As the Iceland trip was our most technically complex trip to date, it was agreed that rather than our usual "outbound" and "return" crews, we would help each other. So, for the delivery trip, Robert got the help of Jen, Russ, and me. Likewise, on the return trip, Robert flew into Reykjavik just before we were to due to set sail.
Our plans were fairly simple. For the first two weeks, we would live on the boat, and essentially use it as a hotel while we explored Iceland. We got up to all sorts! For the first day or two we stayed local, finding out what there was to do in central Reykjavik. From everything I had heard, I was expecting party central, but coming from Edinburgh, I must say I was a little disappointed. There was certainly lots of pubs, but not all night extravaganza that I was secretly hoping for!
As you enter the park area around Geysir in south west Iceland, you can't help but notice the phenomenal steam rising from hot springs, vents and streams all over the area. All of the world's hot springs are named after the great Geysir, which stopped spurting in the early 20th century. Some say Geysir went still due to the thousands of rocks tourists and locals threw in it attempting to set the geyser off. Some say Geysir just got tired and needed a rest. Strokkur, Geysir's sidekick, squirts it's steaming water 60 to 100 feet about once every five minutes - and is definite crowd pleaser.
Among the most distinctive features of Iceland are its glaciers, which cover about 11% (4328 sq. miles) of the total area of the country. By far the largest of the glacier caps is Vatnajökull in Southeast Iceland with an area of 8,300 square km, equal in size to all the glaciers on the European mainland put together. It reaches a thickness of 1,000 m. One of its southern outlets, Breiðamerkurjökull, descends to sea level.
We went glacier walking on Vatnajökull, which was really interesting, and absolutely beautiful scenery. I'd love to say it wasn't just because we got to wear crampons and carry an axe... but hey, we're all human ;-) Later on, we managed to find the beach where the glacier meets the water. It was absolutely phenonemal. Big lumps of ice from the glacier sitting on a black sand beach, with the gentle lapping of the Atlantic.
On Snæfellsjökull, we went on a snow mobile tour. Now, I've been on quad bikes a few times, and I can safely say that although their similar, a snow mobile is just soooo much more fun! Honestly, its that good.
Iceland has soooo much beautiful scenery, but definitely specialises in stunning waterfalls. Gullfoss, or "Golden Falls" as its known, is just a few kilometers from Geyser. In the midst of lush vegetation, white water thunders down a 32 metre drop into a narrow canyon 70m deep and 1.5 miles long.
I'd love to write about all other things we did in Iceland, but there's just too much to talk about. The time we went caving, the highly addictive 56 degrees north shop, the (extortionist) price of beer, the Blue Lagoon, wierd fish, random meet, the temptation to hire a hummer, the number of hot girls, and well.. err.. everything! But ... I suppose you'll just have to go for yourself!