Whale Watching Experience | Iceland to Sweden

Whale Watching Experience | Iceland to Sweden

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Jul 04 – Jul 17, 2014

Depart: Reykjavik, Iceland
Arrive: Gothenburg, Sweden
Length: 14 days via Faroe Islands
Focus: Whale and Dolphin Observations




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A high latitude sailing expedition to observe whales and dolphins in their natural environment.

Join the crew on board Sea Dragon in July to sail between Iceland and Sweden with a stop over in Faroes Islands. A total of 1,250 sea miles across the Northern Atlantic, we will be on the lookout for great whales and dolphins to incorporate the information gathered to OBIS database.

During the passage we will also be trailing a directional hydrophone for the detection of acoustic whales like sperm whales, orcas, bottlenose whales, pilot whales to mention a few, and also all species of dolphins. All the information will be collected in a computer program on board to be analyzed later by scientists that are conducting research in this area.

During the passage the guest/crew will be involved in all maneuvers of sailing as well as with the research on board. This is a perfect opportunity to gather more sailing experience in high latitudes and learn more about whales and dolphins of the North Atlantic.


Click on the tiles below to view the North Atlantic marine mammals guides for this expedition.



Experience Iceland!

Before your departure from Iceland, you might be interested in booking day trips and accommodation to explore the island: Iceland Adventures

Day trips and accommodation can be booked through our partner, Another World Adventures:


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Rodrigo Olsen – Skipper

Born in Mexico, Olson has spent his life sailing the Oceans of the world in search of some of the planet’s most elusive whale species. He has a degree in Oceanography and was Captain of the famous research vessel ‘Odyssey’ which spent five years studying marine mammals around the globe. He has covered almost 300,000 nautical miles on sailing boats. A highly experienced diver, his ability to free-dive to great depths has resulted in some fantastic footage of his interaction with many species.

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Jesse Horton – First Mate

Sailor, artist, surfer, diver, cameraman, all around mischief organizer.
To get everyone on the boat safe, have an amazing trip, share some stories and experience, and make sure everyone gets to Sweden safe!


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Belinda Braithwaite – Filmmaker

Belinda rode her horse solo from Gibraltar to Paris and wrote a bestseller ‘A Girl, a Horse and a Dog’ about her adventures. She’s also ridden across America. Her adventurous life gave her plenty of on-camera experience, and led her into film-making. Her sharp eye for detail gives her the ability to quickly get to grips with the subject, land or sea, plant or animal.

An experienced scuba diver, it is her free-diving ability and affinity with animals which allows her to approach and film some notoriously shy marine mammals.


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Laura Coleman – Artist

Laura Coleman is the Director of the ONCA Trust, an environmental arts charity based in the South East of England. Laura is a graduate of the University of East Anglia and has a Masters Degree in History of Art. She has worked for six years on grass roots conservation projects, predominantly in Bolivia where she rehabilitated animals rescued from black market trade.

On her return to the UK, she founded ONCA – One Network for Conservation and the Arts – with the view to setting up a space in which to explore ecology through art, storytelling and performance. The ONCA Gallery in inner city Brighton now runs programmes of exhibitions and workshops that initiate conversations and ask creative questions about our changing environment, whilst raising funds and awareness for frontline conservation projects.

As well as running the ONCA Trust and Gallery, Laura is a writer, curator, conservationist, teacher and explorer. You can find out more information about Laura and ONCA at www.onca.org.uk

As artistic facilitator for the expedition, my primary goal is to ensure that the artists on board are provided with ample opportunities to create, explore and discover new ways to develop their creative practice. I am interested in how art and science can work together, disseminating and discussing the changes that are occurring in our environment. For me, this expedition is an exciting opportunity to document those interactions first hand. In addition, as someone who is happiest by the sea, immersed in the living world, I know that this will be a life-changing experience!


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Stuart Kuhn

Background & Expertise
Im a photographer living and working in Sussex. I teach and instruct on media courses involving moving image, animation and photography. I have a strong interest in alternate photography modes and printing methods. I have a particular interest the meeting place between science and art.

