Ocean swimmer and artist Benedikt Lafleur is planning to establish tourism services offering ocean swimming in Skagafjörður, North Iceland. Benedikt obtained a tourism operator’s license from the Tourism Board (the 500th license issued since 2006) last week.
Drangey in Skagafjörður. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Benedikt is organizing experimental swims in the coming weeks and intends to fully enter the tourism market next summer, Fréttablaðið reports.
“As I’m based in Skagafjörður I will naturally take advantage of the prime conditions on Reykjaströnd, as others have before me,” Benedikt said, referencing Icelandic Saga hero Grettir Ásmundsson.
Grettir reached land on Reykjaströnd after swimming from the island Drangey in Skagafjörður as his fire had gone out. A natural pool named after the hero, Grettislaug, is located on Reykjaströnd, where swimmers can warm up after the cold swim.
Benedikt is also planning to expand into other ocean swimming tours around the country. He is a keen practitioner of the sport himself and is currently working on a master’s project on the influence of ocean swimming on people’s health.
In other news, three Icelandic ocean swimmers, Benedikt Hjartarson, Árni Þór Árnason and Jón Sigurðsson, are planning to repeat one of the most famous jailbreaks in history and swim across the San Francisco Bay from Alcatraz on July 28, Morgunblaðið reports.
Half a century ago, in June, 1962, the brothers Clarence and John Anglin, and Frank Morris, managed to escape the prison by swimming the four kilometers to shore.
Saturday’s trip was planned on the occasion of Jón’s 60th birthday. The swimmers expect to battle strong currents, but hopefully no sharks. The ocean temperature in San Francisco Bay is around 13°C (55°F).