Sea ice!

Not far from the base camp we used for getting to the ice cave was a glacial lagoon. The glacier extended down to the water’s edge, occasionally sending off large chunks of ice on journeys to the sea. Some of these became lodged in the narrow mouth of the lagoon until they melted enough to float free. Indeed the Icelanders has actually planted boulders on the lagoon bed to catch the bigger ice floes—the better to prevent the massive ones from damaging the bridge downstream or creating hazards for boats.

Interestingly, not all of the floes that escape into the sea manage to stay there. The rough surf, especially during significant storms like Dennis, throws the fragments back onto land, leaving the black sand beaches strewn with giant sparkling jewels of ice. Not an accident that it’s called diamond beach.

These shimmering block are gorgeous. The low winter sun shines through them as the surf crashes around the the ones that are further out and giddy adults swarm the ones that last nights storm surge threw farther inland. The effect against the black sand is truly magical.

Alas, we only had about 20 before we needed to leave, and our lunch time had been cut short as well. So I snapped a few photos, snarfed a scalding bowl of mushroom soup, and then climbed back into the van—but not before snapping one last shot of a couple of blocks that had made it past the boulders and were on their way our to see, and potentially eventually back up onto the shore.

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