National Geographic Resolution sailed from Husavik at 0800 under clear skies and calm winds. The sea was glassy and the unlimited visibility was perfect for finding whales. “Blows ahead!” rang out on the PA system and soon we were getting close views of a group of humpback whales. Flukes, fins, and spouts seemed to surround the ship. Camera shutters clicked constantly from the outer decks as each whale surfaced and tossed their flukes up for all to see.

The afternoon was a birding extravaganza as we explored the cliffs of Grimsey Island, a prime nesting spot for Atlantic puffin, fulmars, gulls, terns, and razorbills. A hike along the top of the bluffs produced fine photos of puffins around their boroughs, while those in flight where trickier to get in the frame. Behind us in the grass we saw redshanks, Arctic terns, phalaropes, and a few very shy snipes.