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Icland 2012 - Diving in Silfra - Þingvellir- National Park, at the Geothermal Chimneys Akureyri "Strytan", at the Polar Circle at Grimsey and in the volcano lakes "Askja and Hverahlið"

Diving tour to the land of trolls and elfes, 1500 kilometer landscape, peoples, puffins, kelp and geologie!

After our first short trip in february 2007 we enjoy two weeks diving known and unknown spots. Technical diving still develops, but our dive buddies are very interested to learn and practise to explore their own country in deeper ranges.
Helium is very expensive here, technical equipment hard to get. So we decide to use double sets from aluminum, 80cf. - a pain in the North Atlantik because of all the led...
But besides all the compromises, our diving partners explore together with us dive sites , very unknown, almost never dove before or very special! Where and when it is possible to dive in bubbeling volcano lakes, filming chasing puffins anderwater, have a real close look at hot water spitting chimneys???

  • Visibility in July: bad, many jellyfish

  • Gisli Gudmundson and Einar Hansen, from "divethenorth.is, Akureyri" are very competent relating to all boat- and nautic things, and know their coast and Highlands very well.

  • Tour language is english, there is also always a portion humor on board ;)

  • Currency is still the Iclandic Koruna, 220 V plugs fit perfect to our electronics

  • A giant minus to AIR BERLIN. We lost all our luggage - and this at a NON STOP FLIGHT Berlin - Kevlavik!
  • At the lake Myvatn

    At the way to the dive site ...Askja volcano lake

    Þingvellir- Nationalpark

    puffins at Grimsey

    At Grimseys shore, directly beneath our Guesthouse Basar

    At the way to the dive site ...Gisli Gudmundson and Einar Hansen

    Volcano lake Hverahlið

    Location: The volcano lake Hverahlið is located approx. 30 km south of Reykjavik, next to the high temperature area Hverahlið. It is a part of the volcano system Brennisteinsfjöll. The water line changes a lot - depends from the activity of the volcano.The sulfureous sediments are visible at the lakes surface. this looks very imposant and of course: smells ;)
    under water you can hear some rumble and see the bubbeling hydrogen sulfide gas.
    Also you see different types of craters - but at the next dive you may find them at another place...

    Maximum Depth: 90 ? meter

    Water temperatur: approx. 5 degree

    Accessibility/ Entrance: easy, active area is marked with moored buoy.

    Permission: no

    Structure: Water level and vis change, depending on volcanic activity, silty floor!

    Our Dive: With amazement we gaze at the sulfur fields...
    depth approx. 12m
    equipment: mono set 15 liter is more than enough for this dive
    If you are fortunate you can hear the murmuros and mumbeling sound of the volcano

    Specials: We would love to stay here for weeks exploring the lake with proper equipment, scooters and gas mix...

    volcano lake Hverahlið

    volcano lake Hverahlið

    volcano lake Hverahlið

    volcano lake Hverahlið

    volcano lake Hverahlið

    volcano lake Hverahlið

    Strytan, The Big Chimney, The Geothermal Chimney

    Accessibility/ Entrance: in the Fjord Eyjafjorður, almost in the opposite side from an old herring manufacture in the village Hjalteyri, app.. 20 km north of Akureyri.
    Approach by Zodiac app.. 25-20 minutes ride. In the early morning is the water in the fjord much calmer- easier to deal with boat diving...

    Maximum Depth: 65 meter

    Water temperatur: here in the North Atlantik between 11 and 7 degree- much comfortable than expected

    Entrance:: per boat, mooring buoy

    Permission: no, but the Strytan is the first protected underwater area in Iceland since 2001!

    Structure: Strytan the giant submarine cones rise from the 70 meters deep seafloor at Eyjafjrður to 15 meters under the surface. That makes Strytan almost 55 meters high. The ascent/descent rope and the Strytan connecting rope is located in 25-28m.

