No Sitting Down Time

Inside the Sapphire Ice Cave
Camera: Panasonic DC-G9M2 | Date: 15-02-2024 16:40 | Resolution: 5776 x 3610 | ISO: 800 | Exp. bias: -2 EV | Exp. Time: 1/13s | Aperture: 5.6 | Focal Length: 25.0mm (~54.0mm)

Day 3 started back at Jökulsárlón with another sunrise over the beach. Overnight some larger icebergs had reached the outlet and then beached, and the waves were somewhat higher than the previous day, providing for more dramatic images, but maybe less subtle ones.

Ice on the Diamond Beach (Show Details)

Just as the sun rose we noticed wonderful pink light on the hills behind the lagoon, so I made the short walk up from the beach to photograph in this new light. It was also interesting to see just how much the visible bergs had changed, with several large ones poised to leave the lagoon, and others having changed position noticeably since the previous evening.

Pink Ice! (Show Details)

The other point of interest was the force of the water flow under the bridge and through the lagoon’s outlet. This reverses twice a day and at high tide salt water literally pours into the lagoon, helping to melt the icebergs, then the flow reverses taking any loose ice out to the sea. It was by stopping that flow that the Bond team made the lagoon freeze for the car chase in Die Another Day, then they simply unblocked the outlet and normal service resumed.

Bridge Over the Outlet from the Lagoon (Show Details)

After a couple of hours of photography we were ready for coffee, but we again had to choose between the warmth of the cafe, and the use of a seat. I joked that when Lee said there would be limited down-time on the trip, I hadn’t realised he meant limited sitting down time.

Fortunately a resolution presented itself. Several of the group wanted to go back to Fjallasarlon. I joined them, but just went for an extended lunch in the warm, seated cafe at the new visitor centre.

Lee had planned an ice cave tour for the afternoon, but in the middle of lunch started getting messages that our tour had been usurped by a group of 56 school children, which would make serious photography impossible. After a bit of haggling we switched to an alternative cave and the trip was back on.

The drive out was entertaining, in a capable but very noisy and rough super jeep, followed by another long walk on ice to the cave entrance. Once inside we photographed a few "set piece" compositions, but did get a couple of promising images from each. However my expectation of a lengthy walk through a colourful cave went unfulfilled.

Entrance to the Sapphire Ice Cave (Show Details)

The drive out seemed even longer than the drive in, and we were late back to the hotel. Dinner was fine, but I was starting to feel very weary and departed early for bed.

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