Iceland is known worldwide to be the only place where one can swim between two tectonic plates. So when my travels brought me to the northern country, I knew I had to jump into those chilly waters and see the fissure with my own eyes. In pursuit of this adventure and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I booked the Into the Blue snorkel adventure with Arctic Adventures to snorkel the Silfra fissure of Iceland.
I was picked up at my hotel shortly after 8:30 the morning of my dive by Oliver driving the Arctic Adventure van. When everyone was picked up, we promptly headed to Thingvellir to meet our dive guides on site. During the drive Oliver entertained us with a brief introduction of Thingvellir and the Silfra fissure. The drive was roughly 30 or 40 minutes; a short drive with stunning mountain views. It was an exceptionally windy day and I was nervous when I felt the wind push the van. But I trusted Oliver’s driving (and he seemed really unbothered by it so I figured it was normal), and we arrived safe and sound.
At the dive sight, our guides Hector and Kathi gave us a supplemental explanation of Silfra and were promised three things: exceptional visibility, purity and chilly water temperatures. The temperature of the water the morning of our dive was roughly 2C. It was the coldest water in which I had ever swam!
Getting into our dry suits was the most challenging part of the day. It was a multi-process undertaking. We first got into our teddy-bear suits: a warm nylon one piece. Next we got into our dry suits: first the legs, followed by the torso, and then pulling your head and arms through. Our extremities were also covered with a balaclava style head covering and mittens.
Once we were given a snorkeling mask and fins we were off to the dive site. I would recommend going to the back of the queue – you may be last in the water, but the divers all tend to bunch up at the front once in the water and it can be a bit bothersome to be constantly bumping into other snorkelers.
We received everything we were promised: the water was extremely visible and offered amazing views up to 20 meters down; tasting the water was refreshing and the purest water I’ve ever tasted; the cold was lip-numbing, but totally bearable to experience this natural wonder. The cold was not as unbearable as I was afraid. Once your lips numbed to the cold, and as long as you kept your hands clasped behind your back, the cold could not be felt. And honestly, what’s fifteen minutes of being uncomfortable while witnessing bottomless depths between the Eurasian and North American plates?
- Website: arcticadventure.is
- Wear leggings, wool socks and a thin fleece top. All the rest is provided.
- Hotel pick up is available, but if you prefer to drive the meeting point is at the Information Centre in Thingvellir.
- The in-water portion takes roughly 15 to 20 minutes. Getting all equipped in the dry suit takes the most time (length depends on the number of participants).
- Toilets are limited at the dive site. It is recommended to use the toilets at the Information Centre before the dive.
Check out the video of the adventure here:
I received a discounted rate on the Into the Blue snorkel package from Arctic Adventures, but opinions are my own. All photo and video were taken by Amanda Holmes.
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