Whale Watching is definitely once in a lifetime experience. Sailing in the middle of an ocean, surrounded by wild nature and driven by waves: unforgettable, even when it rains…
Whale Watching In The Rain
The weather in Iceland is something hard to predict. We had our whale watching tour all booked when it started to rain in Husavik. So, for those of you still wondering whether whale watching is possible in the rain?- It is.
Apparently, when the ocean is smooth enough – the rest is not relevant here. I seriously thought we would freeze on this boat with no place to hide from wind and raindrops. The tour was 3h long, which seemed more than enough to get cold and spend the rest of the vacation in bed. We were told the company would give us something to put on, but never have I ever thought it would be that serious. Aside from the special water-resistant suit, I got a very decent raincoat, and you put it all on your regular clothes (including your own winter jacket). It´s better to have waterproof boots, cause this is the only area you might feel the cold. So this all basically explains why do I look like a giant red snowman on the picture above.
No whale watching company guarantees seeing whales. Don´t forget they are wild animals moving freely from place to place and covering vast distances in a short amount of time. But all the people I know, who went whale watching in Husavik, saw whales. And then you also have this element of surprise, cause you simply never know what marine species you might come across. We were lucky to see the dolphins, one of them had even approached the boat before they disappeared.
The secret of spotting whales on the surface is looking for a blow. And if you see something on the same location for a while it´s not a whale, cause they tend to move. When you´re lucky to see the tail – it is likely going down for a dive, normally up to 10 minutes. And you never know when they´ll appear to the surface. There were lots of whale blows in the area. Our boat would always keep a distance and the guide told us there were cases of a whale coming up to the surface really close to the boat. Not in our case though. But anyway the fact of sailing near a Humpback Whale (12-16 m long with a possible weight of 36 000 kg) was quite humbling.
On the boat, we had a clock system: imagining our boat was one big clock, every time the guide would spot something – she´d name an hour and everyone would simply look that way.
The only handicap: taking pictures was hard due to the rain. My GoPro didn’t have enough zoom and I tried hiding my Canon inside my multiple jackets. So it would take time to fish it out. And with whale watching, you never know when they´ll come up to the surface. So I´ve honestly missed the best shots. [lol]
But there is something pictures fail to show anyway. This inner peace you feel after sailing in the middle of an ocean, despite the rain, wind, and cold. A small boat, that almost lost the sight of the shore, surrounded by the marine giants – this is when you feel the power of nature and realize what a tiny place you occupy in this huge wonderful world…
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