    Our Dive:We dive the Strytan twice. The vis is unfortunately very bad. But the whole contoure of the giant stalactite was vaguely perceptible.
    All the dives we were accompanied from a big fleet of jellyfish.
    In a depth of 45 meter the Strytan has a diat theeter of 25 meter. Not so much space to hide from current...
    In dive 2 we used our reel to find back to the mooring- so no multilevel diving again.
    The mooring is think coverd with sharp shells- attention for dry glove users!

    Specials: Scientists estimate around 100 litres of 75C hot water per second coming out of the cone. Strytan started developing at the end of last ice age 10.000 years ago and are made from magnesium-silicate from the sea. When diving on Strytan you also have to be carefully with this unique ecosystem, the animals, algae and microorganism.

    Strytan, The Big Chimney, Akureyri

    Strytan, The Big Chimney, Akureyri

    Strytan, The Big Chimney, Akureyri

    Strytan, The Big Chimney, Akureyri

    Strytan, The Big Chimney, Akureyri

    Strytan, The Big Chimney, Akureyri

    Arnarnesstrytur - the small geothermal slot, The Small Chimney

    Accessibility/ Entrance: in the fjord Eyjafjorður, north of the old hering manufacture in the village Hjalteyri, app. 20 km north of Akureyri, at the sat thee side

    Maximum Depth: 30 meter

    Water temperatur: in the North Atlantic, between 11 and 7 degree

    Entrance: per boat, mooring

    Permission: no

    Time Slot: July is not good...

    Structur: many small chimneys, not all of them are active

    Our Dive: Waves and wind- nice boat ride! Vis poor!
    The hot water source is very good to see and feel, much better than at the Strytan. Around the mooring and the boulders living many wolffish- they do NOT want play with us!

    small chimney

    small chimney

    small chimney

    small chimney

    small chimney

    small chimney

    Iceland Grimsey- diving at the Polar Circle!

    Accessibility/ Entrance: from Dalvik to Grimsey with ferry- attention to the schedule of ferry -they do not operate daily!
    Passage app. 3 hours- we are happy to get the Zodiac on board- a good decision for scouting diving spots at the iceland of Grimsey!

    Maximum Depth: a sand slope coverd with kelp goes slowly deeper than 6 meter, later many canyons leading down to 20 meters

    Entrance:: boat, or just from shore

    Permission: no

    Tauchplätze: puffins, cod and kelp :)
    current depends on wind- milde tides
    puffins all over while boat ride and snorkeling, very cute! -but under water disappeared!

    Our Dive: multiple at the west coast, right next to the "Basar Guest House", the other side of the isle was not diveable because of wind...

    Specials: to get footage of chasing puffins was almost impossible. The next time we are better prepared!
    in the north of the island exist a cave connection east -west. We tried- but there are a lot of boulders and timber in the entrance right now. But it is worth doing a snorkel trip to the spot, there a many incubating births around the rocks.

    Grimsey - at the Polar Circle - kelp....

    Grimsey - at the Polar Circle - more kelp...

    Grimsey - at the Polar Circle - cod

    Grimsey - at the Polar Circle -cod

    Grimsey - at the Polar Circle -chasing puffins

    Grimsey - at the Polar Circle- waiting at  puffins...

    Grimsey - at the Polar Circle - at the boat

    Grimsey - at the Polar Circle - new species?

    Volcano Lake Askja, Öskjuvatn

    Accessibility/ Entrance: from Akureyri passing the lava fields Oð'að'ahraun, passing further the tuya Herð'ubreið'. A couple of rivers are to cross, an appropriet car is mandatory!
    Journey app. 4 hours- we take also time to visit the lava fields and the pumice stones.

    Maximum Depth: approx. 190 meter - high altitude diving!

    Water temperatur: damn cold- also only 5 degree

    Entrance:: from shore, if you could make the 3 km path :)

    Permission: no

    Our diving spot: Cove directly under the Caldera of "Viti "- in direction south east

    Our Dive: We search for active areas in the cove. The entrance area is stony and coverd with yellow sulfur patterns. Some big boulders.
    The lake bottom stays shellow till to a distance from 20 meters, thans the caldera walls going down in a 45 degree angle. We dive down to 20 meters, the floor is totally covers with little plants and algaes.

