Due to the debilitating headache, I didn't go out that night, but did wake up to a clear head, clear skies and a plan to go whale watching! I ventured down to the harbor and found a boat (elding.com) and after a bus ride (going to a better area for spotting) we motored out into the cold sea. Even if it had just been a boat ride it would have been great.
The waters are clean and clear, the weather was good, and ti was great to be outside. I stood at the very front of the boat, which meant lots of cold wind and occasional splashes, but it also meant unobstructed views of the water. everyone working on the boat was on the lookout for signs of the whales (blows) or dolphins (splashes). Almost immediately, we spotted two humpback whales far off. As the boat headed in their direction, we were able to see their large bodies bobbing in and out of the water, rhythmically gliding down the coastline. They did a deep dive (they go down for about 5 minutes) and being that you can't tell where they will come up for air, we guesstimated and awaited their return. There isn't much socialization on the boat as everyone is concentrating on spotting any type of sea life out there, but I enjoyed watching the seabirds swish around the sky while searching for a light snack. Well, we guesstimated wrong and had to try to catch up to the whales before they dove again, which we didn't, but the next time we got fairly close and were able to take some decent photos of the two behemoths - amazing! In fact, for my entries for Iceland you will probably be reading the word 'amazing' a lot!
After spending some time with the humpbacks, the crew decided to push on and look for other sea life and we eventually located a group of white-spotted dolphins, but they were FAR out and we never got too close to them. The next hour we cruised around the area searching, but had no luck. One of the crewgirls claimed she spotted a Minke whale at one point, but no one else saw it and there were no other sightings of them. However, on the way back into the harbor we came across the two humpbacks and followed them as they swam very close to the coast and past a harbor and I was thinking how 'amazing' it would be to have a house or apartment in that area and be able to just sit on your deck and watch whales and dolphins swim by randomly! We floated with the two whales for 20 minutes and they continually kept giving us the flipper (haha) and then headed back in to port for the end of our whale watching tour. Definitely something you should do if ever in Iceland! Later today...the Blue Lagoon!
Although I arrived in Iceland with a killer headache, the astonishing natural beauty of the place was enough to distract me long enough to enjoy the phenomenal views on the ride into Reykjavik from the airport (about 45 minutes). The area was obviously once just one giant lava field where they have carved out a beautiful city and surrounding area. The black lava rocks are covered by a vibrant green algae and with white-capped mountains and arctic blue waters in the background, the scenery is simply amazing.