Day 4 |
Jun 16, 2012

Husavik, Iceland 

By Stefan Kredel, Geologist

Co-ordinates: N 66º02'39", W 17º21'33"
Weather: Sunny, partly rainy
Air Temperature: 4,7°C
Pressure: 1014 hPa
Wind: 11 knots

Today in the morning we came into Husavik. It is a smaller settlement on the north coast of Iceland. Two different tours were offered - a half-day tour titled “Whale Watching” and a full day tour, the famous “Diamond Circle Tour”. For me it is the highlight tour of Iceland as it shows 4 different geological highlights of Iceland.

It was obvious that Juan and I, as geologists would join this tour. We left at 8:00 o’clock and our first stop was at a place called Hljodaklettar. After a 10-minute walk we were at some impressive cliffs built up with basaltic columns. They were not all vertical, like at the Giants Causeway in Ireland. Here they showed up in all directions.

The next stop was at Asbyrgi. We were in the centre of a graben structure caused by the rifting of Iceland. With the spreading of the Mid-Atlantic-Ridge, which Iceland is a part of, there are quite a few forces that caused the dropping of the land along the fracture zones that resulted in the creation of this valley. Naturally a place like this has become famous in Icelandic mythology. After a nice walk with some superb vantage points, we had our picnic lunch in the sun.

Next stop was at Dettifoss. It is the most powerful and biggest waterfall of Europe, with a width of 100m and a height of 44m. It is a 10 minute walk to the edge and just above the waterfall you can see and hear the power of nature! The water is pretty brown, caused by all the sediments which the glacier distributes further upriver in the water.

Our last stop was at Namaskard. Here we visited an area full of volcanic activity. Once the bus door was open it smelled immediately of rotten eggs, which was caused by hydro sulphur. Once out we could walk through an area of steam, boiling mud polls, sulphur crystals and so on. It was everywhere boiling, steaming, and smelling. It could have been the devil’s kitchen.

After a long tour we happily went back onboard the ship. The guests on the other excursion were fortune enough to see a Blue Whale on the trip, beside other whales! So everybody had a great day!

At 6:45 we had another Recap & Briefing. Our plan for tomorrow was to be at sea. And the colleagues recapped on all the activities and the things we saw today. My colleague Juan covered the geology today and yesterday.

At 7:00 we left the pier of Husavik, and with that we also left Iceland, heading north, above the polar circle.