The summer of 2022 we sailed to Faroe Islands and Iceland for a total duration of 5-weeks. An aim of this sail was to search for the elusive and understudied northern bottlenose whale, in a deep-water trench between Faroe Islands and Iceland. Additionally, we were to assist our scientific partner Whale Wise to collect an underwater listening device that had been sitting in an Icelandic fjord for a year collecting data.
Above. Video from the Stavanger – Faroe Islands leg. By Tord Karlsen
The sail also served the purpose of fine tuning the sailing vessel Barba, as well as training and introducing new crew members to the team. Furthermore, we wanted to collect content for general storytelling purposes, as well as to contribute with additional 360 content for the ViROE program, based on 360 content from Barba (Virtual Reality for Ocean Education).
Finally, it was a great opportunity to get back at sea with old and new friend. Out in the open ocean, to reunite with the adventure, the big blue and the wonder. What awaits out there? Will this be the time we get to free dive with Bottlenose whales, or witness a pod of orcas hunting a minke whale. Or perhaps we will see something that we never thought possible, as we have in the past.
During the trip we rotated the crew, and I was the only one who was to be onboard for the full duration. We sailed out on July 24th, and returned August 27th completing yet another successful sail in the North. The soundtrap was recovered, new memories and experience was collected in addition to marvelous storytelling content.
As for the bottlenose whales, we did not find them. A failure one might think, but not to me. We did get to the search area of interest as planned, and as such did our best. Not finding them makes me even more determined to find them in the future!
Featured photo: Barba sailing through the Drangarnir passage, Faroe Islands’ most famous rock formation. Photo by Kurt Arrigo.