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  • - [Mark] Ahh, was that graceful?

  • About to go snorkeling in the Silfra fissure.

  • Some of the clearest water visibility in all the world.

  • (gulps)

  • Iceland.

  • (tribal music)

  • Hi everybody, I'm Mark Vins

  • and welcome to a very special edition of On Location.

  • One that features just me,

  • the director of the Brave Wilderness channel

  • and also the host of--

  • (record scratches)

  • Oh, I'm not allowed to say that yet?

  • - [Man] Nope!

  • - Okay, more on that later.

  • For now, I'm just the director

  • of the Brave Wilderness channel

  • but some of you might also know me

  • as the guy who often asks Coyote...

  • You alright, what are you feeling?

  • - Ahh!

  • - [Mark] You alright?

  • You alright man?

  • - Ahh!

  • - I read the comments, guys.

  • Yeah, that guy.

  • But for those of you out there

  • that have no idea who I am, hi, I'm Mark,

  • and I'm the one who's been filming

  • the adventures with Coyote Peterson you've been watching

  • for the past four years.

  • In that time, we've gotten all kind of questions

  • about how we do our productions

  • and how we make videos for the Brave Wilderness channel.

  • In an effort to answer some of those questions,

  • I thought, hey, why not get in front of the camera,

  • do some base camps, do some on locations,

  • and hopefully shed light on all things production

  • surrounding the Brave Wilderness channel.

  • To kick things off, let's start

  • with one of the most common questions that we often get

  • which is "Guys, how do you pick which location

  • "you're actually going to explore?"

  • That's one of those questions

  • that truthfully has many answers.

  • But one of the ways that we pick where we're gonna visit

  • is that I actually go ahead of the team

  • to scout the location in advance.

  • I could just tell you about this

  • but I thought it sure would be a whole lot more fun

  • to take you guys with me out in the field

  • to show what one of these adventures is actually like.

  • Recently, I got to visit the country of Iceland.

  • Iceland is one of the most amazing places

  • that I have ever visited, bar none.

  • Honestly guys, it's a place that I wanted

  • to visit since I was a little kid.

  • So I'm super excited that this is one of the first

  • pre-production videos that I'm going to share with you guys.

  • So without further ado, let's get out of this studio

  • and head into the field and check out

  • what kind of cool Icelandic adventures I discovered.

  • Iceland, a country sprawling with dramatic landscapes

  • and explosive volcanic terrain.

  • A place that truly embodies the meaning

  • of the word adventure with every vista

  • and every step forth on its craggy soil.

  • That's a volcano.

  • Just erupted eight years ago.

  • For me, this would be my first visit

  • to the Nordic island nation that is far more green

  • than it's northern neighbor of Greenland.

  • However, this would be no traditional adventure,

  • it was a solo mission.

  • My goal?

  • To scout further expeditions and adventures

  • for Coyote and the crew.

  • A mission I have led myself many times in the past.

  • Remember those dinosaur footprints?

  • Yep, I found those months earlier

  • on a scouting expedition in southern Utah.

  • But now, because of advancements in camera technology,

  • I can take you with me on these exciting

  • and often unexpected adventures.

  • Here we go, it's time to go snorkeling.

  • In freezing water, let's do this.

  • While on my Icelandic journey,

  • I explored places like the Valley of Thor,

  • rode Icelandic horses, and even got to visit

  • a world famous spa, the Blue Lagoon.

  • I still don't know what that is on my face

  • but hey, everyone was doing it, so why not?

  • Anyways, there's one particular adventure

  • on this expedition that I simply couldn't wait to show you.

  • That being my journey into the icy waters

  • of the Silfra fissure.

  • The fissure itself is a by-product

  • of the North American and Eurasian

  • tectonic plates drifting apart,

  • leaving in their wake multiple rifts

  • that fill with some of the purest water on the planet.

  • Alright, guys, about to go snorkeling in the Silfra fissure.

  • Some of the clearest water visibility in all the world

  • and actually, one of the only places

  • that you can dive between two continents.

  • Literally we are standing in the fissure

  • that separates Eurasia and North America right now

  • and we're gonna go diving in a natural spring.

  • It's very cold, we definitely don't want water

  • getting inside our suits because

  • it's around two degrees Celsius, just above freezing.

  • It's gonna be pretty awesome.

  • We're about to go get our snorkel gear together

  • and get in, so let's go.

  • (Mark groans)

  • Was that graceful, look good?

  • No, okay.

  • Well, it's gonna keep me warm so that's what's important.

  • As I walked down the steps of the platform,

  • a nervous anticipation started to set in.

  • Entering 36 degree Fahrenheit water

  • isn't something I tend to do everyday.

  • I mean, this water is only four degrees above freezing.

  • Safe to say, it doesn't get much colder than this.

  • So guys, my sister's helping us out today.

  • Say hi to everybody, Yvette.

  • She came by to Iceland with me,

  • so she's the cameraman today.

  • Here we go.

  • We're gonna go snorkeling in the Silfra fissure.

  • Time to get in.

  • As I plunged into the water,

  • my face was instantly met with a stinging sensation.

  • The shock distracted me, but then suddenly,

  • an explosion of color.

  • This landscape was absolutely surreal.

  • Something straight out of the pages

  • of a science fiction novel.

  • And to top it all off, the water was 100% crystal clear.

  • It was nearly unbelievable.

  • The visibility in the fissure on a good day

  • is said to extend well beyond 300 feet.

  • And I think we can all look at this footage and confirm

  • that that is definitely true.

  • I could see now why so many people with a fear of heights

  • have issues with this experience.

  • It literally felt as if nothing was between me

  • and the bottom of the fissure.

  • In fact, the sensation was actually closer

  • to that of flying than it was to swimming.

  • That is, until I tried to actually kick with my fins.

  • The dry suit, while providing life-saving warmth

  • and insulation, made it nearly impossible to move.

  • The buoyancy it created restricted my movements so much

  • that, to a large degree, I was only able to move forward

  • by the assistance of the current.

  • However, I will say this lack of mobility

  • actually allowed me to relax and enjoy the experience

  • as a whole and really take in all the color

  • and spectacular scenery.

  • Sometimes, it's nice to just be along for the ride.

  • So how does a place like the Silfra fissure come to exist?

  • As it turns out, Iceland sits smack dab

  • on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which is formed

  • by the separation of the North American

  • and Eurasian tectonic plates.

  • In Thingvellir National Park, the separation

  • of these plates expands nearly one inch every year.

  • But over the course of millions of years,

  • it has created fissures, which are filled

  • by a natural aquifer and glacial meltwater

  • from the surrounding peaks.

  • This water moves slowly, very slowly.

  • In fact, in can take up to nearly 100 years to travel

  • and filter itself through the porous volcanic soil,