We reached Tjornes Peninsula after crossing from Flatey island in early afternoon. The plan was to have an afternoon nap before another night paddle. The wind should be calmer and for once turning from headwind into helping wind. The first part of the plan went well, we landed, put the tent up, slept, woke up, cooked and ate. It was ten o’clock in the evening, but somehow I wasn’t up to it. My normally bad back was hurting, it has been really hurting for the last few days and badly during crossings, so somehow I could not imagine getting back in the boat and try to survive six to eight hours of pain. The discussion was difficult, but in the end Michal slammed the door and flicked the switch, if you can imagine that in the tent, and saying that if we weren’t paddling we may as well continue to sleep, went to bed.
My, have we slept well that night, and without alarm set for the following morning!
Next day the weather forecast suggested that we can indeed paddle during the night, only without the help, that was fine for us, departure time was set for five o’clock.
This time we were aiming across Oxarfjordur towards Melrakkasletta, and preferably past the lighthouse at north west corner. It was a good decision not to do it the previous night and wait. Mentally we were better prepared for the hours and hard work. North east corner of Tjornes showed off by cliffs, caves and arches and we spent a little bit of time of playing there.
The crossing started at seven. Hopefully by one in the morning we will be landing on the other side. The evening and night were beautiful, we got a good glimpse of the Icelandic summer, that everyone here is talking about. Yes, we now believe it exists, it’s not just an imagination of local people, although it may be from their dreams as it only happens in the night. We paddled through something resembling a painting, the sea was showing off in patterns similar to amethysts, the land was a collage colours, the sky dramatic. The sun was performing for us the whole night, changing the tint from purple to blue, to making everything yellow and grey, as well as orange and pink.
We landed on time and after short break continued as the weather will be different in the morning and preferably we will get around the north west corner as soon as possible. At three in the morning we were rounding the Raudinúpur cape, a volcano dating back to ice age. We had to put our sunglasses on to be able to see in the rising sun.
The rest of the land wasn’t as inspiring as it is made of steep shingle bank going on for miles and miles. Fortunately, we found a small inlet to land and have a short sleep.
As I said, sunny times are saved for night time, we got up in rain and fog, accompanied by already strong north westerly wind. I am glad we pushed on last night and made it so far, as the sea wasn’t the easiest to paddle, shallow shore meant we had to come quite far out at times. I am sure that at some point we reached the polar circle mark, which is only a mile off the most northerly point of the peninsula, the Hraunhafnartangi point.
Twenty four hours and 52NM since departing from Tjornes we reached the town of Raufarhofn. The most northerly settlement on Icelandic mainland, with a modern monument of Arctic Henge.