Bye Winter Fjords, for this time...

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Tromsø, Northern Norway 10/2-2018

This season’s winter whale guiding for Waterproof Expeditions has just found an end. With 4 weeks in November and 5 weeks in January and February, we have again spent plenty time out in field, in the fjords of Northern Norway, to search for the giants this winter.

It has been interesting to once more follow and observe the appearance of orcas and humpbacks and the change of their migration patterns.




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This winter whale season showed up to be even shorter than last year. Already during the first weeks of January, we could see how the numbers of whales inside the fjords rapidly decreased for each week that passed by...

Video below by Scott Portelli, who joined our trip 7-13 January.





The big amount of feeding whales inside the sheltered fjords are now long gone. Thats is why we have spent the last couple of weeks in the area around Andoya and Andenes, which is a good spot for whale watching all year round. A very weather dependent place it is though, as it is exposed to both wind and swell from many directions.




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The previous week, (29/1-3/2) we were very lucky with the weather conditions, making it possible for us to search for and spot 6 different cetacean species outside Andenes. Sperm whales, humpbacks, fin whale, common dolphins, pilot whales and orcas made a great week for picturesque top side observations!




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The last week for the season (4-10/2) showed up to be much more windy and with a big swell, making whale searching more difficult. We got a couple of days with weather calm enough for whale searching further out at sea. This gave us beautiful topside encounters with the big sperm whale bulls, a big pod of feeding pilot whales, a group of traveling fin whales and playful humpbacks. When the conditions were too rough at sea, we instead explored some of the many fascinating fjords in the area, including a visit to the alluring Trollfjord.




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Again, the Polar Plunge became a refreshing and popular activity ;-)
Trollfjord & Polar Plunge video by Volker Suckau:





Tired but in high spirits from many weeks of intense whale searching in cold weather and rolling sea, I am  now off towards new adventures.

So happy I am for the many amazing people and new friends I have met and all the beautiful memories we have been creating together during this winter season in Northern Norway!



Above the famous drysuit dance to keep warm and smiling ;-)
Video by Sindre Frahm Jensen

A special thank you to the wonderful crew and amazing co-guides for total 9 weeks of great, hardworking and smiling teamwork onboard our cozy, floating home M/S Malmö :-) Thank you all so much for being you, I’m already eagerly looking forward to more adventures together!








Twilight, Storm & Winter Whales

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Tromsø, Northern Norway, 27/1- 2018

Since January 6, I've been in Northern Norway to continue this season's winter whale guiding for Waterproof Expeditions




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Like our previous four winter whale trips in November, we use M/S Malmö as our comfortable home and mobile whale searching base during the 6 days x 5 liveaboard trips. Now, in January and February,
I´m here for total five weeks, guiding together with my brilliant co-guide Eirik Grønningsæter and the awesome crew onboard the ship.





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With approximately three hours of twilight bright enough for searching and finding the whales, the first trip possibly added an unexpected Arctic experience for the guests, who seemed quite impressed by the very long nights and short twilight days...






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Even though the amount of whales already showed up to have been decreasing compared to November, we found good numbers of both orcas and humpback whales inside the fjords and got many charming and curious encounters with the animals, both above and underwater.





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Arctic winter can get rough and stormy here in Norway, which is what our second group got to experience. Despite the cold, turbulent weather, with rough sea conditions and over 50 knots of wind also inside the fjord, we went out searching for the whales every day...







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Thanks to the hard working crew, great team work, and our very patient and enthusiastic guests, the challenging conditions didn’t prevent us to find and observe the majestic giants every single day. This resulted in many really good topside observations :-)




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On the last day of trip 2, the conditions finally were calm enough to safely be able to load the zodiacs to get some beautiful and very appreciated underwater encounters with the adorable cetaceans.





On day two during trip 3, we finally got dreamlike conditions with flat sea and no wind. As the whale sightings inside the fjords now were very few and rare, we therefore took advantage of this perfect day, searching for the whales further out at sea instead.



