To be honest, I was a bit doubtful concerning last night´s tour. The solar activity level was decent for sure, but the weather was far from that. For the past couple days, the weather forecast for Saturday Night looked great: Clear skies over most of Iceland´s inland. However, starting Friday, the forecast started looking slightly grimmer. Ultimately, on the actual day of the chase, it looked that most of Iceland would be covered in thick clouds.
Bummer, thought I. But tour they was to be in any cases. We had between 70 and 90 guests for the night and cancellation would probably have resulted in great unhappiness among the guests, who might then proceed to grab pitchforks and menace our physical integrity. Tour there would be.
According to the weather forecast, among the thick, evil clouds covering most of the country, there was to be One spot with clear skies there: namely the area North of Borgarnes. Still according to the weather report, there should be open skies up there between 18.00 and 00.00, with more clouds coming in after that. That was quite a limited window of opportunity but one that might do it, with lots of luck.That´s me to the right when weather doesn't behave
So we started the tour as usual around 21,00 and quickly headed North. There was to be four buses tonight and I was entrusted the care of the bigger one: a behemoth filled with 36 hopeful Northern Lights Hunters. As usual, I tried to explain a bit what seeing the Northern Lights depends on and made them understand that the weather conditions were quite dire. For more than 75 per cent of the ride North, there wasn't even a single start to be seen in the clouded skies. We passed Hvalfjorður, Arkranes and Borgarnes and continued Northward on the road leading to Breidafjorður.
We drove for about Ninety Kilometers heading North during this Night.
Suddenly, some guests raised the alarm, there were some starts to be seen. Good, though I, but that still doesn't mean that Northern Lights will show. A couple of minutes later though, some other guests reported some "lights" on the horizon. These were very faint, and because of the reflections on the bus´ window, it wasn't clear what it could be (artificial light pollution? The moon? Some random clouds?). We still decided to stop and have a go. Upon leaving our vehicle, there was indeed quite some light around an otherwise quite cloudy horizon. I borrowed some guest´s camera, snapped a picture and here it was! The following pictures should be proof enough that sometimes, recklessness can actually pay of: