National Geographic Endurance
They say the early bird catches the worm, and this morning in the north of Iceland these words rang true. A wake up call at 5am, and of course plenty of fresh coffee and pastries courtesy of the tireless galley, ensured we were hopping onto Zodiacs and ready to get ashore and head to some of Iceland’s most spectacular wonders. Goðafoss waterfall is remarkable for its sheer size, yet having the large site to ourselves this morning made it all the more special. Its name translates as “waterfall of the Gods,” and with tonnes of water spilling over this expansive 30m drop, we could all see why. The early morning light only added to the scene, and the early morning start proved more than worthwhile. Some of us also chose to visit þeystareykir – an active fumarole with clay pools. This site looks otherworldly, almost as you might imagine the surface of another planet to look. Indeed the whole landscape looked to be alive with all the geothermal activity bubbling around our feet! Zodiac rides in the late morning took us back home to the National Geographic Endurance , where a beautiful lunch and an informative afternoon were to follow. For those of us who had managed a small siesta after lunch, we awoke to the impressive site of Lundy Island, as the ship navigated its way around another of Iceland’s populous bird colonies. As the afternoon continued, we were treated to two talks that are prime examples of how voyages onboard a Lindblad vessel are so remarkable and memorable. First up, our National Geographic photographer Nick Cobbing gave us insight into how he became a contributing photographer to the magazine. His stories of his travels in the ice, and his willingness to climb high and photograph in cold climates, were interspersed with his stunning and hard won imagery. Our second talk of the afternoon came from Icelandic guest speaker Silja Bára Ómarsdottir, and what a special and inimitable talk this was. As Silja talked warmly of her Grandmother’s life in Iceland, she enlightened as to how the country as a whole has changed over the last century. Few of us would realize the hardships faced so recently by this modern and wealthy nation. Such a personal perspective was much appreciated. As always, in the evening we were treated to an evening recap, including footage from the Undersea Team’s Remote Operated Vehicle. This morning while we were exploring on land, the ROV was deployed to a depth of over 300ft in the fjord outside Húsavík, and brought up imagery of halibut, sponges and swarms of mysid shrimp. Who knew such live things survived in the dark, cold depths of an Icelandic fjord. A relaxing evening sailing on forgiving seas drew a close to another fantastic day exploring and learning more about this remarkable country.