Iceland… Why would I , a caribbean girl ever decide to go to Iceland?
Not just go there. But get in a wetsuit in 5 degrees and windsurf in dark unknown waters??
Iceland was the location both Manu and Julian were really excited to go and film.
They didn’t have to persuade me at all a couple of months ago. I said yes because, sure, why not go to Iceland? In the back of my mind though I could already feel the cold water seeping into my wetsuit, my booties and my gloves. My hands and feet would slowly go numb as would my face. Everytime I’d fall in and go under I would have to endure a brainfreeze. Sure I was looking forward to some breathtaking lord of the rings type of landscape, but no. I did not want to get in the water. I just decided not to think about it and cross the cold water bridge when I got there.
Day by day the trip to Iceland got closer. I was silently hoping that there wouldn’t be much wind so I wouldn’t have to go sailing much. I grew quiet while Julian became increasingly excited about the unknown land. The land where the sun wouldn’t go down, hot springs appear out of nowhere, Geisers explode into the air, waterfalls at every corner of huge mountains, icebergs float around in lagoons and where –to Julian’s great pleasure- hotdogs are served at every gas station. The land of beautiful!
Before I knew it we landed in Reykjavik and we met up with Manu.
It was dark and I could only see barren land. Above all. It smelled like rotten eggs. That was sulfur coming from the ground. This island is alive!!
At one in the morning we were welcomed with open arms By Rafn & Hjordis as well as their there girls Arna & Emilia the next morning, Our Iceland family for the timebeing. It was great staying with them. Definitely because they are hilarious and the girls were sweet and entertaining. But we heard so many stories about iceland and really could get a taste of their culture because of them.
My prayers of no wind went completely unheard. I really would have to get into my wetsuit more than once. Sometimes more than once in a day.
The first day we decided we go for some slalom sailig in a lake between the mountains. The view was really amazing, with snow on the mountaintops.
but it was 8-9 degrees outside.
Although I really didn’t want to go I just stopped thinking and went on with it.
I was there for a reason and I wasn’t going to give up right then and there.
They say magic happens when you’re outside of your comfort zone. Right..?
I accepted my fate and went on to rig my 7,8 and 110l. I soon started having trouble rigging up because my fingers were slowly going numb.
I put on my wetsuit for the first –of many times- time this trip. I Struggled with the 5mm booties and finally put on some open palmed mittens and carried my stuff to the beach while having a mental battle with myself. Suck it up SQ !!!
I got in, got up and started planing. I was wearing so much rubber I was completely out of touch with my equipment, but I started planing and soon was cruising on a lake surrounded by mountains. Breathtaking, really!
However after a couple of minutes I was getting cold. The wind shifted about 90 degrees and back so I crashed into the water. My hands were numb within 30 seconds. And I went straight back to the beach.
The last time I had been that cold was in Holland in 5 degrees weather. I ended up crying on the beach because of the pain. Since then I really disliked cold weather.
Here I find myself in Iceland doing a film project reliving that pain but it was even worse than the first time. My hands were on fire for 5-10 minutes and went from bad to worse before the pain slowly started to reside.
I’m not going to lie. I was really upset because exactly what I was afraid of happened. And this was only the first day.
Who cares if magic happens outside of the comfort zone !? I wanted to fly home then and there. This would definitely be the worst trip of my life.
It took me a while to recover from that and calm down. Thankfully the boys decided that we would go for a roadtrip the next days and focus on stand up paddle shots so I wouldn’t have to get in the water too much. We drove around the Island in a couple of days and found some really sweet locations. The most amazing time of day would start around 9pm and last till the sun setted at 11:30pm. I slowly got used to the colder weather and putting on my wetsuit etc.
Back in Reykjavik we went sailing with Rafn, who has really given us some golden tips for sightseeing there. It was a challenge to get back in the water after that first day but the second freestyle session was a lot of fun together with Rafn.
I sailed with my 4,8 and had thicker mittens this time. Also I learned that the cold only lasts for a little bit. You literally have to shake it off. Swing your arms around until your hands start tingling. Endure the pain for a bit and then you’re good to go. Together with Rafn we had some really nice sessions and saw some nice spots. I never thought this place would be so windy. I was able to do slalom waves and freestyle. Above all it’s such a rush to sail in a location where you’re surrounded by beauty.
By the end of the trip I still didn’t look forward to get in the water but I wasn’t afraid of the cold anymore. Because it’s only temporary. I found myself getting in the water in 5degrees weather and 30 knots of wind and having a blast!
I realized that it’s better being in the water moving around than standing still on the beach filming.
Julian and Manu were the real soldiers. Thank you guys for having patience and putting up with me 🙂 But most of all for taking me to such a beautiful place to windsurf. I wouldn’t have gone there by myself. But now am happy to say that I’ve sailed it!
Huge thank you to Rafn & hjordis for hosting and taking care of us.