Today we started the day at the picturesque island of Flatey, just off the Icelandic west coast. Given that it was a beautiful sunny day, a short Zodiac ride took us ashore to start our exploration. The island has a small community with brightly colored houses that contrast well with the green scenery. With a plethora of birds coming and going to their nests, the highlight was definitely the wildlife. A lot of the birds must have had young chicks recently, as they were bringing in fish to feed them. This included the iconic Atlantic puffin and also noisy arctic terns and black guillemots.

The island of Flatey is also known for its church, with a ceiling covered in frescoes that represent local scenes, like fishing. It even includes Jesus dressed in an Icelandic sweater. One of the oldest libraries in the world is located right behind the church. You can easily imagine curling up with a book for a summer afternoon in such a cozy little place.

Given that it’s the 4th of July, we celebrated today with a traditional barbeque on the top deck before we headed off to Latrabjarg’s bird cliffs. As we sailed by on the ship, we saw lots of birds flying and in the water, including the bridled morph of the common guillemot with white lines around the eyes that look like spectacles.

The day wasn’t over yet. After Captain’s welcome cocktails and dinner, we found ourselves surrounded by humpback whales. They were mostly feeding, but we spotted the occasional breach, which was a fitting end to a superb day.