Whale watching in Husavik, Iceland

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Hey there,

let me tell you a little story about someone who ran away, to be far away and who was there to come home.

He drove here, over the hills yesterday. ‚Here‘, that is where the big brown boats lie safely in the haven and silently tell stories of their voyages. Husavik. A small town in the north, embedded into the fjords of this island. Close your eyes for a moment and breath in the heavy and salty breeze that comes on from the ocean.

He had been around for a few days already, traveling along the costal road. ‚Here‘, in extension, means Iceland. For a short time now, he was really here. ‚Angekommen‘, that’s what he called it, although he knew that phrase only from others. ‚There‘ – Berlin, that is – was far away now. His head was in the clouds, his thoughts fresh and clear. Like ink dots, paint drops on a huge white canvas. Nothing like it had been, ‚there‘, where everything is grouped neatly. Not in order, maybe, but definitely ordered.

Coming from the north, he slowly drove down into the small town that lies embedded into the edgy coast. What it must be like, for Stefán – the park ranger that gave him a place to stay the night yesterday – when he crosses the small hill every morning just to see the ocean sparkling in the sunrise. When the light begins to throw shadows into the vast sea that stirs up the vessels that lie in the port, like wild horses that roam on the hills across, lusting for another day.

He enters the town, drives into the port and buys a ticket. He drives up to the hotel, bags stay in the car, goes up to his room and takes a nap. In the dining room, there is a travel group from Italy and some french girls. The Italians are fighting over the breakfast like hyenas. Back to bed.

Another hour until the sailboat will bring him to that bay by the coast. He lies on top of the covers and stares out the window into the dark, cloudy sky. Thinking about that book, the old man and the sea. Thinking about his dad.

Before they are allowed to enter the boat, they have to put on these wetsuits, made of heavy fabric. Either way to small or way too big. His is twitching in the crotch. Tough luck.

Slowly, the large vessel sets in motion. It has nothing to do with the wind yet, until they leave the port, the machines are thudding under the planks. The journey will bring them north-east. Mánáreyjar manifests on the horizon, a small round circle of an island, where the puffins live. Everybody is calm, the cameras stay in their cases. Small black dots in the clouds, with a good lens one could see the colourful birds. He’s watching the sunlight sparkle in the vast landscapes that is the ocean and he is thinking of… He always is.

Next to the island the the boat sets sails, we’re eastwards bound and a little to the south. They come to this bay, they like it here. When they’re here, one can see seagulls. Everybody is advised to look out. Everybody’s looking out. Nothing. Not even seagulls.

He only packed the small camera. The one that is embedded in his smartphone, the one with the small battery. It has to endure just long enough today. It just has to!

He is standing in front of this dark turquoise desert of smooth waves that melt into brown-greenish valleys with snowy mountaintops in a horizontal line straight ahead. Thick, blue-green clouds hang over the scenery and make room for just a few rays of sun.

A small oblong, black blot in the water.

He had learned, from previous ventures, not to hold back any more. His excitement bursts, he jumps from side to side like a small boy, climbing the rope works and clinching on to the cords . Ready when you are.

A deep, loud wheeze. On the other side of the boat. Everybody turns around, looking like a pack of puppies that realises: That ball has never been thrown, it was behind us all the time. All change sides. It is pure satire and it will continue throughout the coming moments.

He takes pictures, randomly, excitedly. With nothing but greenish ocean on it and hope, not to let this one shot pass by, that perfect moment to hit the trigger. His pulse is racing, restlessness betrays his every clear thought. Seconds later, the boat is right next to the large visitor from beneath and the tiny dorsal fin breaks through the surface. Strong, steady and smooth. Followed by the huge tail fin that slowly dives back into the dark, deep blue.

Taking a step back, he lets the others get in front of him. Taking a deep breath, something that he had been forgetting about lately. Another step back takes him up on the engine room and opens his view to the vastness of ocean and to the silhouette of the big companion that is slowly abandoning the scenery. The small island on the horizon, the coast in the corners.

He’s coming back. Slowly. ‚Here‘, that is the timing and the mayhem that is his state of mind, slowly beginning to rearrange. It is nice here. His pulse is slowing, his breath is deep and intense. There is puffing in the air, microscopic water drops and a big white belly. It is calm, here.

Husavik is located some 500km north of Reykjavik and can be approached via the ring road on a two-day trip easily. The town is home to about two thousand Icelanders. In addition to whale watching you can visit a whaling museum and take horseback riding tours here. The animals on the pictures are a pack of humpback whales. Whale watching in Husavik is less stressful for the animals if you’re traveling with sailing boats.

As of now, he is not ‚angekommen‘.

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