Tides Determine Westman Islands Ferry Tours Skip to content

Tides Determine Westman Islands Ferry Tours

According to a schedule issued by the Icelandic Road Administration yesterday, Herjólfur, the Westman Islands ferry, will sail between the islands and the new harbor Landeyjahöfn three times a day during high tide in the coming days—spring tide is coming up. However, the first ferry ride this morning was canceled due to bad weather.

The Westman Islands seen from Surtsey, Eyjafjallajökull glacier is in the background. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Captain Ívar Gunnlaugsson expressed his concern that Landeyjahöfn had become too shallow for Herjólfur as sand and volcanic matter is carried into the harbor and so the ferry did not leave the Westman Islands yesterday.

Minister for Internal Affairs Ögmundur Jónasson pointed out that unusual and unmanageable circumstances are causing the disruption in Landeyjahöfn, referring to the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull and an unusual wind direction which caused more matter to be carried into the harbor than expected, Morgunbladid reports.

The Icelandic Road Administration met with representatives of Eimskip, the ferry’s operator, and the Icelandic Maritime Administration to find a solution to the problem. One idea was to put the old harbor in Thorlákshöfn back into use but, according to Morgunbladid, that idea was dismissed.

The Road Administration stated a sand-pumping vessel will arrive at Landeyjahöfn on Thursday. The Westman Islands maritime pilot measured the depth of Landeyjahöfn yesterday and concluded that only around 2,000 cubic meters of matter has to be removed for Herjólfur’s sailing route to be considered safe.

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