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  • Writer's pictureAsha

We are in the arse of Iceland!

While approaching Iceland in thick fog we could see on AIS and radar a search and rescue vessel. At first we though that it was just like a lifeboat but after referring to the more detailed information on AIS we found out that the ship named Týr measures 71.1 metres (233 ft 3 in) with a beam of 10 m (32 ft 10 in) and a draught of 4.6 m (15 ft 1 in) and can move at a maximum speed of 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) with a range of 9,000 nautical miles. Try escaping that! To put that into perspective Altor is a 44 foot long yacht and we move at 5 knots average. Of course it can sail twice as fast with favourable wind and tide but let’s stick to the optimistic minimum. Long story short, we couldn’t see that ship in the fog but it followed us up the fjord and moored just a few meters away! Now we could admire it in its entire grey-coloured glory and pretty significant size. It looked like a military ship, but let’s remain with the search and rescue purpose.

One of the crew, who proved to be the first officer on the ship, came to talk to us and with perhaps a bit of a help from my side we got invited to see the insides. I won’t go into the details of the fascinating navigational equipment on that ship, as I wouldn’t be able to even describe it, one thing is sure, the coast guard does not rely on Navionics or Windy. What I can share, is that we were given some good tips for travelling around Iceland and told an anecdote about the shape of this island. So if you look at Iceland the shape resembles a sheep without legs with its head on the north-western tip. With the head being the north-west, the east, where we are, is of course referred to as the arse! Forgive me for being crude, but I found the whole metaphor hilarious, especially as we had already walked around and found the place to be astonishingly beautiful, which I described in my previous blog “Adventure Now at 65° North”. So, it’s fair to say that we love it in the arse, and if this is the arse then we can’t wait to see the rest!

After three nights in Seydisfjordur we have ventured on to discover other parts of the sheep, pardon, I mean Iceland, and headed north towards the tail I guess. The morning of our departure was sunny, with brilliant blue skies so we could admire the spectacular landscape around the fjord on the way out. The fluky wind messed with us for a bit so we unfurled and furled the jib a couple of times, but after all settled for motoring to our destination. After 11 hours of fabulous views, sunshine and chilling out at sea we arrived in a town called Vopnafjörður. It is a tidy and quiet fishing town, with a turbulent history, as Viking settlers, Norwegians and Danish struggled over these lands.

The following morning we went to visit the Harbour Master and found out that the mooring, which included water and electricity was free and we also were given some advice on how to navigate safely around Langanes, which the pilot book refers to as “infamous for” unfavourable weather conditions, like fog, tides and potentially dangerous seas. As we await a weather window to land on the sheep’s back, the overcast skies are are spilling rain, Mark is editing episode 7 of Adventure Now and I’m working on the website. What an awesome life!

Monument in Vopnafjörður, Iceland

Vopnafjörður, Iceland

Vopnafjörður, Iceland

The breakwater in Vopnafjörður, Iceland is partially a natural rock formation, where the gaps were filled in to create a protected harbour.

Vopnafjörður, Iceland

These birds, called fulmar, often fly around the boat. We believe they are just curious but we've heard that they are just counting on a snack and since they do not distinguish between fishing boats and sailing boats they circle around just in case there was an opportunity to get something to eat.

In attempt to catch a cod for dinner on approach to Vopnafjörður, Iceland

Approach to Vopnafjörður, Iceland

Approach to Vopnafjörður, Iceland

Beautiful view on the way to Vopnafjörður, Iceland

Beautiful view on the way to Vopnafjörður, Iceland

The cloud formations on the way to Vopnafjörður, Iceland were spectacular!

On passage from Seydisfjordur to Vopnafjörður, Iceland were spectacular!

Orange lighthouse on the east coast of Iceland. Most of the lighthouses are orange, and I think it is to make them visible against snow in the winter.

View of Seydisfjordur, Iceland

On the way out from Seydisfjordur.

Seydisfjordur, Iceland

In Seydisfjordur, Iceland.

With Lemmy, the Viking of Nottingham

Chilling at the waterfall overlooking Seydisfjordur.

Iceland is blooming this time of the year.

View of Seydisfjordur, Iceland

The mountain slopes are covered with those beautiful flowers!

Waterfall in Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Mountains near Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Waterfall in the mountains near Seydisfjordur, Iceland

This "telephone box" can be found near the Harbour Master office in Seydisfjordur. I had a look inside from the windowpanes - it is empty, but it doesn't open...

In the bridge of the coastguard vessel.

Beautiful bluebell which are aplenty all around Iceland.

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