ON MOST WHALE-watching trips, I’m seasick. I was dramatically ill one memorably rough day off Iceland. Hanging onto a seat in the vomit position, I stayed on deck, waves breaking over me, not caring if I was washed overboard and swearing I’d never go whale-watching again. But, of course, unique encounters on the rest of the trip – a baby orca, friendly minke whales and curious humpbacks – meant I did. Also memorable were the four black whaling boats lined up in Reykjavík harbour, harpoons at the fore – a grim reminder of the past.

Just a month later, in 2003, the past became the present, and ...


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