can all plunge into ruin at the wheel. To be on the safe side, the captain is not far from us.
Finally the time has come. A humpback whale does the honors and lets us get pretty close.
The water is very clear and we can see more of its powerful body.
Shortly afterwards we spot two humpback whales. They just bum around in the sea, turn around their axis and wave their fins.
We can literally get on them – if one of us went overboard, we would land in comfort.
We feared that we would be late. The reports of a blue whale were over a week ago. The king of the seas, the greatest animal that ever existed, including all dinosaurs, exists in our lifetime. These animals can be up to 34 meters long. But there are not many left, humans have largely exterminated these animals.
But again Fortuna kisses us where the sun doesn’t shine. The giant pushes open a fountain and we can see a fraction of its enormous body in the distance. This animal weighs as much as several copies of our ship at one time.
The animal is majestic and we have to hold our breath. The sound of breathing is deep and goes through our marrow and bone. The giant glides slowly up and down, disappears under the surface of the water and reappears. One would have to dive in the ice-cold water to be able to marvel at the full dimensions of this animal. This leaves us mainly with a comparison to the much smaller humpback whales.
In between times I can also help set the mainsail. Good old handicraft that is actually completely useless if there is no wind but a diesel engine on board ..
The captain keeps his word and at the end of the trip pours out the promised cocoa and rum. There is also the cinnamon bun. If you look at the alcohol taxes in this country, the Icelanders will probably fall into ruin here.
We left Húsavík feeling that we had one of the most impressive encounters with the wildlife that one can have nowadays, and we really enjoyed the picturesque trip on the sailing ship with the view of whales and snow-capped mountains.