I went on my first whale watching excursion last week, just as the weather was finally deciding to favor us with some spring sunshine. It was a group charter affair coordinated by Tækniskólinn as a fine sendoff for employees at the end of the school year. There were at least a hundred of us partaking in the bright sunshine and excellent catered surf and turf dinner on an Elding boat co-skippered by a guy named Vilhjálmur whom I just happen to know.
Oddly, the Elding diary claims that the 17:00 tour on the day we went out "has been cancelled due to strong winds out in the bay." We left at 17:15, and yes it was definitely windy! I wonder, though, if the fact that amongst our group were the very men who run the School of Navigation (located at our sister campus on Háteigsveig just next door to this lovely church many of you will recognize) had anything to do with us setting off onto the High Seas of Faxaflói regardless of any bothersome southerly gusts. These teachers of the oceanic arts most probably taught the captain, and definitely Vilhjálmur, who studied skipstjórn and graduated in 2011.
The tower of the Stýrimannaskólinn building was long used as the main guide for ships coming to port in Reykjavík, but as Haukur Gunnarsson, below, pointed out to me, this still-empty pre-crash steel and glass wonder now blocks the view (see the skyline photo for proof.)
Moral of the story? Take a boat ride when you're here. Pack your foul weather gear and find a bit of railing to lean into. Let the ocean sprays wake you and make you feel like an old-style viking for a little bit. As you sail west, out of the bay, pretend you are on your way to mythical Greenland, just out of sight over the horizon, and possibly lands beyond. And keep your eyes open for creatures of the sea, who may put on a show that you can imagine is only just for you.
Have you tried Dynamic Viewing yet? Five new views in all. Use the blue tab at the top of the view page to check them all out : )