Early morning we cruised down Isafjordur, North West Iceland and its deepest Fjord. Primary destination being the small town and fishing community of Sundabakki…..so small that the customs post is not much more than my garden shed!
Surround by high snow covered mountains it has a calm idyllic feel.
My ultimate aim was to head for Hesteyri Nature Reserve. It is only accessible by a small fast boat (or a 3 day hike). As with most days in Iceland we find that the cloud that kisses the mountains becomes thicker and creates a grey overcast feel to the day. Hesteyri was once a Wale Processing Station and later a Fish Processing Plant supporting a small close knit community…but its remoteness and economics eventually saw its decline and abandonment. Its remoteness has worked to natures advantage and Iceland has recognised the importance for flora and fauna unique to this most northern part of the country.
All that remains today is a small rickety landing stage and a few house that are now no more than beautiful and unique holiday homes. You can find foundations of other buildings, together with a graveyard for those that would never leave Hesteyri and a small tower holding the Church Bell (the Church long gone).
But at this time of year it is the flora that is so surprising. Lush and colourful it covers all the lower slopes, covers the ruins. The cloud never did lift of the surrounding mountains but that did nothing to dampen our spirits or indeed the wonder of this the most remote Nature Reserve I have ever had the privilege to visit. Here are a few images to give you a visual flavour of Sundabakki and Hesteyri…..
By the end of the day the cloud once again lifted and sunshine once again graced Sundabakki as we took our leave and headed off back up Isafjordur….
The course is North towards the Arctic Circle which we cross tomorrow.
© David Oakes 2015
Posted via Marine Network on mobile phone