Iceberg Hunting in the Land of Ice

The sun is sinking behind Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Iceland. Myself and seven of my closest strangers board a zodiac boat and zip out into the ice-filled lagoon. Whatever we once were on land, we are now iceberg hunters.

IMG_2509As we bounce across the icy waters, our viking-bred captain zig zags between pans and mountains of ice. The seven kilometre wide lagoon is filled with these icy monsters, and we can only see 10% of their true expanse – one of which is stuck to the bottom of the 250 metre deep lagoon, making it almost as tall as the Eiffel Tower.

Circling the individual icebergs, our captain speaks of each ‘piece’ as though it were an exhibit in an art museum: “This piece is particularly beautiful…”

He is not wrong.

Each piece is a breathtaking sight, set against the giantic glacial backdrop. I am in awe. Floating in the lagoon is pure serenity.

Such respect for your environment is crucial to any hunter, and we capture only one iceberg to feed our entire tribe. When it is my turn, I hold the iceberg in my hands and taste its offerings. It is pure and refreshing.

Returning from the hunt, we are all changed forever. I am now a hunter of icebergs as well as adventure. I am also even more aware of the insignificance of my size and the significance of my impact.

The glacier ice cap we hunted today will be gone in 50 years, which means today I have stood in awe of something that I will help destroy within my own limited lifetime.

 


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