25.9.14

Iceland: Whale Watching Cruise

Husavik, July 2014


beautiful Akureyri as a backdrop. Indonesia tenun ikat scarf by Pitula

There are some spots in Iceland where you can join a whale watching tour but Husavik has been described as 'the whale capital of Iceland'. The previous night I was staying at Akureyri, a town at northern Iceland...just an hour away from Husavik. Woke up quite early because I was too excited for the tour and I was praying I'd be lucky enough to see at least one whale during the cruise.



the pier

a charming restaurant

Arrived in Husavik, I was told that I had about half an hour before my boat set to sail. So I was wandering around the pier and admiring the pretty environment. Husavik is a town on the north coast of island on the shores of Skjalfandi bay with more less 2000 inhabitants. It has become a centre of whale watching in Iceland due to whales of different species that frequently enter the bay. The guide told me that in Husavik you'll get higher chance to meet whales than any other places in Iceland. Although of course it's difficult to guarantee anything on behalf of the whales, they have the entire ocean as their backyard. Cross your fingers and you might be lucky to meet this humongous aquatic mammal.


Husavik Whale Museum

a traditional schooner

In Husavik instead of a modern ship, the whale watching tour will use an Iceland traditional oak boat or a schooner. I love that I got to experience a different perspective and had an opportunity to take time off from the hassle modern era. Commonly the cruise in Husavik will be smooth without waves and strong current compares to other cities. It's an important consideration since I'm prone to motion sickness.

And finally it's time to board the schooner, mine was called Gardar which belong to North Sailing. It's one of the first companies in Iceland to offer regular whale watching tours. They also offer selection of various exciting tours and expeditions including visiting puffin island. Extra clothes such as raincoats, hats, warm overalls and mittens to keep the passengers dry and warm, are also provided. For an approximately 3 hours cruise, I paid ISK 9280 or about € 58.




a whale watching boat

I love the feeling of swift breeze brushing my face as soon as the schooner set to sail. Though it was summer, I was shivering. We were sailing for about 15 minutes when I saw another schooners stopped at one point and our boat made a turn to that direction.

"On your ride side at 3 o'clock direction I can see there's a humpback whale doing what we call 'spout' or a powerful exhalation." The highly skilled skipper was giving a clue. All the passengers rushed to the railing, breathless with anticipation before they started saying "ooh...ahh...wow" in awe.


spouting

I gaped as our boat was pretty close to that humpback whale, too stunned before finally clicking the shutter button of my camera. I was actually hoping to catch one of whale behaviours called 'breaching', where the whale make an impressive jump or leaping out of the water. Oh well, I guess the whale was too lazy that day. I can't complain though :p


close encounter with one of the whales

pick your favourite spot



hot chocolate and warm cinnamon bun

 3 hours and some whales later, the aroma of freshly baked cinnamon bun wafting through the air. Yay! it's time for some hot chocolate and cinnamon buns, complimentary for all passengers. Nothing is better to beat the 'bone chilling' winds than hot food and hot drink. Such a bliss...



arched back and ready to dive

On the way back to Husavik harbour, the skipper spotted something so the captain steered the schooner to approach it.

"On your 11 o'clock direction.... there's another humpback whale ready for a deep dive!"

As the skipper just finished his word, the whale was arching its back slowly and raising it's fluke gracefully before finally disappeared into the sea with a loud noise of splashing water. Splash!


fluking dive

back to charming town of Husavik

Husavik


fluking dive

When I was in Alaska, I had to cancel my whale watching tour due to my Dad's health problem. And who knew 2 years later I'd had the chance to do it in Iceland. Having a close encounter with a whale in their habitat was truly a mind-blowing experience. It was a indescribable feeling indeed. I think I was being lucky to meet no less than 5 humpback whales during the tour. As I got off the schooner, I was grinning from ear to ear....feeling very happy.

28 comments:

  1. Aku lemah banget sama dingin, but gara2 ka Debz Iceland jadi makin menarik buat di explore.. Huwaaaaa gimana dong kak, hkssss *nambahin wishlist*

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    1. kebalikan berarti, Put. Kalo aku lemah sama panas....bisa langsung sakit, hihihi.

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  2. SO loved the photos, Debbzie. I can't wait to see Iceland for myself someday ;)

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    1. thanks so much, Kavitha. Iceland is soooo beautiful indeed :)

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  3. Nonton lumba-lumba waktu nyebrang pulau mendadak jadi biasa banget...

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    1. waaaa....aku juga suka nonton lumba-lumba kalo pas naik kapal :D

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  4. Nice pictures, Deb... Entah kenapa lidahku masih aja keseleo kalo baca nama-nama kota di Iceland hehe.
    Masuk ke Whale Museumnya nggak, Deb?

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    1. Aku juga ga bisa ngucapin nama2 tempat di Iceland. Bikin lidah keseleo memang, hihihi.
      Gak sempat masuk museumnya, Lim :'(

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  5. Deb, aku envy banget. Pake nge-hot chocolate pula.. *pukulpukul manja*

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    1. nikmatnya menyesap hot chocolate di tengah udara dingin :p

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  6. Wow, pasti keren banget ngeliat paus gitu, ada banyak gak paus nya? hehe. Tapi cakep banget ya iceland jadi pengen kesana =)

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    1. mestinya banyak jenis lain. Tapi aku cuma ketemu 5 ekor humpback aja hari itu. Iceland memang cantik banget. You will love it there :D

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  7. ihhh postinganmu slalu aja bikin envy mba..:D

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    1. postinganmu juga bikin envy lho, Fan :D

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  8. Keren bgttt foto2nya... pengen bgt bs kesana... Kayanya kamu udh pergi ke banyak penjuru dunia dari utara ke selatan, timur ke barat deh hahaha... Ada ga tempat yg blm kesampean sampai skrg?

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    1. Banyakkkkkk yang belum kesampean. Masih ada Ethiopia, Antarctica, Amerika Selatan, dll >.<

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  9. Lucky you! It must have been a really great experience seeing the whales in real life.... your hot chocolate and cinnamon roll looks good! ;)

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    1. it was an awesome experience, Pam! hot choco and cinnamon roll was the icing on the cake :D

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  10. Haha km beruntung ci Debzz msh bisa ngeliat agak dekat ...
    Dulu aku pas di OZ ngeliatnya seiprit2 aja ikan pausnya :-D

    ReplyDelete
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    1. ohhh.....pausnya malu kali diliatin ama ko Timot, hihihihi :p

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  11. is it a recommended excursion to do in winter, u think?

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    1. very limited schedule during winter. I think it's gonna be really cold ya >.<

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  12. awesome place, hope oneday i could be there

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Iceland is indeed awesome :)

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  13. Ga Ngertilah gue mau berkata2 ini keren bangets

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    Replies
    1. yup, pengalaman tak terlupakan :)

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  14. semoga bisa segera tercapai ke Iceland! aaah cantik banget Husavik!

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    1. amin amin aminnnn semoga bisa cepet melipir ke Iceland ya. Jangan lupa ajak aku :D

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