    Specials: Thats an really amazing spot. We are lucky to be one of the first human have seen that crater from inside. The Askja volcano is still active- last eruption 1968.

    Accessibility is hard- equipment transport needs a good organisation. We decide to bring only diving equipment for 2 peopla and share for the dives in 2 groups. Of course that minimize dive time and depth- but for a first scout dive a good idea.
    After the dives get misty and ugly weather. We need a lot of energy to bring our equipment nback to the car.
    After that we had to crossing lava fields again, heading direction Akureyri. Late in night we arrive at hotel exhausted but happy!

    diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja caldera - map

    on the way to the Askja crater - crossing of a ford

     at the Askja crater field -equipment transport...

    diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater - we start soon...

    diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater

    diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater

    diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater

    diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater

    diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater

    diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater

    after diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater -in background the crater Viti

    after diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater - long way to the car...

    ... in volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater

    diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater

    diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater

    after diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater - easy tools are very helpful...

    diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater

    diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater

    diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater- pumice...

    after diving in the volcano lake Öskjuvatn -Askja crater - Oli at the shore

    Silfra, Þingvellir- National Park

    Our experience 2012: This time we could enter the cave, besides the normal tour entrance. Very exiting! The known depth is those days 60 meters- we need for further exploring some Helium...

    Our dive: 45 meter with air

    The cave structure is more like an ripped tube or tunnel. Big boulders stick between the continents. Deeper than 45 meters the really cave begins. Squeeze your self trough twoo big rocks.

    We are surprised about the ammount of snorklers and divers daily guided trough Silfra. But thanks to a milde current in the crack the water clears quick out.

    The National Park autority conciders the divers to be charged in the near future.

    There is no diving infrastructure, no restroom...

    More infos about the diving in Silfra have a closer look to our report 2007.

    some more infos about our tour 2012...

    Silfra - diving in the Continental drift between the  eurasic and the North Americanic Continental Drift

    Silfra - in the BLAUEN LAGUNE

    Silfra - in the BLAUEN LAGUNE

    Silfra - diving in the Continental drift

    Silfra - Oli at the entrance to level 2

    Silfra - entrance to the cavee - Brigitte using the reel...

    Silfra - back to the cave entrance

    Silfra - after the cave dive...

    Old stuff - but maybe still interesting: Diving the Iceland crack 2007

    Silfra- where the bubbels look like silver!

    We spent two days of diving the silver (isl. = silfra) crack in February- surprisingly with sunshine!

    • Silfra is located in the southeast of ICELAND- about a one and a half our car ride from Reykjavik.
    • Silfra offers diving in a crack between the at theerican and Eurasian continental plates
    • the plates drift apart about 2 cm per year
    • the visibility you will find, is just impressive
    • water is cold, between 2C - 4C all year
    • the water - melting water from a glacier about 50km away -
      filtered by the basalt stone to best drinking water quality
    • The National Park Thingvellir has been declared a WORLD HERITAGE SITE by UNESCO
    • Silfra Cathedral and Silfra Lagoon can be dived in one or in two days.
    • maximum depth of 18 meters can be done in different variations...
    • the andergroand wells cause a little bit of a current, drifting us through the crack
    • the Silfra Lagoon is approx. 120m in diat theeter and shallow (approx. 5m max
    • For skilled & experienced divers Silfra could be intersting for cave and deep diving - but there is no cave or technical diving backup
    • the dive center was equiped for recreational diving only

    Phantastic dives, breathtaking ice and rocks as well the nice and helpful guide Tobias from Germany- living in Reykjavik and owner of the dive shop- thanks a lot for the great time!

    Watch the Video Island!


    The creck

    equipment set up


    lets go!

    Gullfoss- the water fall

    between the continents

    entrance to cathedral

    The cathedral down the sand slope

    the rock - what happens next


    lava rock formation


    happy workout

    arms to short???

    the smaller canyon