WHO’S WATCHING WHOM?
Seal watching from the sea
A treat for children and adults alike, this summer it will be possible to take an unforgettable seal watching tour with Seal Watching ehf. From the decks of their most recent acquisition, the Brimill, you will get a chance to observe seals at one of the very best seal watching locations in Iceland, Miðfjörður fjord, along the Vatnsnes Peninsula. Seals are one of the star attractions of aqua-parks and zoos around the world with their graceful swimming and cute antics. It’s one thing, however, to see them in captivity and quite another to see them in their natural habitat. Playful and curious by nature, the seals often swim quite close to the boat for a better look at you! Then it is a question of who is watching whom? Seal watching tours are offered twice-daily from June through August at 10:00 and 13:00. Sightings ranging anywhere from 12 to 95 seals are possible and, as the boat approaches, the captain will turn off the engines, getting you within about 45 metres of the seals, much closer than is possible on land. Puffins, as well as other migratory birds, inhabit the area every summer and are also great to watch. Other tours on offer are a 3 hour sea angling tour and a 2 hour ‘midnight cruise’ which starts at 23:00. (from 10th June to 20th July only) A few surprising facts… With puffins and whales grabbing many headlines in recent years, it may come as rather a surprise to find that Icelandic coasts are home to about 12,000 Common seals and 4,000 Grey seals—the two native seal species that are thought to rarely leave the Icelandic shelf. The Common seal, being the more outgoing and curious of the two species, congregates in small groups on skerries and rocky beaches and is more easily spotted than the shyer Grey seal. Solitary vagrants such as Harp seals, Ringed seals and Hooded seals are sometimes seen during the winter, while Bearded seals and Walruses are very rare. (Information courtesy of the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture) Sealwatching ehf is located in the small village of Hvammastangi, on Miðfjörðurfjord, on the west side of Vatnsnes Peninsula. The village is easily accessible, just 7 km off the main ring road, about half way between Reykjavik and Akureyri.