Diving in Silfra Iceland, at the heart of the rift between American and Eurasian tectonic plates, was a dream I had been dreaming for many, many years.
Invited to visit this mysterious island, I took the opportunity to plan this mythical Silfra Iceland dive-like expedition in a mysterious and unknown world.
After a good preparation, the trip is organized for mid-July 2018.
It is with curiosity and excitement that I fly to this destination near and far at once that will make me live one of the dives of my dreams.
The journey to this Icelandic land in the form of a treasure hunt will begin with the incredible experience of diving in the Silfra Iceland fissure
Appointment is made at 9 am in Pingvellir National Park.
While we were expecting to see a dive center there, it’s a mobile structure in the middle of a reserved parking area that we discover upon our arrival. Everything is planned so that our perception and our comfort is equal to that of a fixed structure: mobile cloakroom in a special van, diving equipment in all sizes carefully aligned on hangers, clean toilets, …
We chose to dive with Dive.is a bit by chance, a little bit by reputation … and we will not be disappointed.
Upon our arrival, Antz presents himself as our guide “the best guide for the fissure” he tells us jokingly (but I have no argument to contradict him because it was perfect) before giving us our diving equipment. Everything is already ready for us because our measurements were requested when booking. Therefore, it remains only in Antz to distribute the dive equipment planned for us: dry suit, under-suit, … everything is prepared and recorded in a personal tray. (The dry suit is so comfortable that I will decide, upon my return, to acquire one of this model)
After the presentation and a briefing about technical aspects of the rig, Antz brings us together for a clear and concise dive briefing of this Silfra Iceland dive. We will dive my partner and myself with another diver and our guide. We will perform two dives at a maximum depth of -20m with a minimum surface interval of one hour.
Antz asks us not to take a camera or other Go Pro during the first dive to feel the immensity and beauty of this particular dive. I am happy to do so.
The sun is already high in the sky (in July the nights are almost non-existent) and the sky is so blue … it’s going to be fantastic. We get ready, walk the 50 meters that separates us from the spot and make the final adjustments: masks, gloves (not dry gloves!), …
Antz tells us that each group must wait until the previous one has reached the first turn (about fifty meters) before immersing himself so as to guarantee each diver a unique dive without seeing other divers and without the impression to be in a line. It also tells us that although the Silfra Iceland fissure is relatively busy, it is mostly used by snorkelers (+/- 80% of the public)
While waiting , Antz makes us taste this pure and limpid water by encouraging us to drink a gulp which makes us laugh because it is delicious
Briefly, as the previous group of divers finish evolving in the visible part of the Silfra Iceland Fissure, I look at the water through my mask.
It’s amazing, the visibility is wonderful and I do not really see any difference between the vision out and in the water … I do not believe my eyes and push my partner to discover this universe (as if it was going to disappear 😁)
At the signal of our guide, we immerse ourselves. And there, while I have experience of cold water dives since I dive almost all year in cold waters, the extreme temperature (3 degrees) slaps my cheeks and my forehead. I’m thinking of coming out and saying that I can not stand this for more than thirty minutes but the environment is so exceptional that it sends me an invitation to continue exploring.
Antz makes us the OK sign and, forgetting the bite of the cold, I answer in the affirmative … we start an exceptional dive in the Silfra fissure
After the first turn, the sensation of cold disappears and it is a revelation: the sun plays with the water dazzling us with its play of light; shades of green and blue compete leaving us in this dream, this is just gorgeous
The Silfra Fissure is quite shallow and we dive some places with only one meter of water below us. If the absence of aquatic life is obvious, it is the moods that captivate us and make us forget time.
I turn back a few times, looking through the water at the sky above me, trying to distinguish what is in the water from what is not.
Throughout the whole day, I am hypnotized by the crystal clear water. Only a few sediments sent by the fins of our buddy will disturb this harmony which will make me think that the frog kick should really be taught to all.
But no matter, the experience is largely up to my expectations.
35 minutes later, filled with joy and gratitude, we return to the mobile diving center. There, things are a little less idyllic: we have to walk +/- 200 meters with all our equipment on our back (but our guide tells us that if it is not possible we can drop everything there and someone will come and pick it up) we are also “attacked” by an army of flies determined to take advantage of the moisture of our skin.
Arrived at the parking, Antz provides us with funny mosquito nets to protect us from the annoyance of these flies, harmless but tenacious, which give us a little look of beekeepers.
We warm up in the sun with the help of a hot chocolate and a few cookies.
During the surface interval, we exchange with our buddy of the day and our guide on his experiences of dives around the world. It’s because Antz has already made a lot of moves around the globe that he decided to come back home to enjoy the impressive setting of the Silfra Fissure every day of his life.
I also take this opportunity to talk to him about this icy impression when going into the water and he tells me he feels the same thing the first minute of each of his dives in the Silfra fissure 😱
It’s already time for the second dive in the fissure. We re-equip ourselves and take the road towards the spot.
I feel a little disappointed because the sky is cloudy. Anyway, I take my camera with me but I think picture will not be so nice 🙁 Antz explains us that he dove with a National Geographic photographer who prefers overcast weather which, he says, intensifies the shades of blue in the Silfra Fissure, so don’t worry.
I pretend to believe it but, despite my foolproof trick to make each dive a magic moment, the disappointment is a bit real anyway.
I will have the same cold sensation on my cheeks and forehead in the first minute of this second dive However, this time, I know it goes away quickly. The path is the same except that, as we have already explored the Silfra fissure for the first time, we can dwell on certain details.
Antz proposes to pose in the well-known place where divers can touch the tectonic plates of the two continents. We are happy to play the game to immortalize the memory of this particular dive.
As we evolve in the Silfra Fissure, I realize that the shades of blue are really incredible and contrast strongly with the almost fluorescent green of the algae.
I take pictures of a few specific places in the hope of transmitting a small piece of my experience but especially keeps in my head and in my heart the sensation of this extraordinary diving experience, linked to the pleasure that takes me when I dive
The second dive is almost over. In front of our wonder, Antz leaves us a few more moments to explore the final part of the course; a kind of crystalline lake, it’s like a lagoon ….but cold ….
Once out of the water I tell myself that Antz has a great job taking every day many divers in this dive spot giving them a unique moment and welcoming their smiles once the dive is over.
Lost in my thoughts, I begin to dream of returning to Silfra Iceland and it is the heart swollen with sensational images that I leave for the exploration of this incredible island of wild and preserved beauty.
Just for fun and / or if you’re planning a trip to Iceland, check out my favorite places here and some unusual Icelandic info
And above all … do not forget to be happy 🤗