It’s a cold and misty morning. I feel like the Michelin Man geared up for a dive in the Silfra pass in Iceland. Thermic underwear, an artic undersuit that is thicker than my skisuit, A thick neoprene drysuit and about 20 kg of lead…If it wasn’t clear before it’s clear now; this is not going to be a tropic dive. The water temperature is two degrees celcius. And believe you me, you can’t imagine how cold that is untill you stick your head in it!
So where am I exactly? And why am I putting myself trough this horror? Allow me to explain why the Silfra Pass in the Thingvellir valley is one of the most epic dives on our planet! For more then one reason…
First of all you should put this dive on your bucket list for it’s unique geographical location. The Silfra Pass actually is part of the crack between the Eurasian and the American tectonic plates. Every year the tectonic plates drift further apart and the Silfra Crack gets about 4cm wider each year. About every 10 years a big earthquake releases tension in the canyon and forms the rough and extremely beautiful underwater landscape. The earth is litterally torn apart here. The last big earthquake took place in 2008 but there are about 20 little earthquakes a day here. Sometimes you can hear them rumbling while you dive. In some places you can touch Amerca with one hand and Europe with the other. The landscape is a rough canyon with big boulders and mysterious caves filled with the clearest water you will ever experience.
The clear water is the second big attraction on this dive. The water in the Silfra Pass is the clearest and most pristine water on our planet. How come? 50km away from Thingvellir lays Iceland second biggest glacier, Langjökull. This vast glacier consists of ice that has been frozen for about 1000 years before it melts at the edge of the glacier. After that, the melting water is filtered trough 50 km of porperous lava rock before it flows into the Silfra pass and lake Thingvellir. It takes every drop of water another 30 to 100 years to drizzle from the glacier to the crack, where it is now filtered to perfection. The icecold temperature and constant current make sure the water stays the cleanest in the world. The purest water translates in the best visiblity. A mindwarping 150 metres of viz under water! In fact the water is so clear that some divers experience freight of hight when they first peek at the 63 meter deep bottom. My first emotion under water however was pain. Two degrees hurt, and it felt like I ate a million icecreams much to fast. But after a minute or so your body adapts and your brain re-calibrates. Then all that beauty hits you and you start your 35 minutes weightless journey trough underwater paradise. I don’t know if this is the best dive in the world, but I bet it’s the best without fish in it! Contact scuba.is if you want to explore Silfra yourself!