Wednesday, 17 August 2016

August 15 Whale Watching

Today we went Whale watching with Grey Line tours. We had a choice of getting picked up at our own accommodations or meeting the tour at Grey Line - either way we had to make our own way back after the tour.

We got to Grey Lines early and after a short wait, a van with 5 other tourists picked us up and drove us to the old dock in Reykjavik. There we got our tickets from an Eddy Tour ticket booth. While getting the tickets, everyone was offered motion sickness pills that were held in a goldfish bowl (meclozine).  It appears Grey Lines was a broker and not running the tour.

We got on the boat which holds 200 people, however only 50 people were on the tour today. We had a brief safety talk and then proceeded to dress in large red overalls for warmth. Again motion sickness pills were offered. We were lucky. The weather was quite windy and cold in the morning but our tour was starting at 1pm and the weather had become calmer and we even saw some blue sky's - eventually the temp reached 16°.

Very soon there were sightings of harbour dolphins. Macayle thinks she may of seen one but it was brief and they are small. The crew noted it is often 45mins. before we are far enough out to see anything significant so we were enjoying the great views with really stormy sky's.

Shortly there was sightings of Minsk Whales on the other side of the boat. We decided to go to the other side and down a level.....but on the second step down I slipped on my overlong overalls and fell the rest of the way, hitting my head hard and smashing my arm.

I'm not sure if I knocked myself out, but I lost track of Macayle for a few seconds. A crowd surrounded me and I felt like a beached whale in a over stuffed overall which was appropriate for this tour. A staff member began asking me the date today (I'm on holidays - I don't need to know the date), my name, etc. Eventually I was allowed up and was ushered to the lower deck/lounge area, flanked by a staff member on each side. I was treated to hot chocolate and was given Percadol and ibuprofen. While recovering from my embarrassment we did see a Minsk whale out the window. Eventually we did make it back outside of the boat. Staff members continued to check on me through the 3.5 hr trip. They were very kind and stressed that if I began to have problems in the future I was to go to a hospital and contact them.

When the trip was over we realized there was no transportation back to our car. Given we had been at the habour the day before we knew where the bus stops were. We walked several blocks to the bus stop and waited. The first bus driver was of no assistance at all - I have no clue what he said. Three young people joined us waiting and they helped us decide what route to take. The bus we hoped was ours eventually showed up and we hopped on. However you must have either a ticket or correct change. I had neither. The bus driver was irritated before we got on. He was waving to us to hurry up before we got on. He took off before we could discuss fares, later he was honking at cars ahead of him as soon as the light turned green. I stuck a bill in the box and we sat down. Luckily the people who helped us decide what route to take had also given us a route map. We were on the right route!!!!

We found our car and managed to get home without too many route corrections.  We stopped at a local grocery store a bought a barbecued chicken for supper. After supper we went for a walk around Hafnarfjörður harbour.

All in all, it was a good day. No serious injuries and some new experiences.

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