Day 31: Mývatn – Husavik – Krafla – Mývatn

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Day 31: Wednesday 02 August 2017

 

Reasonably good nights sleep for most.

Weather at start of day was cool and overcast, but as the day progressed, the weather improved to a fine, sunny, summer day.

 

Drove Road 87 (Kísilvegur) and Road 85 (Norðausturvegur) to Húsavík to attend Whale Watching Tour GG1 by Gentle Giants.

 

 

We used Gentle Giants Whale Watching tour during ICE2015 – a really great experience.

Read More: 

Unusually many blue whales: Up to six animals spotted on whale watching tours in N. Iceland

ICE2015 Blog Article: Day 9: Reykjahlíð (Mývatn) – Húsavík – Akureyri

 

Today was a very special day, according to our whale watching tour guides.

There were many high quality whale encounters, most of them at quite close range, and some events with multiple whales at the same time.

A photographers paradise……….

Most of the whales were Humpback whales we encountered today.

Here are just a few photos to provide a taste of todays wonderful sightings – lots more to be published later !!!

 

 

Some of the whales were so curious they did a bit of “people watching”, by poking their nose out of the water to view people on the boats.

Read Iceland Magazine Article: Watch: Couple of humpback whales visit whale watching vessel to go human watching

 

 

We also saw Dolphins, Puffins, Arctic Turns, and other sea birds.

 

 

Wonderful experience day – we will release a lot more photos once we have time to download & edit.

 

Returned to Mývatn by retracing our route to Húsavík – Road 85 (Norðausturvegur) then Road 87 (Kísilvegur).

 

 

After lunch, we drove Road 1 easterly, to meet Road 863 (Kröfluvegur) to visit Krafla.

 

 

Krafla is a caldera of about 10 km in diameter with a 90 km long fissure zone, in the north of Iceland in the Mývatn region.

Its highest peak reaches up to 818m and it is 2 km in depth. There have been 29 reported eruptions in recorded history

Krafla includes one of the two best-known Víti craters of Iceland (the other is in Askja).

 

 

The Icelandic word “víti” means “hell”. In former times, people often believed hell to be under volcanoes.

The crater Víti has a blue-green lake inside of it, which we walked around the crest of the crater.

 

 

South of Krafla area, but not actually within the caldera is Námafjall, a mountain beneath which is Hverir, a geothermal area with boiling mudpools and steaming fumaroles.

 

 

The Mývatn fires occurred between 1724–1729, when many of the fissure vents opened up.
The lava fountains could be seen in the south of the island and a lava flow destroyed three farms near the village of Reykjahlíð, although nobody was harmed.

Between 1975 and 1984 there was a volcanic episode within the Krafla volcano. It involved nine volcanic eruptions and fifteen uplift and subsidence events.
This interrupted some of the Krafla drillfields. During these events a large magma chamber emerged. This has been identified by analysing seismic activity.

Since 1977 Krafla area has been the source of geothermal energy used by a 60 MWe power station.
A survey undertaken in 2006 indicated very high temperatures at depths of between 3 and 5 kilometres.
These favourable conditions have led to development of the first well from the Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP), that found magma only 2.1 km deep.

 

The area was very sulphurous, and unpleasant to smell, especially steam from the fumeroles when encountered up-close.

 

Drove Road 1 west back to lake Mývatn. 

 

 

During the evening, Carl Ronny Olsen (Arctic Exploration) and his son Felix, also from Norway, visited the Bjarg Campsite, in Reykjahlíð to stay overnight.

Spent the evening socialising together.

 

Arctic Exploration is the latest Supporter of ICE2017.

 

Tracking Data from today:

 

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