Whale Watching in Iceland is definitely once in a lifetime experience. Sailing in the middle of an ocean, surrounded by wild nature and driven by waves: it is unforgettable, even when it rains!
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Whale Watching in Iceland
Whale watching in Iceland should be on everyone’s bucket list. It is a completely surreal experience you should live at least once in a lifetime!
As I was so looking forward to this, we had our whale-watching tour all booked in advance. The weather was supposed to be fine and then out of a sudden, it started to rain. I honestly thought our tour would be canceled. But it´s Iceland. No one cares. Life goes on as usual with almost any weather here.
Also read: Dreams come true – Hawaii from the air
Therefore, while planning your whale watching in Iceland, you should keep in mind that the Icelandic weather is totally unpredictable. Be ready for rain, sun, snow, and wind, even in the summer peak season. Plan wisely, and think of what to pack for Iceland in advance!
Nevertheless, for those of you still wondering whether whale watching in Iceland is possible in the rain?- Absolutely.
Whale Watching in the rain
Apparently, when the ocean is smooth enough – the rest is not relevant in Iceland. Whale watching in the rain?! I seriously thought we would freeze on this boat with no place to hide from the wind and raindrops. The tour was 3 hours 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. No Instagrammable photos – I looked like a giant red snowman.
Whales & Other Marine Species
If you plan to book a tour for whale watching in Iceland, you should first know that 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.
Nevertheless, all of my friends who went on a whale-watching tour in Husavik saw whales. You always 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. However, if you spot something in the same place for a while – it´s not a whale. Because they tend to move. When you´re lucky to see the tail – the whale is likely going down for a dive, normally up to 10 minutes. And you never know when they´ll appear on the surface.
We saw lots of whale blows in the area. Although our boat would always keep a distance. The guide told us there were many scary cases when a whale would suddenly come 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
On the boat, we had a clock system: that´s to say we were imagining our boat as a big clock, and every time our guide would spot something – she´d name an hour and everyone would simply look that way.
Also read: 7 Lessons I Learned in Iceland
The only handicap of the whole experience: taking pictures was hard due to the rain. My GoPro didn’t have enough Zoom. As I tried hiding my Canon inside my multiple jackets, it would take time to fish it out. And with whale watching – it’s a matter of seconds. Not that the whole experience was about taking pictures for me, but I really wish I would have this return ticket to these unique moments.
One way or another, there is something pictures fail to show anyway. Especially when it comes to experiences like whale watching in Iceland. 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 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.
For more travel inspiration and useful tips about Iceland check my Iceland Pinterest Board.
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