From somewhere beyond the tranquility comes a spray of water and a slow-motion flip of a fluke.
It’s a humpback whale. Just meters away from our old sailboat.
I watch in awe as it glides gently by the bow of our boat, shyly peeking at us through the water surface. As we inch closer, the gentle giant dips beneath the water surface – before surprisingly diving up for air again. This time, it’s so close that I get a full view of the humpback whale: all of its white fluke, barnacle-studded belly and giant eyes. Our boatman shuts the engine and we observe the giant in awed silence. It dives down again, but we wait patiently and within a few minutes, it resurfaces in another direction, this time taunting us with a giant blow and a flip of its fluke.
I’ve had my fair share of whale sightings, but this has got to be the closest I’ve ever been to one. Here in Skjálfandi bay, off the shores of Husavik in Northern Iceland, whale watching is an eye-opening affair. Considered the whale watching capital of Europe, the waters around Husavik are home to around 24 species of whales thanks to the high level of plankton. Here, the humpback is the star of the show and it’s evidently got me hooked. I’ll let our photos and video do the talking for now, watch how these gentle giants captivate.