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ALFTAMYRI ARNARFJORDUR BAY

Region: Westfjords
Coordinates: 65.7663785° N 23.7106172° W

Alftamyri is an abandoned farm on the northern side of Bay Arnarfjordur, a former parsonage to 1880, when the parish was united with the Hrafnseyri parish. Catholic churches there were dedicated to the Holy Mother and John the Baptist. The farm was abandoned shortly after 1950. The church built in 1896 was badly damaged by bad weather in 1966 and was demolished.

Between the farms Bauluhus and Alftamyri is a cove called Hladsbot, which belongs to Alftamyri. It was a fishing station and a trading post from 1893. Whaling was practiced from the farms Stapadalur and Alftamyri and many skilled harpooners trained every year like athletes. Some blue whales spent the summers in the bay and always brought their calves along. The whales were very tame and the hunt always started shortly before they showed some signs of leaving. The whalers used specially built boats for the hunt and only harpooned the calves. The meat was distributed between the farms of the county and was a great advantage for the people. The whalers asserted that the same whales always came back each summer and even gave them names. The whaling continued until the Norwegians were permitted to start their whaling activities off the Westfiords in 1888. Then the whales disappeared from the bay and never came back.

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