I am so excited for tonight. Originally, we were supposed to have our Northern Lights boat tour on our second night in Iceland, but when we showed up at the kiosk, they told us it was canceled due to bad weather. We rescheduled for Sunday night (tonight) but there’s still no guarantee the tour will run. We called ahead before leaving the hotel and they said it was going, but as we’re walking through the city, it starts to snow!
It’s so beautiful and I’m thrilled to get a chance to see Reykjavik like this, but it also makes me nervous. Will we get a chance to see the Northern Lights?
Since we got back from the South Shore with little time to spare, we stop for a quick bite of dinner at the hotdog stand. Apparently Iceland is known for their hotdogs, and these are delicious! Who knew?
When we arrive at the kiosk, they confirm that the tour is still happening and the weather should be better out on the harbor. We choose a boat and hop on to wait for take off.
Almost as soon as we leave dock, the guide comes over the loudspeaker to let us know the lights are out, but very faint. I rush outside to see and am a bit mystified. All I see are clouds. The guide points out a faint, almost cloud-looking streaks in the sky and say that’s it. Huh. I take a few shots with my camera and sure enough, they come out green.
It’s not as brilliant as I was hoping, but at the very least, if this is all I see, I can still say I’ve seen the Northern Lights with my very own eyes!
Soon enough, the clouds take over and the lights disappear, so I head back inside to hang out with Emma. Right before we got on the boat, she informed me that she gets very sea sick. Now you tell me?? I try to distract her with talking, but I’m not sure it does much good.
After an hour, the guide comes back on the intercom to tell us that the lights are out again, but very faint. I decide to head back outside, just to see what I see. At first, it’s pretty quiet, but then I spy a few green spots in the sky.
I snap a bunch of photos and unfortunately, they’re all blurry. In order to get the lights to show up on the camera, you need a longer exposure, around 1 – 1.5 seconds. However, even with a tripod, on a rocking boat, everything comes out blurry. Such is the life of a photographer.
As I am watching the lights, they grow brighter and brighter, and move closer to us until it’s practically an explosion of color overhead, with greens and purples and lots of shouting “OHMYGOD! That’s so cool!!” by me, to no one in particular.
I’m so excited to see these, and the show is so spectacular, I can’t believe our good fortune. Even our guide is so impressed by the show, he can’t help but get excited himself. And you know if the guide is impressed, it’s a big deal.
Finally around 1030pm, we start to make our way back to the dock. Emma is so relieved as she is quite sea sick by now. But she did manage to see much of the show, and she agreed it was one of the best she had seen (she’s from Alaska and has seen them before).
It was such a great show and I’m beyond thrilled that we got to see them. The photos are blurry, but the imagines in my mind are crystal clear and I will forever have those memories. This is one of the parts of this trip I was looking forward to the most, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better!