Cool, but Cold

We wrote to several different outfitters before we went to Iceland to see if this would be an interesting trip. Only one wrote back: Arctic Adventures. We thought maybe other outfitters had gone out of business or were not running trips and chose to ignore us, but we did see there when we were putting on our gear even though they did not respond to our queries. Even contacting Arctic Adventures by email while we were there was a big fail - we were trying to find out where and when they would pick us up - and we later learned that their new email system was filing our emails in their junk folder. Maybe this is what happened to the other outfitters as well. It might be easier to have your hotel set everything up for you when you get there. We are not sure.

We never got a pick up time so we went to the park and waited at the "Service Center" which is the gift shop that sells snacks and coffee. Our hotel manager left voice mail for Arctic Adventures telling them we would be at the "Service Center". They did get that message and even remembered to bring the underwater camera I rented for twenty bucks. That was a relief! We do recommend driving to þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park on your own and meeting them for the trip. This way you are able to do whatever you want after since you have your car. Another option is to do their snorkel trip and caving trip together where they do both at the park in one day and return you to your hotel in the evening. The only issue we ran into by not coming and going with them is that having the photos I took on the rental camera transferred to a CD to take home only happens at their shop. I still do not see how that happens if they drop you off at your hotel first so you may want to ask.

We drove a short way to the water and spent the next half hour putting on what I call a snowmobiling suit (puffy full body thing) that was then covered with a dry suit, dry boots, and a wet baklava for our heads so our heads and face would be good and cold. We brought our own masks and snorkels (afraid of germs and need prescription lenses) and waddled our way across the street to drop in.

We found that the water, being about 2 - 4ºC was indeed bitter cold and probably the densest water we would ever float in. The suits guaranteed anyone would float with all that air inside. It was hard to move and people's fins were hitting the sides and knocking off plant matter which we have floating in almost every photo. There are no fish, but you are between the American and the European Continents and the colors of the rocks are interesting.

Peeking up to see where we are going. Trying to get out. At the end you can jump from here. Ladder to get in Snorkel route

After about 30 minutes we got to the end. I have to admit, I was ready to get out. But I kept floating and rotating and could not get my feet under me needed a bit of help getting out. Once everyone was out we waddled to the jumping area where our guide did a back flip into the water and also did a demo on the 'right' way to jump in so anyone who wanted to jump in one last time could try it. Bill went in without thinking (it is a ways up and not everyone did it) and realized that the cold air blew straight up his nose gave him a headache like when you eat ice cream fast. It was a fun way to top off the morning before we undressed for the next half hour and were left at the Service Center.

How Most Photos Come Out (Bad)

Most of our underwater photos came out pretty bad. If you ever tried using a disposable camera to photograph fish while snorkeling, you may relate. I rented a camera for about $20 (US) and it was better than our disposable camera from Walgreen's, but not perfect by any means. It took movies, but they ended up being very jumpy and were not the quality of material that we wanted to share with you here. Below are some of our typical (not so awesome) photos.

Peering down the crack between the two continents. Same crack. Most of the photos were like this. The ridge on each side.

There are a lot of interesting photos if you search for Silfra Crack, and on YouTube there are some beautiful videos that divers took. Having the experience was great, but their videos do it more justice. Thank you to whoever posted the videos - you helped us pick this unique trip.