The winter whale watching has started out really well for us. We have been sailing both from Reykjavík and Grindavík depending on the weather conditions. The tours have been very successful, especially from Grindavík where we have been seeing Blue Whales, Fin Whale and Humpback whale now for 3 weeks. Sightings from Reykjavík have also been good, but not as good as from Grindavík, we have been seeing Minke Whales, White Beaked Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises in Faxaflói bay.
Seeing a Blue Whale is an amazing experience and a once in a lifetime experience for many people. It is the largest mammal on earth and in fact believed to be the biggest animal to have ever existed. Blue Whales are often seen off the coast of Iceland during the summer time but this is the first time they have been spotted on tours with Elding since Elding was founded the year 2000. Lot of excitement has been among both our passengers and crew members which have been spending their days off going on the tours from Grindavík.
As this is the first time we’ve seen the Blue Whales we are not sure for how long we can expect to see them in the area. Like other baleen whales the Blue Whale are known to spend the summers up north before they head back to warmer waters in southern latitudes during the winter. In 2009 the Icelandic Marine Research Institute marked a Blue Whale in northern Iceland and its trackings (http://www.hafro.is/hvalamerki/steypireydur.html) were recorded from June 23rd – Sep 8th. At that time that Blue Whale had travelled from the north of Iceland along the west coast to the area where we’ve been seeing the Blue Whales lately. It will surely be interesting to know for how long the Blue Whales stay in the area and we surely will continue to go whale watching from Grindavík as long as the conditions are still good there, considering sightings and weather.
On the occasion of the lighting of the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, on 9 October 2011, Yoko Ono invites the public to Viđey island that same evening. The free ferry boat will be running from 18:00 to 19:30 and back from 21:00 that evening.
The IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in Viđey-island is the work of artist, musician and peace-activist, Yoko Ono. Symbolically, the Tower is a guiding light to world peace. The work is conceived as a “wishing-well”, out of which a huge tower or beam of light stretches into the sky. Engraved on the wishing-well are the words “Imagine Peace” in 24 languages. The work was installed in collaboration of the artist, with the City of Reykjavik and Reykjavik Energy in 2007. Every year the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER is lit to shine daily two hours after sunshine to midnight from October 9th to December 8th.
On October 9th Viđeyjarnaust will be open for guests. The evening will be made memorable for all those who attend with a serene and beautiful atmosphere. The house will be filled with candle-lights. Musicians Jóel Pálsson and Óskar Guđjónsson will play ambient music and the choir Graduale Nobili will sing for guests by the IPT. The Wish Tree will be placed in Viđeyjarnaust where guests of all ages can leave a wish. Light refreshments and warm drinks are available.
That same evening the first Lennon Tribute in Viđeyjarstofa will be held. The Lennon Tribute is a combination of world class dining, music and entertainment dedicated to John Lennon, Yoko Ono and their life ambition for world peace. As this is in Viđey island guests can also attend the lighting of the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER at 20:00. The price for the Lennon Tribute is 12.900 ISK per person.
The day after, 10 October, the guided tours to the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER start running acording to our schedule. The Imagine Peace Tours are evening tours that last about 1,5-2 hours. The unite history, art and nature in an interesting manner and give a deep insight into this magnificent work of art. The price for the Imagine Peace Tour is 5.000 ISK per person and pick up from hotels and guesthouses in Reykjavík area is complimentary.
For further information about the boat ferry and services in Viđey, please send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yesterday we took our passengers whale watching from Grindavik as the conditions in our usual area, Faxafloi, have not been the best lately. This was totally worth the effort and we had the time of our life seeing two blue whales very near the boat and many big blows in the distance. we also had very nice encounters with white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises.
We will continue going out from Grindavik for the next 2-3 days, or as long as the conditions are favourable. When we go whale watching from Grindavík the total duration of the tour increases as it takes time driving back and forth. The price is still the same and we find this extra time well worth it. Meeting point is at 13:00 by Elding ticket office on Reykjavík Old Harbour.
Pictures taken on the tour 4 October 2011 by Megan Whittaker.
A vidoe from the tour can also be found on Youtube
Now that it is 1 October our winter schedule has taken over. This means that our whale watching tours depart at 13:00. Sea angling is no longer scheduled but can still be requested and only operated for a minimum of 5 passengers. The winter season on Viđey Island has also began and since 1 September the ferry has been sailing on weekends only from Skarfabakki at 13:15, 14:15 and 15:15. Soon the Imagine Peace Tower will be lit again and from 9 October we offer the Imagine Peace Tours every night at 20:00 until 8 December. The Lennon Tribute also starts the same day and there are four scheduled nights this winter; 9 October, 21 October, 4 November and 18 November.
