Rounding southwest Iceland, we arrived in Reykjavik and under instructions from the harbor master tied up at a small yacht club surrounded by a massive construction site. Again we were the only sizable powerboat in sight except for a fleet of commercial tour boats. As we relaxed watching the busy harbor before the sun finally dipped below the horizon at midnight, we began to grasp what a unique experience we were having. Here we were in Reykjavik, Iceland, at 64.08 N, and we had arrived on a private yacht - a motoryacht in fact - which seemed, at least to many outsiders, to be quite a remarkable achievement.
With a population of nearly 200,000 in the greater metropolitan area, Reykjavik is a busy, sophisticated city known for its fine cuisine, nightlife and beautiful women. (Conklin and I decided that the Vikings must have taken only the finest females when they raided the Nordic countries.)
Exploring the countryside by car, we were fascinated by the lush farmlands, towering waterfalls, natural hot springs and beautiful Icelandic horses, all of which were juxtaposed by acres of ominous moonscape, lava and ash-laden fields of dead flora. Attempting to drive closer to Eyjafjallajökull, we were forced to turn back by a dangerous ash cloud that had suddenly formed in high winds. The ash covered everything in sight, including the crushed lava path we were on, causing a total “gray-out.”
Tony Fleming continued his voyage on Venture II, circumnavigating Iceland and crossing the Arctic Circle while visiting Grimsey Island, the northernmost inhabited island of Iceland. After a lifetime of building yachts, he is now inspiring others to follow in his wake. One of his blogs states, “A yacht offers a means of travel like none other. While continuing to live in familiar surroundings, it allows you to draw aside a curtain and glimpse, if only briefly, ways of life outside your own which in turn makes you a wiser and more understanding person. The real rewards are in the people you meet along the way both ashore and afloat - some of whom are making journeys which made our own look like a stroll in the park.” I can’t think of a better reason for owning such a beautiful, capable yacht.