What an amazing trip… No other words to start this with.
In May, I had the opportunity to go to Andenes, Norway. An island in the far north of Norway where male spermwhales yearly come to enjoy the feeding frenzy of the big squids. I stayed at SeaSafari Andenes. An organisation from Dutch passionate Norwegian Lover and Nature photographer Marten Bril. Together with his team, some locals, some biologists and some other passionate people, he leads SeaSafari Andenes, located in a Brygga… This is how they call a hostel build partially on poles in the water.
The complete team is so passionate about everything nature has to offer on this place that it immediately gets you as well. From the typical scream “WHALEEEE…” or the famous “DIVINGGGG” from Iñaki, the guide till the discussions and stories from everyone around the table in the evening.
During the day, I was looking together with Iñaki from the lighthouse with some big binoculars into the fjord for the whales… when we saw them, we ran down from the 35m high tower, ran to the Brygga and then prepared to go with the boat. Arrived on the spot, sometimes we were lucky that one of them was resting on the surface, otherwise we waited as they usually dive between 20 and 30 minutes.
If we saw one, it was waiting till he dived again to make some great shots of the tail to identify hem. I identified myself several new individuals and off course, 2 of them got the names from my own boys…
Besides searching and studying the whales, I also went exploring the rest of the fauna on the island (and the surrounding ones). I came to the conclusion there was a family of European otters living next to our Brygga in the pier.
There were moose crossing the roads and staring us from a distance…
I actually also did several trips to the island of Bleik. An island not that fare from the Brygga (about 20 minutes by boat) where thousands of puffins, razorbills… live. There are almost constantly sea eagles flying around and over the island to catch unlucky puffins. The island next to Bleik houses a couple of hundred gannets and some crested cormorants.
Another unforgettable experience were the mid-summer night trips. During the midnight sun, we saw sperm whales diving and were even surrounded by a couple of hundred pilot whales. I made a small movie from it and even created sort of a commercial for SeaSafari Andenes of it… (check https://vimeo.com/146034190)
Also the magical moment during midnight when a giant spermwhale dives with the magnificent midnight light in the back… amazing.
Next to this unique experience, I created a lot of pictures and the stock agencies where happy with the results 🙂