Like with any other winter activity it is important to keep in mind the weather factor. The winter season has started off quite rough and unfortunately we've had to cancel the whale watching tour 1 October :( Luckily the weather forecast looks much better for tomorrow so hopefully we'll see you later on.
The autumn in Reykjavík is always an interesting time. Now it is the time of the 7th annual Reykjavík film festival. The official program is looking great so make sure you don‘t miss out on all the great films. Like previous years RIFF around the corner will be running and here in Elding Whale Watching Centre RIFF has set up two animated short film programs and the best thing is that it‘s all for free! If you are in town we encourage you to visit us
Sunday 24 September at 17:00 in Elding Whale Watching Centre – Free Admission
Beyond Anime – Calf Animation PT. 1 (40 min)
In a Pig‘s Eye 2010 10 min Atsushi Wada
And and 2011 7 min Mirai Mizue
Consultation Room 2005 9 min Kei Oyama
Usual Sunday (edit version) 2003/2009 10 min Kei Oyama
Thursday 29 September at 17:00 in Elding Whale Watching Centre – Free Admission
Beyond Anime – Calf Animation PT. 2 (45 min)
The Mechanism of Spring 2010 4 min Atsushi Wada
Modern 2010 7 min Mirai Mizue
Pika Pika @ Reel Asian Film festival 2007 1 min Tochka
Day of Nose 2005 9 min Atsushi Wada
Gentle Whistle, Bird and Stone 2005 3 min Atsushi Wada
Metropolis 2009 5 min Mirai Mizue
Pika Pika Workshop @ Media Seven 2007 1 min Tochka
Hand Soap 2008 15 min Kei Oyama
Usual Sunday (edit version) 2003/2009 10 min Kei Oyama
Today, for the first time, the Icelandic nation celebrates the day of the Icelandic nature. The nature is of course always important but with this day the idea is to increase our awareness of how we treat the nature that is so dear to us. On the occasion a diverse program has been put together all around the country. Here in Reykjavík there will for example be a photographic exhibition on birds in the City Hall, a free health drink and lectures on volcanoes and more in the Botanical Gardens and free yoga classes in the Lotus yoga studio. More information on the program can be found here.
The Elding team recognizes the importance respect for the nature for the future of our operation. We are therefore committed to provide high quality tours in a way that minimizes the environmental impact and pollution caused by its activities while allowing visitors to enjoy nature without disturbing its inhabitants. If you are not familiar with our environmental policy please follow the link.
A photo taken on our tour in 2008 by Megan Whittaker
To our amusement we just got the information from the captain on the 13:00 tour that they have seen a breaching humpback whale. The tour began a bit difficult and we had to go quite far out to find life. But a breaching humpback whale surely makes up for the time spent searching. This summer we haven't been successful with the humpback whales and that makes this all the more special. You can read about the proceedings of this tour in our Whale Diary later today.
Here are some facts about the humpback whale
Length: 13-17 metres
Weight: 25-40 tons
Life expectancy: 95 years
Status: vulnerable, was once intensively hunted, numbers probably increasing
Here are few photos of humpback whales from a previous tour
In beautiful but windy weather yesterday the passengers and the crew on the 5 o'clock tour got a little bit extra: a breaching minke whale! It is truly something for the eye to see this large animal, that rarely breaches, come our of the water like that. The purpose of this behaviour is still unsertain but could be everything from a means of dislodging barnacles, a means of aggression to simple fun for the whale (and observers).
Here you can read about the tour from our Whale Diary. Joke vd Heijden from Holland caught it on her camera and was so generous to share it with us for our website.
It is just amazing how much the weather changes the atmosphere. Lately we‘ve had many sunny days and we‘ve notice increased traffic of people here at the harbour wanting enjoy the picturistic view of the boats that reflect on the calm water and/or to enjoy the numerous boat tours available. But that‘s just not all for those wanting to explore the adventures at sea because the sightings have been really good. There minke whales in the area are numerous and on some occasions really close to land. We‘ve also spotted white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises. The catch on the sea angling tours has also been good, everything from cod, mackerel, pollack to the poppular halibut. Unfortunately the puffin season will be over soon as the puffins start migrating in mid August.
Hafsúlan heading out this morning.