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Glacier Lagoon

Kayaking in Iceland

By Benjamin Hardman

Heading for the Ice Lagoon, we prepped our Land Rovers and hit the road at 12am from Reykjavik. Pushing through the night, we drove across the south to reach the lagoon for sunrise, arriving in some of calmest conditions I’ve seen out in the water.

Kayaking in the Glacier Lagoon

The sound of towering icebergs flipping over left us considering the dangers of being out amongst the ice, so we used every measure of precaution we could find to ensure our safety. With photography in mind and after talking with some locals of the area, we knew the clearest waters would occur after certain tidal movements, so we had spent the weeks prior to the trip checking the swell and weather forecasts to see if things would line up. Clear water means a better chance to photograph the ice from within the lagoon, both using the our cameras in the kayak and also from above with the drone.

Kayaking for experts

Kayaking for beginners

As always, the set up of the Oru Bay Kayak was a breeze, getting us in the water while the light was still amazing for photography. We chose to wear 6mm wetsuits to keep us warm while paddling and safe if we fell in at any point due to the buoyancy. We of course took the opportunity to jump in for a quick swim as well, which was an overwhelming and truly memorable experience.

Basic kayaking paddle strokes

Swimming in Iceland

Being surrounded by massive icebergs in the kayaks definitely left us feeling intimidated by nature, but at the same time left us truly in awe of the beauty that existed around us. It is a sad thought to know the ice is reaching the end of its life at this point, floating all the way from the glacier tongue way back in the lagoon and out to sea, but at least we are able to document it and preserve each iceberg within our photographs.

Swimming in Iceland

Iceland's Glacier Lagoon