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I am a person NOT a number
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This trip report is focused on the diving operator Radiant Queen Charters rather then the wrecks we dived as I hope someone else will that was on trip will take the time to write that part up.

This was to be my 2nd trip to Scapa since I learned to dive several years ago and my buddy and I had decided having tried a UK liveaboard in Scapa we were not going for that again. I had been hearing excellent reports from friends about the skipper of the Radiant Queen and I contacted her at the end of last year to have a chat with her and to get an impression and Emily informed me that a lift was being fitted and would be in situ by the time we dived (and it was :girl_hug: . ) Mark my buddy put the feelers out to see if there was any interest for this trip and it quickly seemed we would manage to fill a boat so the booking was made.

Mark and I arrived on the late ferry on Saturday and as we docked the skies opened and it was horizontal rain and the car park was fenced off to stop illegal parking by the festival goers. So it was difficult emptying the container without help to bring it to the boat. Ben from Scapa Scuba was at the boat to welcome us to the boat as Emily was busy singing as it was Orkney Folk festival week. Scott helped Mark with the container and John came down and showed me to the accommodation.

Accommodation
John's description of it was that it was like a 4 star guest house and what an accurate description it was. The Dive Lodge is a few minutes away from where the boat is berthed. The house has a no shoe policy so all shoes were removed in a spacious vestibule and a shoe rack was provided. We were shown to our room for the week which was a triple bed with ensuite. The bedroom and bathroom were bright and clean with new furniture and fittings. The bedding was pure white and felt like good quality Egyptian cotton and on the beds sat 2 soft fluffly bath sheets for each person. You then go downstairs to a large living area with comfy seating for all of us should we choose to sit in together and a big plasma TV. This then leads down one step to a kitchen dining area that anyone would be proud to have in their home. Massive 5 ring gas cooker with oven which could accommodate 3 cooks at one time, dishwasher, washing machine and tumbledrier. Also tucked down there was the 'snorer's bedroom with a shower and toilet.

The Boat
This was a clean tidy boat (not sure what sort) which had plenty of seating area on the deck to accommodate 12 divers with boxes, twin sets and stages and also had the magical lift on its starboard side. From the deck after a dive there is a hatch to go down to a wet room to hang your suits then one could go forward to a warm dry area with seating or for sleeping. The toilet was immaculately clean and spacious and NEVER ran out of toilet paper the whole week. From the dry area you could go upstairs into the cabin and that is were we received our dive briefs and brews. This system of moving about the boat always ensured there was dry areas to sit. Emily also had a great system for providing brews straight after a dive and everyday there was a different cake for us to eat which she had baked.

Emily, with prior arrangement will cook meals for groups however I was told that the meals are 'very substantial' and personally I dont like to dive after a large meal so non of us on the boat went for the option. It was suggested to her that she might consider doing soup and a roll for next year instead which she says she may consider.

The Dive Briefs
The brief started off with sonar images of the wrecks and Emily giving some history of the wreck, this was then supported by photographs of all the various features she had highighted and their location to the shot. The briefs were excellent as it really enhanced the dive as 1) we would know what we were looking at and 2) we would know what we are looking for. Emily really does appear to know the wrecks inside out and made it for me a great experience.

The Weather
We had such a mix of weather conditions from flat calm seas and beautiful sunny t shirt weather to 50mph winds which resulted in some of choosing not to dive that day.

Evaluation
Radiant Queen Charter would always be my 1st choice for diving the wrecks of Scapa Flow as Emily seems to appreciate that divers going away on a dive trip, for many it is their holiday and therefore we also appreciate good quality standards. I did not hear one negative comment about the accommodation or the boat, only positive stuff from our group so it seems Emily has got it right.
Planning on going to Scapa next year? then I strongly recommend you try Radiant Queen Charters.
 

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I went on my first trip to scapa in may last year on Radiant Queen, it was absolutely awesome!!!

Can't wait to do it again, especially now they have a diver lift :)

I can't believe you passed on Emily's cooking!!!!!!! HUGE MISTAKE ;)
 

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give me convenience
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You must be nuts not to have gone for the food, its legendary! Robbie should know, he ate enough for six people. ;)

Best

Kev
 

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Have You Seen My 'Demi-john'?
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agree with yaz, great set up on radiant queen first class skipper spot on with briefings drop off and pick ups hot pint of tea handed to you as soon as you have sat down.
on the last day she gave us 3 choices to dive for first dive dropped 2 on prince wilelm 5 on mark graff and rest on the coln
and emilys buns are to die for

cheers john
 

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Radiant Queen Charters with the excellent divers lodge accomadation and the splended dive boat is by far the best dive operater in the UK. Hats off to Emily and a big thankyou for another fantastic weeks diving.
 
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