We came round here looking for whales. We saw
This is the fjord that the Drangajukull
glacier discharges into so the water is a milky, muddy colour,
except where we are anchored, as a stream
keeps the water clear.
It is the opposite of last night, an
open anchorage with hardly a bird in sight.
We have been told that it is the large number of foxes in the area
that keep the birds away.
But we saw no foxes either.
We went for a walk on shore last night and Lorna
was pleased to find frog and bog orchids as well as the purple common
common spotted orchids
This morning I did the four mile walk up to
the glacier, and another four back. Surprisingly easy walking, beside the delta of rivers bringing meltwater
down into the fjord. Scrambling round
headlands and along moraines, but
mostly quick walking on short grass or flowers. You watch the vegetation to see where to walk, Bright green moss is
too deep but orchid areas are good. A couple of times it felt like
"walking on orchids", or picking your way to avoid squashing too many. Any
bushes are a good sign, even a silver birch tree had grown half a mile
below the glacier, but completely flat on the ground.
The amount that the glacier is receding was
difficult to tell, except that the pilot book gives the glacier snout, lined up
with a roof as a leading line. The glacier must have receded
half a mile since that was written. Some plants below the glacier had
clearly been there several years, but perhaps they were 1/4 mile down the
As we motored out we were called up by the
coastguard warning of bad weather coming in. They knew we had been
anchored in an open fjord.
The Icelandic coastguard or local radio stations
expect to be notified of all boat movements. As there are small fleets of
sea angling hire boats round here, you hear requests to asking boat number 2587
to reply or reset their black box. They all seem to have an AIS type
system, although we cannot see them on our AIS receiver.