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Article posted: 3/16/2013 6:00 AM

Snorkeling in wintry Iceland frigid, but inspiring

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Snorkelers traverse the popular Silfra rift in Iceland. Despite its near-freezing temperatures, Silfra has become a popular site for divers.

Courtesy of DIVE.IS

Louis Kotze of DIVE.IS gives instructions to snorkelers at Iceland's Silfra rift, which is fed by glacial water.

Associated Press

Snorkelers traverse Iceland's Silfra, a rift fed by glacier water. Because of its pure water and stunning colors, Silfra has become a popular site for divers despite near-freezing temperatures.

Courtesy of DIVE.IS

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A view from above of snorkelers in Iceland's Silfra rift.

Associated Press

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The air above the Silfra rift in Iceland was freezing and the water in it was only a couple degrees higher, just warm enough to be liquid. Going under was a small shock to the skin -- but stunning to the eyes. The weak light of a grayish Icelandic winter day transformed into an intense glow of blues and greens, offset by brown and golden sand and rocks. From above, Silfra is just a dull ditch between dark chunks of lava; from below, an extravagant, eerie maze.
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    • Snorkelers traverse the popular Silfra rift in Iceland. Despite its near-freezing temperatures, Silfra has become a popular site for divers.
    • Louis Kotze of DIVE.IS gives instructions to snorkelers at Icelandís Silfra rift, which is fed by glacial water.
    • Snorkelers traverse Icelandís Silfra, a rift fed by glacier water. Because of its pure water and stunning colors, Silfra has become a popular site for divers despite near-freezing temperatures.
    • A view from above of snorkelers in Icelandís Silfra rift.
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