VIDEO: Pilot Whales Cavort With Kayakers In Iceland - The Reykjavik Grapevine

VIDEO: Pilot Whales Cavort With Kayakers In Iceland

Published September 16, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Wikimedia Commons

A pod of pilot whales decided to swim close to, and galavant about, a group of kayakers near Akureyri last Friday, Fréttablaðið reports.

Sigríður Ýr Unnarsdóttir, who took the video that was subsequently shared with Fréttablaðið, told reporters the experience came completely by surprise.

“I’ve been rowing daily since the beginning of June and haven’t seen anything but birds and jellyfish,” she said. “I had seen whales twice this summer, both times at a considerable distance from us. But on Friday, they swam right up to us.”

As can be seen in the video, the whales do indeed swim very close to the kayakers, but exercise caution not to capsize or otherwise hurt anybody. Sigríður estimates that there was anywhere from 30 to 40 whales in the pod, but she heard from a helicopter pilot, who viewed the action from above, that the pod may have been as large as 100 to 120 whales.

“I wasn’t scared; it was a little wild and unreal, but we were never threatened by them,” Sigríður recounted. “They weren’t menacing us, they were saying hello. Sometimes they bumped into our oars but that was obviously done accidentally. They weren’t trying to hurt us. We were just laughing giddily about the whole thing.”

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