Dynjandi and Vigur Island, Iceland

Jul 19, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer

Roaring and magnificent Dynjandi, the thundering waterfall known as the Jewel of the Westfjords, plunges more than 100 meters from a high cliff. Here in the glacially carved Westfjords, a large contingent of us hiked a few miles, following the edge of the fjord where towering cliffs loomed above, before reaching the waterfall. Many colorful wildflowers and tundra plants—lady’s mantle, meadow buttercups, common cottongrass, wild geraniums, bilberries, bog bilberries, crowberries, and dwarf birch—grew along our path. 

In the afternoon, we visited Vigur Island, where families have farmed for generations, raising sheep and cattle, and growing rhubarb. Here, we walked along a mowed path that wove through an Arctic tern nesting area. The area was vigorously defended by the tern parents. The major industry on this remote island is the harvesting of valuable eiderdown which is collected from the thousands of common eider nests that are protected here.

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About the Author

Grace Winer


Geologist and naturalist, Grace is a Montanan now living in Seattle. Grace received her degrees in geology (BS and MSc) from Montana State University. Funded by a grant from the National Geographic Society, she pursued her master’s degree in Alaska’s remote Pribilof Islands. Here she investigated the volcanic evolution of St. Paul Island, creating a geologic map, and predicting volcanic hazards in the event of a future eruption. Her knowledge of the Pribilof Islands and the Bering Sea region led to her work as a consulting geologist on St. George Island for NOAA’s Pribilof Restoration Project.

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Rodrigo Moterani

Video Chronicler

Rodrigo Moterani was born in Brazil, where he still lives. After spending his teen years playing with camcorders and VCRs, Rodrigo ended up working in the field of television journalism and video production in his home country. He graduated with a degree in communications in 1997.

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