After three hours of intense search, we finally spotted a big group of feeding orcas. With the great number of orcas feeding on a slow moving baitball, surrounded by a huge amount of seabirds, and with the grandiose winter landscape and an amazingly colourful sky as background, the entire setup was like taken from a fairy tale!




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Our lucky snorkelers got to experience this very special moment also underwater, where they observed the co-operation between the orcas when carousel feeding on the herring.

Also very small baby orcas, probably only some few days old, were seen in the group. A magic afternoon this truly was!




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After this perfect day, the weather deteriorated again and we had to continue the search inside the more sheltered fjords.

It seems, however, that the winter whale season have found an end as both the orcas and humpback whales have continued their migration further out at sea, leaving only some very few animals left in the area.




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The video below is from the magic afternoon we got to experience with the feeding orcas in outer Sørøysund/Lopphavet some few days ago.

With two weeks and two more trips left, I am now (like always) looking forward to soon get out at sea again to continue the search for the creatures we adore so much. Fingers crossed!!



More updates from our time here in Northern Norway on my Facebook:  Birgitta Mueck

For further information about Waterproof Expeditions´ various trips and destinations, visit: www.waterproof-expeditions.com



Back To The Winter Fjords Of Norway

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Traveling to Tromsø, Northern Norway, 6/1-2018

Time to head back to the stunning fjords of Northern Norway, for another 5 weeks guiding for Waterproof Expeditions.
So the search for the winter whales continues...

Below are a couple of videos made by our lucky guests, who joined Waterproof Expeditions Winter Whale trips in November 2017.

Curious I wonder, how long the Orcas and Humpback whales will stay in the fjords this season?




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Merry Everything & Happy Always!

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Cayo Guillermo, Cuba, December 2017

It feels like yesterday when it started, now it is about to already find an end. An event filled year it has been!




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Before jumping into new adventures and welcoming a new year, I´d like to share some pics from my most recent sojourn.








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After scenic weeks among the numerous whales in the winter fjords of Northern Norway, followed by a brief layover in Sweden and Canada, the warmer waters northeast of Cuba got to be a final treat of 2017.

Also here Mother Nature determines our daily activities...











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From sand between the toes and salt behind the ears (not to even mention the big mess of a hair), to soon again be surrounded by snow covered mountains and deep, wondrous winter fjords, I´m so wishing you and your beloved ones a charming and happiness filled new year!




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Explore... Dream.. Discover...

Merry Everything & Happy Always!

See you in 2018 :-)





Arctic Night

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Troms, Northern Norway, Beginning of December 2017

Time passes quickly when spent among fabulous creatures in a magnificent environment! Four weeks in Northern Norway, guiding winter whale trips for Waterproof Expeditions, have so come to an end.




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An amazing time it has been with great sightings of both Orcas and Humpback whales every day spent in the fjord, mostly in huge numbers and with many "out of this world" encounters.




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Such amazing people I have met during these trips, and I feel very happy about the numerous awe-inspiring adventures we have been experiencing together during our fascinating weeks among the waves.






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The following videos are made by our guests, who joined Waterproof Expeditions winter whale trips in November.
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We are now in early December and the sun is not to be seen above the horizon any longer. The already very short days are rapidly getting even shorter and much darker...






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Until mid January, the mountainous winter fjords will be left with only some very few twilight hours a day. But the little light there is left, is truly magic in its many various ways.





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A special feeling it is to have such long nights every day ;-)
Especially when the dark hours are lightened up by either the smiling moon or playful northern lights!






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Thankful for such an amazing start of the winter whale season, it is now time to leave the fjords to the whales. In hope to see these impressive Arctic giants again in January, I so continue my life’s next adventures towards a bit warmer latitudes...





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My biggest smiling thank you to the superb crew and co-guides onboard M/S Malmö for the awesome teamwork making such successful trips possible! :-)