No ice here. Just a green, green, green, island and water from here to the pole. Yearly average temperature here ranges from just -5°C to +9°C. The sea never freezes.

Gyda Birnisdöttir and her family live right on the Arctic Circle — or "Heimskautsbaugur” — on Grimsey, a tiny (5 sq. km) island in the Greenland Sea and the only part of Iceland that touches 66°33’ North.

Visitors come to Grimsey by ferry from the mainland and by air (if the planes can find a space amongst the circling Arctic Terns to land), to enjoy of the hospitality of the 81 people who live on the island but also to experience puffins and terns like no where else on earth. If Grimsey is for anything, it is for the birds! Details of day tours are available from

No c, q, x, y or z, but it's fun to have a go writing your name in the ancient runic alphabet of the original Icelanders.

It’s also a place for fishermen. Suafar Gylfason, Gyda's father, and younger brother (by eight minutes) Bjarni own a 20-ton Icelandic fishing vessel, "Nunni."

The daily catch is mostly northern cod, which seem bigger and more plentiful as the sea around Grimsey has warmed, caught in gill nets along with colorful orange karfi and the occasional vicious spotted catfish.

Has global warming changed much in the lives of Grimsey fishermen? Not really. The fish might be bigger and they seem to grow better in the warmer water, they say. What's not to like about that? They are doing what Icelanders have always done. Only now, thanks to onboard Internet on the ships, the catch is sold electronically before they reach port to unload.

The farming and fishing traditions of Iceland go back to the very beginning and are described in the Arctic's oldest written texts, the Saga and Eddas, which are kept in the Culture House in Reykjavik.