Rúnar Óli Karlsson

A Polar Bear Welcomes Aurora in Greenland

It's been a week since Aurora left for Greenland and will do three trips there this season. 

The voyage across went very well with fresh breeze off the coast of the Westfjords and Aurora was making steady 10 knots towards the promised land. Closer to Greenland the wind dropped and very little ice made navigating into Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord easy. A lot of seals and whales said hello while the crew dropped the anchor. Dines, our Greenland guide got anxious with water in his mouth! He says its very strange to visit his homeland as a tourist and having to leave his hunting insticts behind. Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord is among the best hunting grounds on the East coast and many seals, few narwhals and polar bears are shot there every year. All according to strict hunting laws. 

On the first day of kayaking to Skaergaard, an abandoned village from the 60's, a young polar bear was spotted running on the ice and up to a small island. The atmosphere in the group got a little bit tense as you can imagine. But Dines said that the bear was not out hunting. So the group just watched this amazing king of the Arctic for a while. The photo is not top quality, since it's sent via satellite phone.
Rúnar Óli Karlsson

New day trip to Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

This summer we are offering a new day-trip to the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. Few days ago we did the first trip with a mix of Icelandic, Japanese and German visitors. The sun was shining from a perfectly clear, blue sky when our ferry Bjarnarnes motored out of Bolungarvik harbour in the early morning. A slight swell was running but everyone’s spirits were high as we set course for Jökulfirðir bay (Glacier Fjords). A couple of Humpback whales greeted us about half way and showed us their tails as they dove down for another mouthful of food.  We landed at the head of Veiðileysufjörður fjord („fjord where there is no fishing“!) and the group was dropped off at Karlsstaðir. From there the hike led up the valley in perfect summer weather.

Still there is quite a bit of snow left in the mountains and sometime we had to hike across patches of spring snow. That didn´t give us any problems and only added to the flavour of spring hiking just 20km below the arctic circle. We reached the highest point at around 650 meters and had a delicious lunch prepared by our own Bræðraborg coffee shop. Here we enjoyed a fantastic view of the surrounding area; snow capped mountains, quiet fjords and lush green valleys. After a well earned break we headed down another valley towards the sea again. Six hours after we were dropped off we arrived at the abandoned farm of Kvíar. The total length of the hike was around 12 km.  Here we took time to look around and see how people lived almost 70 years ago when 20 persons called this farm their home.

Today nature rules unchallenged and the only access is by foot or by boat. We then lit the barbeque and grilled a couple of nice fillets of Rainbow Trout from the neighbouring Dýrafjörður and fresh Ling from the local market. With the fish we had salad and freshly baked bread brought along from Bræðraborg Café.  Just when we had finished a nice cup of coffee and cheese for desert we saw Bjarnarnes approaching and got ourselves ready to be picked up on the beach. It was a happy group that climbed up on the wharf in Bolungarvik after 13 hours of wonderful adventure in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.
Rúnar Óli Karlsson

Great article and photos

Here is a great article and superb photos from Martino Colonna and Luca de Anton that came with us on a sailboat ski trip last year in April. You should check it out!

Summer is here...

After a fantastic ski-sail season - summer is here.  We are enjoying nice sunny weather day after day and have already started with our summer program. Aurora is doing a few trips in the Westfjords before she goes to Greenland in end of July.

Check out the two options:

Hornstrandir - the Wild Life is really "best-of" the area. We stop by at Vigur island, at Hesteyri, Aðalvík and last but not least we spend two night in Hornvík. 

Quest for the Arctic Fox is another trip where we focus on observing the foxes of Hornstrandir. This is the only area in Iceland where the Arctic Fox is fully protected and a perfect place to visit these friend of ours.

Both of these trips are suitable for people of all ages and with different interests. We always have options of sailing, hiking/walking, kayaking and simply enjoying the landscape and cultural history of this magnificent area.

Please don´t hesitate to contact us for further information.
Rúnar Óli Karlsson

In the Wake of Killer Whales

While sailing out of the bay in beautiful weather last week, we spotted three killer whales in front of us. Of course we slowed down and watched their graceful blows with seagulls passing above. One of them even dived next to Aurora and rolled over to check us out. What a great looking animal. Here are few photos.