Before I start with this, I feel incredibly privileged with this one. Our big holiday this year has been a trip to Iceland, returning after 15 years to the place we spent our honeymoon (this time with kids in tow). Iceland was expensive 15 years ago, it’s exorbitant now. My other half went to the shop and spent the equivalent of £54 on some breakfast cereal and stuff for sandwiches. The block of cheese was ten pounds (living in Iceland would probably be way better for my waistline if not my pocket).
15 years ago we went in February – specifically for the snowy landscape and the northern lights. This time we chose May, with the focus being to show the kids the awesomeness of Iceland, and for the opportunity to see whales. We set out on the very expensive boat trip on Tuesday afternoon. The sun was shining, the wind was bitter, the boat was rocky. We saw seabirds in abundance and despite being out for 3 hours not one whale, dolphin, porpoise or even a seal. I’m not ashamed – I actually wept when we got off the boat. I mean the Greenland Sea is magical but I hadn’t really considered the possibility it might not yield a glimpse of a whale.
Fortunately we were offered a free return trip but I was genuinely concerned the same might happen again and we would have spent a big part of our break away on a boat when we could have crammed in more Iceland gorgeousness.
On our second attempt on Thursday morning we headed away from the coast in the freezing wind, wearing fetching red overalls. A huge flock of birds could be seen in the distance, feeding in the sea – a sign of possible whale activity. Sure enough as we sailed close to the birds a beautiful minke whale appeared, rising to the surface to breathe.
Heading out further at least two more whales were feeding around our boat. They were a little way off, but it was easy to spot them as they swam around us. It might sound daft but it was a little bit magical. Totally worth 6 hours at sea.
I feel lucky in every sense.