Expedition Goals
I intend to make a film about the event and the subject of cross cutting collaboration between science and art. This is an art council funded film and I will welcome contribution from everyone on board and see it as a place for people to voice their opinion on subjects that interest them. I intend to take photographs as well during the journey and I’m also hoping to take water samples periodically during the trip from which I will subsequently produce salt prints. I also intend to organize the analysis of these samples so that this data can sit alongside the prints at exhibition.
Ultimately, I hope to meet new people, share this experience and learn new things.


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Helen Cann

Background & Expertise
I am primarily an illustrator and have been published in over 30 books worldwide, have won several awards and exhibited widely. I am now branching out into fine art and am starting to exhibit my fine art work on a regular basis.

Expedition Goals
I would like to document conversations on the journey about people’s experience of whales – I am making contacts with a wide variety of people – cultural experts, whale hunters, marine biologists and tourism specialists and will interview them making a map-based artwork when I get back. I’d like to learn about maritime mapping, navigating by the stars and take part in mapping the whales and dolphins when I’m on board.

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Jonathan Hyde

Background & Expertise
Photographer and keen explorer/walker, no sailing experience but very excited to learn. Looking to gain more knowledge of whales, and in particular how to study/document their migrations.

Expedition Goals
To learn how to navigate by the stars, not to be sea-sick, and to produce a photographic/film project afterwards.


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Susan Rolph

Background & Expertise 
55 year old wife and mother of 4 grown up children.
Nurse with intensive care and dialysis experience.
I enjoy new challenges, experiences and being part of a team.

Expedition Goals
Wanting to learn more about sailing; particularly navigation.
I read somewhere that every now and again you have to do something scares you and I think this is true. I know I will be out of my comfort zone if the weather/sea is rough, but I also need to know that I can do it.
I enjoy learning and am looking forward to encounters with whales and dolphins.


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Katie Henery

Background & Expertise
I am a student studying a BA Hons in Fine Art at Newcastle University and a practicing environmental artist. My art focuses on humankind’s negative impact on the natural world with particular focus on marine environments. I use whales and other cetaceans as a visual metaphor for the state of the global oceans in my artwork in the mediums of painting/printmaking, site specific land art and photography. Through the presentation of these scientific issues through environmental art I hope to draw upon the emotions of viewers in order to to raise awareness about the need for conservationist efforts that will help return and preserve the health of marine habitats.

Expedition Goals
Whilst partaking in this expedition I hope to gather as much visual material (photographs and sketches) as possible to help with the development of my artwork. I hope to gather imagery of various whale species where possible as well as capturing land and seascapes. I hope to create a visual and journalistic documentation of the expedition and my personal experience on board Seadragon. Ultimately I am aiming to return from the expedition fully equipped, both in terms of material and inspiration, to begin developing my work towards an exhibition at the ONCA Gallery whereby I wish to showcase work that both emulates the experience of the trip and highlights to viewers the need for the protection of our global oceans.



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Sue Grimwood

Background & Expertise
Sales of holidays to the polar regions along with specific whale watching departures to baja California and the Azores.

Expedition Goals
Learn more about the region & its wildlife, help with on-going projects, help improve my knowledge of the product to sell it.



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July 4th: At 10 am the guest crew arrive on board Sea Dragon to meet the rest of the team. In the afternoon the whole crew will go for a short hike up to some of Iceland’s natural Hot Springs for a swim.

July 5th: Safety briefings, clear customs and immigration and Sea Dragon departs Iceland.

July 6th-8th: Sea Dragon at sea collecting data on whale and dolphin sightings/sounds recordings between Iceland and Faroe Islands.

July 9th: Sea Dragon arrives in the Faroe Islands for land exploration.

July 10th: Team ashore in the Faroe Islands.

July 11th: Sea Dragon departs the Faroe Islands.

July 12th-15th: Sea Dragon at sea collecting data on whale and dolphin sightings/sounds recordings between Faroe Islands and Sweden.

Jul 16: Sea Dragon arrives into Gothenburg.

Jul 17: Crew pack up and leave Sea Dragon at around 2 pm.