Tag Archives: Iceland

In Iceland, It’s No Longer Legal to Kill Basques On Sight

I recently came back from a voyage on a small ship along the west coast of Iceland. One of the highlights of the trip were stops in ports in the Westfjords, an isolated peninsula in the northwest of the island. … Continue reading

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“Meet Us Don’t Eat Us” — Tourists to Iceland Support Both Whale Watching and Whaling

Paradoxically, whale watching by tourists to Iceland is booming. At the same time, the primary economic support for the hunting of whales by Icelandic whalers are also tourists to the island. Iceland is the largest whale watching destination in Europe. … Continue reading

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Crossing the Arctic Circle — An Unexpected Line Crossing Baptism

When crossing the Equator for the first time, sailors have traditionally undergone a “line-crossing ceremony” which often includes being dunked in the ocean three times. Recently, on my first northern line crossing, I inadvertently presided over my own unexpected dunking, … Continue reading

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Humpback Whale Watching Off Hólmavík, Iceland

We have just gotten back from a week-long voyage along the west coast of Iceland from Akureyri to Reykjavik on the three-masted motor sailor Panorama. One of the stops was the village of Hólmavík, population 300. The village may be … Continue reading

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The Rise of the Mountain of Fire and the Birth of the Only Elephant in Iceland

On the 21st of January, 1973, the island of Heimaey, four nautical miles off the south coast of Iceland, began to tremble. On the 23rd, a large fissure opened up on the eastern side of the island, barely a kilometer away … Continue reading

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Tall Ship Kruzenshtern Rams Icelandic Coast Guard Vessels

The Russian Sail Training Ship Kruzenshtern was maneuvering to depart the old harbor in Reykjavík, Iceland, yesterday, when she rammed two of the largest Icelandic Coast Guard vessels, Týr and Thor. Both ships suffered damage, although well above the waterline. … Continue reading

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Crow’s Nests : Part 2 — Floki, Ravens and Fighting Tops

The crows nest, as a shelter for the lookout on whaling ships sailing the icy waters of the Arctic, was by all indications, invented by Captain William Scoresby around 1807.  (See yesterday’s post:  Crow’s Nests : Part 1 — Melville & … Continue reading

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Fighting Whaling in Court and in Port as Iceland Resumes Fin Whale Hunting

After a two year suspension, Iceland has resumed hunting endangered fin whales.  Photographs taken by undercover Greenpeace activists show a harpooned fin whale being cut up for meat, likely to be exported to Japan.  Meanwhile, environmentalists are fighting whaling in … Continue reading

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Video of the Lagarfljóts Worm, Great Icelandic Lake Monster – An Internet Sensation

I saw it on the Internet so it must be true!  The Lagarfljóts Worm has gone viral.  A video of what appears to be a large serpent-like creature swimming in the the glacial river, Jökulsá í Fljótsdal, in east Iceland, has been … Continue reading

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Headline Wars over Whales

There is an interesting conflict going on over the new draft proposal by the International Whaling Commission which would allow limited commercial  whaling at levels significantly lower than currently practiced by Japan, Iceland and Norway.   Depending on who you listen to this is either a good thing – … Continue reading

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