Saturday, June 12, 2010

Diving the Divide

End of the conference yesterday, and phew, has it been great and exhausting! It's always good to catch up with folks, I always get to catch up with the European crowd at this meeting too, which I really enjoy, as it doesn't happen too often. But jet lag, combined with late nights and midnight sun have meant not much in the way of sleep this week. It's 8.30pm, i'm in bed, and as soon as this post goes out i'm turning out the light to try and catch up.

So this week has also been my birthday, wowsers another year tacked on there. Don't ask me which year, i'm way to tired to remember. The conference dinner fell on my birthday, so I got a whole round of Happy Birthday from the deep sea biology crowd, a tad embarrassing, but it was followed up by a few glasses of wine so that was good. For my birthday I decided to go diving in the plate divide today, the area between the american and european plates, and an area that increases by around 2cm per year. It was good, a little brief for what it costs, but the good thing is it got me another 2 dry suit dives.

All in all i've been a little underwhelmed by Iceland. The people generally have not been too friendly (there are of course exceptions), the weather has been overcast, the countryside bleak, the food pretty bad (except for tonights Meat Soup....don't ask me what was in it, but it was delicious!), and the sights somewhat disappointing. To try and fix this my dive buddy Nicole and I are going to rent a car tomorrow and take a wander outside of Reykjavik - I hope it can change my mind.

Nicole and I unable to breath in our way too tight dry suits. The benefit - no leaks this time. The problem - swollen purple hands and a slight light headed feeling here and there...

America to the right, Europe to the left - diving in the rift valley! I wish this picture was me, it isn't, but it's exactly what we saw!

I wish I could say it was awesome, it was pretty cool, but we were on a group tour and the guys in front kept kicking up sediment. There were moments like the above, the geology was awesome, but the whole dive was just so so because of the crowd factor. My dry suit was so tight I couldn't stretch up enough to put my mask on, so that didn't make me feel great, I thought they would have more gear available to go with, but they just bought one set per person and hope they fitted, so it was kind of a make do situation. I'm not totally disappointed or anything, I guess I was just hoping for a little more....

Looking above the ridge.
Into the starting point.
I moved out of my apartment today - it's been awesome to stay with Jeff and students, really saved a boat load. So i'm now in a cheap guesthouse until Monday when I fly back. A guesthouse with possibly the smallest en-suite i've ever seen!


Nicola (Which Name?) said...

Sent you a birthday email Thursday, but not sure you are getting email. Hope it was a good one. I think I remember which one (but I will vouch for the fact that you have been wrong about your own age, before).
Sorry it has been underwhelming. Good to know. I do think diving the divide LOOKED awesome in the photo, even if not!

PleaseRecycle said...

The photos from the divide look pretty amazing even if not in real life. It's always a bummer when things don't quite live up to your expectations.

Happy (belated) birthday though. Hope the rest of the trip goes well. And that en suite bath looks about the same size as one I had in Geneva!