Before breakfast began, we docked at the small port community of Grundarfjordur. The day was overcast with a fluffy cloud cover but not threatening rain. The wind was a slight light breeze – a promising morning for a hike along the coast to a waterfall. This picturesque spot was surrounded by a mountainous landscape inland but prominently on a peninsula was the isolated peak of Mount Kirkjufell.
Those desiring a longer hike to stretch their legs left the ship first. Passing through the quiet streets of the village, the first groups then followed a very well-kept trail inland from the coast to the waterfall inland. Others wanting a somewhat shorter hike followed. From the ship, others chose to meander through the clean immaculate village and being a Sunday morning, there was very little evidence that any locals were moving about yet in the early hours of the day. The small but tall church steeple was prominently perched the highest point in the village. Seafood processing facilities lined the small port area, and a lone small trawler was the only fishing vessel sharing the port with the National Geographic Endurance. By mid-day, everyone had returned from their morning's exploration and the ship pulled away for the afternoon's destination.
Following an afternoon presentation, the route of the ship had taken us to the very western end of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Jutting out to the west from the mainland, it was not surprising that the wind had caused the sea surface to have some whitecaps and choppy conditions. But most guests chose to brave the weather and boarded the Zodiacs.
During the time in the Zodiacs, we were treated to a sudden and ephemeral rainbow as well as glimpses of the highest mountains with snow patches and glacier partially visible. But the highlight of the excursion was the basaltic formations and the lovely waterfalls pouring off the coastal edges of the land. Columnar basalts were extremely interesting and forming natural sculptures with swirls and bends. At the very end of the land, the basaltic columns formed wide hexagonal platforms for black-legged kittiwakes to nest. Some of the newly grown chicks were coming and going from their nest sites hoping to get another meal from the remaining dutiful parents. Fortunately, the return to the ship was not as splashy and wet as anticipated as the wind had dropped. The day concluded with a short recaps and a session of answers to questions about Iceland that people had previously submitted. Yet again another wonderful day in Iceland.