The Iceland Adventure 2001

Day 3: Saturday October 6, 2001

Weather: Light Rain, Temperature 10c

    All of us were excited to be at the Westman Islands. We had two days planned which included a climb up the famous Eldfell volcano for some scientific thermal readings and to collect some volcanic samples such as volcanic bombs. We also wanted to visit the World famous Keiko, the orca whale star of 'Free Willy'.The group was also invited to spend the evening with  Icelandic friends for story telling and mysterious Iceland food. And if that was not enough, shopping.

    Our first stop before hiking up the Eldfell volcano was a stop at Keiko the whale’s enclosure. Located at the harbors entrance, Keiko has been isolated from people to rid himself from human dependants. No people are allowed close to Keiko so we had to take the following video from across the harbor about 150 meters away. Video Clip: Please allow 2 minutes for loading.

    The next adventure was the hike to the Eldfell volcano. It is approximately a 2-kilometer walk from the hotel.  At times the ascent was challenging. When we reached the summit, students and staff were excited and interested in the high thermal readings at the top. These readings were used to develop a geology exercise. It seemed that all the participants wanted a keepsake of their experience and everyone was looking for the perfect volcanic bomb. Please refer to the exercise, Could Eldfell Erupt Soon?,  for more video and measurements.

    The historical significance of Eldfell unfolded in 1973, when the residents of the small fishing community were threatened by a sudden volcanic eruption as tons of ash poured down and molten material moved toward the town and harbor of Heimaey. Please see more detailed account of this eruption on the Eldfell volcano page.

    When the group finished their readings, the group decided to climb the 5000 year old sister volcano, Helgafell, for photos and samples which was located 200 meters beside Eldfell.

    Later that night, the group was invited to an Icelandic family's home. We were greeted with smiles and food. The evening turned into story telling about Christmas traditions and videos of Iceland. The highlight of the evening was the eating of Icelandic Puffin. Many did not know what the mystery meat was until the end of the evening.

 Day 1 & 2    Day 4        Day 5    Day 6 & 7    Home Page