Thursday 8. September 2016

CMM Field Trip to Hornstrandir and Vigur

The weather was exceptionally good last Saturday when the new cohort of CMM students took off from the harbour in Ísafjörður to go on a short field trip. Two destinations were on the agenda, the village Hesteyri in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve and the island Vigur in Ísafjarðardjúp bay. A local boat company, Sjóferðir Hafsteins og Kiddýjar provided the vessel Ingólfur for the trip. This field trip was the final orientation event as well as an end point for the introductory course Icelandic Society, Environment and Natural Resources.

The trip began at 10:00 in the morning when the vessel Ingólfur eased out of Ísafjörður harbour towards the abandoned village of Hesteyri in the Jökulfirðir area of the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. At Hesteyri students learned about natural conditions and culture of the now abandoned area of Hornstrandir. Students also learned basic things about how the Nature Reserve is managed. The stop at Hesteyri began with a walk around the village and finally a short hike to the old Norwegian whaling station at Stekkeyri that is still partially standing more than 120 years after it was built. It was not easy to leave the wonderful place Hesteyri on this exceptionally good day. Seals lay comfortably on rocks on the shore, a group of dolphins came close to shore to check out the humans, an arctic fox was clucking up in the hill and the blueberries were perfectly ripe. But there was still one more place to visit so the group pushed on to the boat that took it to the next destination.

The boat sailed on towards the island Vigur in Ísafjarðardjúp bay at 14:00. Once the boat docked there the group walked around the island and learned about its nature, the large puffin colony that spends the summer there but has now left off to sea and the eider duck colony that inhabits the island in perfect harmony with the farmers that utilize their down. The farmers at Vigur welcomed the group with coffee and cakes and after that the farmer Salvar Baldursson gave the students a tour of the eider down processing.

A great day had come to an end and after this wonderful trip to Vigur the boat sailed on back home to Ísafjörður.

The group at Hesteyri.
The group at Hesteyri.