Day 12 – Flatey Island and Latrabjarg Cliffs, Iceland

We got a call over the PA a little after 6 this morning that Sperm whales had been sited in the distance, so we jumped up and ran out to see the action. The action turned out to be occasional black bumps appearing out of the water!

Then on to Flatey Island, which looks just the way it sounds, a low-lying flat island. First settled in the 1600’s, it was a thriving trading post and fishing village until well into the 1800’s when the ships got too large for their little protected bay and the economy slowly dried up. It now has four permanent residents, two families that apparently don’t get along. There is a little hotel and a number of houses that are summer homes owned by descendants of the islanders.

We had a nice walk around the island, which was busy with nesting arctic terns warning us off and feeding their chicks. The chicks are as large as the adults, but still have their down so they aren’t ready to fly. The waters around the island were teaming with puffins and Eider ducks with their ducklings. Schools of fish were jumping, so the wildlife was very busy this morning.

After lunch we travelled on to se the high cliffs of Latrabjarg, one of the largest seabird nesting colonies in Europe. We slowly cruised by the cliffs and enjoyed the birds flying around the ship and in the water around us.

Late afternoon we were surprised with a Brat and Beer cookout on the back deck. The hotel manager, the head chef, and two others manned the grill and turned out some delicious brats.

I haven’t mentioned our weather because it has been nearly perfect. Low 50’s when we wake up, mid 50’s by mid-day. Not much wind, and very calm seas. I’m sure this can’t last the whole trip, but we can hope.


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