In many Icelandic families there has been a long line of fishermen and Erlendur’s family is no exception. Erlendur started with following in his father’s footsteps, and his grandfather’s before him etc., but he knew that this was not his way to go so he decided to change. He did not really go very far since instead of staying on the sea he chose to discover what was underneath the surface.
Erlendur works as a commercial diver specializing in Research Diving and underwater photography. Since 2010 he has been operating diving trips with tourists at the chimney areas, Ásbyrgi canyon, Grímsey Island as well as teaching diving as a PADI instructor. He also serves on the committee for the protection of the submarine hydrothermal chimneys in Eyjafjörður, North Iceland.
Erlendur started his diving career diving for sea urchins in 1993. Three years later took a job at the Marine Research Institute of Iceland, where he learned underwater research from his mentor Karl Gunnarsson, marine biologist. Together Erlendur and Karl did underwater research by the volcanic island Surtsey where they dove by the new lava in Vestmannaeyjar. They also did research on sea urchins (Strongilocentrotus droebachiensis) in Eyjafjörður, the ocean quahog (Arctica Islandica) in Þistilfjörður and many other creatures and phenomenons.
In 1997 Erlendur became a certified commercial diver and consequently discovered, and was the first to
dive down to, the worlds largest geothermal underwater chimney in shallow water, situated just offshore
from Ystavík bay in Eyjafjörður. In 2001 the hydrothermal area became the first underwater protected area
in Iceland. The same year he dove down to wrecks located at the harbor of Akureyri (a German bark
Standard built in 1874), in Krossanes and Hrísey.
In 2004 a new hydrothermal chimney area was discovered in shallow waters of Eyjafjörður and were
named Arnarnesstrýtur. Since this discovery Erlendur has worked with the University of Akureyri and the
Icelandic Geosurvey on researching Arnarnesstrýtur. In 2007 the Icelandic minister of environment
designated Arnarnesstrýtur a protected area and Erlendur received special recognition for his work to
having the area protected.
Phonenumber: +354 862 2949
Instructor number: PADI MDST 275423
Digital Underwater Photography Instructor
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