Jul 05, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer

This morning as we woke, we were still on our way to our destination for the day, Seyoisfjorour. It was nice to have the time to have a later breakfast and the ease into the day. Last night we were all up late for our late night visit to Grimsey Island to visit the Arctic Circle and to view the many thousands of puffins that nest there. So, this morning, as some of us went to a fascinating presentation by our Global Perspective Speaker, Hrund Gunnsteindottir, and a talk on the Birdlife of Iceland, by one of our naturalists, Javier Cotin, others spent some time visiting the bridge, watching for the birds, and searching for whales.

As our circumnavigation continues, we now are on the east side of Iceland, the more rugged coast. Seyoisfjorour is a modern town, but one with a significant past as it was first settled in the 9th century. The town itself went through a rebirth during the 19th century, and like many Icelandic ports it survived as a fishing port. Today there is a shift to tourism, like many Icelandic towns in these modern times. One of the many reasons to visit here are the many wooden buildings left over from the town’s earliest days. As it turned out, Siyoisfjorour has become a small mecca for artists and the town is festooned with murals and colorful art. One of the highlights is a rainbow colored walkway that leads from the heart of the town to the church. It was first installed as a reflection of the town’s acceptance of all lifestyles during a pride parade many years ago. It has become such an attraction and noted landmark, that it is well maintained and now is part of the fabric of this little community.

For those more interested in natural history, the countryside around the town offers a bucolic setting for a walk among the many sheep grazing along the hillsides. And for birdwatchers, the grasslands are home to many nesting shorebirds, and the cliffs at the entrance of the fjord are home to the many fulmars, kittiwakes, and auks.

Our guests divided into three groups, a walking tour of the picturesque town, a more aerobic hike for those wanting more exercise, and finally a walking tour along the wild coast of Iceland.

Back on board, we had a very special evening of some local entertainment with an international flair. Some of our crew have formed a band called the Spice Boys. The lounge was alive with music and dance as we ended our day, ready for what tomorrow will bring.

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About the Author

Steve Morello

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Steve Morello has had a long and colorful career in the natural history world. Born in New Jersey he was lucky to be able to summer on the shores of Cape Cod. Whether it was exploring the tidal pools, snorkeling along the beach, or hiking in the dunes, it all came together to instill in him a deep connection to the natural world. It was no surprise that he would return to the Cape as a whale researcher in his adult years. It was on the Cape that Steve first became involved in guiding, and for 15 years acted as naturalist on whale watching boats in the Gulf of Maine. Steve worked with groups creating environmental education material for school programs and soon found another one of his passions, photography.

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