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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Iceland: Through the Eye's of an Artist part 6 Puffins and Viking Sushi

'A Gift from Iceland'            10x10         pastel         ©Karen Margulis
puffin in the Breidafjordur Bay, Iceland
It was an evening to remember. My first Puffin and my first taste of Viking sushi. No, I didn't eat the puffin although they are on some menus. Instead I had an up close encounter with puffins and many other arctic birds that I can now check off my life list.  As part of the workshop, Stan treated us to a dinner cruise on the beautiful Breidafjordur Bay. It was one of the many highlights of the trip to Iceland.

Leaving Stykkisholmur

It was a gorgeous summer evening when we made our way down to the harbor in Stykkisholmur. We eagerly boarded the Seatours boat and I took up my position on the bow...camera ready!  As soon as we pulled away from the dock and rounded the bend we were treated to the sight of puffins skimming in the water in front of the boat. It was so hard to know where to look.....the scenery all around was simply breathtaking.

Stan and some of the group enjoying the sunny evening

The Breidafjordur Bay is known for it countless little islands and plentiful birdlife. Our first stop was a small island called Thorisholmur which is a volcanic plug.  The big boat nosed it's way up to the island getting us very close to the cliffs that were filled with many birds. It was a bit challenging to keep balanced on a moving boat and zoom and focus the camera. But I managed to get a few decent pictures.  By the way, the camera I used for this trip is a Canon SX40 which has a zoom comparable to a 500 mm lens so I was able to really zoom in close. I love this camera!

A few photos of the birds on this little island

We also cruised by an interesting island that is mentioned in the Icelandic Folk Tales.  Our captain pointed out an area that was used for hangings.  Kind of spooky!  We also passed a small island with one lone house perched on top. I could imagine staying out here and painting. It would be amazing. In fact I just met an artist online, Bruce McMillan, who was on one of these islands to photograph birds while we were in Iceland. He has written and illlustrated/photographed many books about Iceland that I plan to collect for my granddaughter. I'm sorry we didn't meet but he said to me, "You'll be back". I have to agree with him.

These cliffs made of basalt look like stacks of books. See the hanging place?

A peaceful place in the middle of the bay

Next on the cruise was Sushi Time...better known as Viking Sushi. The captain lowered a shellfish plough and after a short time it was pulled up to release a colorful array of sea life ....beautiful purple sea urchins, starfish, sea cucumbers and scallops....lots of them. The crew began to shuck the scallops and offered them to anyone interested. They served it with sauces and wine. I had two scallops and they were very good. They did put back what we didn't eat.

Enjoying some Viking Sushi fresh from the sea!

At some point in the cruise we came to another little bird island and a puffin was spotted. I had visions of the cliffs being covered with puffins but we actually only saw a few. It made it even more special then to get a good photo. I had my camera ready and by the luck of good timing managed to capture my 'shot of the day' puffin flapping his wings. A wonderful memory!

My shutter clicked at just the right time with pretty good focus considering no tripod and long lens on a moving boat

We made our way back to the dock slowly and we went below deck to enjoy a buffet dinner of fresh seafood. It was the perfect way to end a great day.

I created two boards on Pinterest to share my Iceland paintings, photos and travelog posts. Click here to see the paintings.  Click here to read all of the travelog posts.


France Bessodes said...

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful experience and art.

Joycelyn Schedler said...

Thanks for much for taking the time and effort to write about this trip. I look forward to reading all of the posts! Your photos and painting are beautiful. I hope to some day take this trip!