Land Of Light
Our new Hydra Drysuit was made to explore, so where better to test dive it than in the extreme cold of Icelandic waters.
Usually when we think of Iceland, an image is conjured up of treacherous snow, icy winds and freezing rains. And you wouldn’t be wrong, there’s plenty of that. But Iceland also offers some of the most magical sights (and dive sites) you’ll see in a lifetime.
With a population of just over 360,000, Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. Once outside of the capital Reykjavík and off the main ring road, it all goes very quiet as you enter a breathtaking terrain, dominated by towering volcanoes, glistening glaciers and endless dark sand fields that stretch towards the restless ocean. You’ll want to take a photo of everything.
At the top of most divers bucket lists, is the famous dive spot Silfra Fissure. Perfectly clear glacial water fills the rift left between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, located in the Þingvallavatn National Park. This unique landscape makes for a stunning dive with water temperature at a chilly 2–4 °C.
But if you want to get off the beaten track there are so many other sites to be discovered such as the mountainous Westfjords and the epic flooded Askja Volcano. Our adventure took us through the picturesque highlands to a top secret spot known only to our guide. After a 1km trek we arrived and our breathe left us, a lagoon lay before us like nothing we had ever seen before. Droplets of rain landed on the water whilst sunlight streamed through where the valley parted creating sparkle on the surface like a sprinkling of fairy dust.
The clarity and colour of the water from above could only be compared to that of a luxury swimming pool, a deep turquoise centre and crystal clear with an almost perfect natural edging of grey volcanic rocks.
We donned our new Hydra neoprene drysuits with the excitement of young children on Christmas Eve, knowing that something magical lay ahead, something not many people on earth had before witnessed. Exploring somewhere new not just to you, but to the world, has that extra special appeal that is just unexplainably alluring.
A small gradual descent and then a drop off to heaven. This was a land of light indescribably wondrous. Sun beams burst through the ceiling of water above, cascading onto the tops of the rocks below, creating a landscape of deep contrast. The floor of the lagoon was patterned with the reflection and colour of the rippling water above, producing a scene that even a Disney animator couldn’t dream up.
The dive computers registered the water temperature at 1°C, but we were not feeling the cold, simply enjoying every moment, exploring every crevice and taking in the joy of what would be one of the dives of a lifetime. Memories, images that will stay in our minds forever.