On our first full day in Iceland, it was my mom’s special day–her birthday! To celebrate, we went on a wonderful puffin island tour, which left from the Old Harbor in Reykjavik. The puffin tour was puff-riffic! We went onto a dock while we waited for the tour to start. In the cold water below, we saw jellyfish of all shapes and sizes.
We hopped on to the boat (not literally) and put on a tight life vest. To me it was cozy. I climbed to the top of the boat and waited for the tour to start. It was extremely cold for us, but for Icelanders it was a warm day. Little did we know it would be the coldest day of our stay.
We all had to snuggle together on the boat to keep warm. When we got as close as possible to the island, I saw why they call it Puffin Island. There were puffins EVERYWHERE! It was puffin mating season. Puffin island is a really great place to start a family and lay eggs. There is only one natural predator on the island, and that is the seagull.
We could see the puffins dive into the water and come back with a mountain of small, delicious (to a puffin), yummy fish OR a nice chewy bundle of baby eels. There weren’t just puffins, though! There were also the bullies of the sea, the seagulls. (Luckily, there weren’t also the bullies of the bay, the baygulls). The nasty old seagulls would try to attack the puffins and steal their food (just like the cartoons)!
The tour was 90 minutes long, but to me, it felt a lot shorter. (I was having too much fun). When we had to go back (sadly) to land, everyone was hungry. We asked someone what restaurant they recommended. They said, "All of them! Because if it wasn’t good, it wouldn’t be able to stay in business.” We finally decided to go to a place called Kopar. I had a nice, warm shrimp soup.
WARNING! MANY RESTAURANTS SERVE PUFFIN IN ICELAND!
Puffin is like an unusual chicken in America, and is sometimes on the menu at restaurants. I did NOT try puffin because they are cute and because I’m a picky eater. Luckily, the puffins leave the island, which is their breeding ground, at the end of August to return to sea. Almost 60 percent of all Atlantic puffins breed on islands around Iceland. I can definitely see why everyone gets very excited when they return each year!
Fun Facts About Puffins
Welcome to Iceland!
Header Credit: See Authors' Website