The sun shone brightly the first morning of this, our last 10 day Adventure. With a mixture of nationalities on board, Italian, Canadian, Finnish and British we set off motoring north out of Eyjafjord. We were all looking forward to sailing as much as we could – our total mileage for the trip was 360. We experienced a whole mixture of weather from flat calm, where we were able to admire whales at very close quarters, followed the following day by beating to windward in a Force 8. The guests assured me that they found both experiences equally exhiliarating.
Our first night we spent in Olafsfjord, a pit stop really to prepare us for our sail to Grimsey Island. There was a fraction too much north in the wind for us to sail in a straight line to Grimsey so we decided to head north to the Arctic Cicle, and sail for a time in the Arctic Ocean. As we crossed the arctic circle we were caught in a squall with freezing cold wind and spray, making the trip as authentic as we wanted it to be. A very enjoyable experience as we knew it was only for an hour. A few dolphins joined us on this passage and kept us entertained. The adult puffins have mainly left Grimsey now, but we saw a few new borns taking their first steps and trying to fly.
We sailed from Grimsey to Husavik, in a very good wind until the last hour. As soon as we started motoring we decided to go and investigate the spot where at least 3 boats were hovering and came across a pair of very friendly humpback whales. It was just awesome having the whale surface within feet of the bow, and getting ‘soaked’ in whale spray. With the flatness and clearness of the water we were able to watch the whales under water, their fins almost touching our keel. It was almost too mesmerising to give up but eventually the need for dinner made us continue our path to Husavik.
After a morning visiting the whale museum we went back out on the lookout for whales across the bay. We had initially planned for today to be a whale watching day, after yesterdays experience, any more whales today would be a bonus. By now all the crew knew what to look out for, and it wasn’t long before we had spotted the spout of a whale in ‘Harry Humpbacks house’. We mark the spot on the chart whenever we see a whale, and these whales were within half a mile of where we saw our humpback last week. This time there was a pair and a single, surfacing at different times – we split off to watch the single as the other boats followed the pair. Half an hour later one of the humpbacks was leaping from the water being very playful.
We spent the night at anchor, in a sheltered bay opposite the tiny island of Flatey.
The forecast for Wednesday was not so good, the weather map, the telly and the locals all told us of strong south westerly winds, and the barometer had progressively dropped overnight. With an offshore wind, flat sea and no lee shore we decided to go for a sail and see how we got on. We set off in flat sea, blue sky, everyone oilskinned and harnessed up feeling a bit overdressed. The wind gradually increased to 30 knots and we enjoyed a fantastic sail. We had a short squall of 40 knots, great to write in the log book, and then ended up the day motoring after the wind gods flicked a switch and turned the wind back off.
The rest of the week the wind was back to its regular force 3 – 5 and sea breeze.
This westerly wind did mean that it was prudent to revisit Husavik and spend the night in a sheltered harbour, giving us yet another opportunity to look at whales
We eventually cleared ‘whale fjord’ and sailed to Siglufjord, then Hofsos. The wind was always forward but we carried full sail most of the week and rocketed along at anything between 6 and 9 knots.
We are always having new experiences, this week it was sucking jelly fish up into the sea water intake of the generator and having to change the impellor. Twice!!
Our last day sail of the week into Eyjafjord started under bright sunshine. But the wind fizzled out at about noon. We drifted for a while, and motored for a while waiting for the sea breeze to fill in. Whilst we were motoring a humpback whale surfaced right under our bow. We watched him for 10 minutes before continuing on towards Akureyri.
Yet another trip has come to an end, where we have enjoyed good sailing and good company and made more new friends.