Grimsey | blog from Elvi Smits

It is 8 bells. 8:00 pm, end of the dogwatch watch and start of the first watch. The trainees douse the sails and we drop anchor. The Wylde Swan comes to a stop and bobs quietly off the coast of Grimsey.

Terns and Puffins

Grimsey is a small island north of Iceland. It is inhabited by 102 people and countless birds. It is home to puffins and terns. As we prepare the expedition-rhib to bring the trainees ashore, the tern colony has noticed that we are visiting. With a lot of noise they fly over the Wylde Swan. Some of them descend on the yards to get a closer look at us. Jorrit (deck hand), Mare (assistant cook) and I (interior) join the rhib to experience the special island for yourself.


We decide to walk west from the village. Captain Marco told us that it is a paradise of birds, rocks and cliffs there.

And he is very right. We count hundreds of terns and in the grass. In on the cliffs we see hundreds of puffins burrows. Unfortunately, the puffins have just left for Greenland, but Jorrit says that the last time he was there, the cliffs were full of these special birds.


The clock is ticking at 9:30 PM. It is slowly getting dark, but that fits perfectly with Grimsey’s landscape. We leave the larger path along the coast and carefully walk on the thin paths on the cliffs. They are no longer broad rocks. Some pieces of rock are no longer connected to the land at all and stand loose in the Arctic Ocean. To complete the picture, this sea shows us its great waves, which crash violently on the rocks.

Wylde Swan

We are now at the tip of the cliff. It is a beautiful sight: Surrounded by the indomitable sea, the coastline of rocks and cliffs behind us and in front of us lies the beautiful Wylde Swan, bobbing on the waves, dancing with the sea, waiting for her next adventure.