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Swims with More Seals
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the week before our intended departure but Steve (Dry Suit Diver) and I were bouncing off the walls. He drove from London to mine (Leeds) on Thrusday afternoon with an intended "stupid oclock start" on Friday morning.

5.15 am we set off, Steve drove the first leg and I slept til Edinburgh!!! One McD's breakfast later and I drove the next leg to Inverness. The trip was scheduled around LPG stations and I think we got it pretty bang on. However, in Inverness the "TomTom" lady got it completely wrong and instead of sending us to an LPG station she sent us to the BP depot - they were unwill to sell us a top up of gas but did give us directions to a "proper" station!!!!

We arrived at Scrabster with plenty of time to spare which was good - as complete novices we had no idea what to do with teh car, kit or our selves. We arranged to go across as foot passengers on the Friday night and spend an extra night on board, before starting the diving on the sunday.

Shed on Wheels Number 7 (hence forth known as shed 7) was packed with all our kit and we made our way to the ferry. Steve and I (being slightly paranoid!!!) stood on the deck to make sure the correct shed went on!!!!

At the other side Shed 7 came off, but as we were a day early - it was dark - and the tide was out, the prospect of carrying full kit down a ladder was not inviting!!! Fortunately, the harbourmaster, let us lock out kit in his office ad we just took basics on board for the night.

We met up with a fellow diver who was also an "early bird" we were shown around and bedded down for our first night on board the Karin.

Karin is my first experience of a UK liveabord and apparently has been re fitted recently (as I never saw her pre re fit I don't know the specifics). The bunks to the rear of the boat are spacious, the a double size bottom bunk and a single on the top. The bunks are close to each other so he bottom bunk can feel a little like a coffin if you are right under, or possibly cosy if thats what you like!!! There was lots of storage space for bags, clothes etc etc. Theres a living area with tea and coffee facilities, and a kitchen, two toilets and a hot shower. Theres also a drying room for putting kit over night.

The deck as lots of space with two large benches, there were 5 of us on one side with ample room, so the deck would easy accommodate 12 people. There is both air and Nitrox available on board so no need to take two cylinders for the second dive.

Saturday was spent acclimatising and getting supplies. Steve and I had opted to cater for ourselves tho for a small fee you can have breakfast and lunch provided.

In the end there were 4 divers (including me and Steve) staying on board a boat with 14 bunks, one guy was staying in a local B+B and we were also joined by Baloo (Barry) and Kirsty who were filling their bank holiday with a bit of diving!!! So only 7 divers! Luxury!

Sunday we roped off for the F2 and our first experience in the flow. It was a tad windy and I do have to confess its the roughest conditions I've had to kit up in (but then again I'm a Southern Softie to that lot up there!!!), but I coped with a little help and we were ready for off.

Steve and I dropped in and we went down the shot, which dropped us onto the gun turrett. The wreck is lying on her port side but only the bow is in tact, much further back and she becomes just a pile of crumpled metal. We did a swim around the bow, finding chains and other bits and pieces. We then circled her again, in a kind of spiral motion, working our way up the wreck. At the very tip of the bow we found a hole and in the hole was a crab eating a sea gull - well 'ard crab for jumping out of the water and catching it ;). We left him in peace with his prized catch!!! The viz was a good 10 meters and anything stirred up was soon swept away in the current.

Apparently you can follow a rope out to the barge but when faced with a choice of 4 ropes, we decided against it!!!

Steve then went to do the SMB deployment. SMB went up and just as we were about to start the ascent steve lost BOTH fins (good effort that man!!).

Minor domestic underwater as I tried to get him to stop flapping around then I could locate them but he was having none of it!! We did find them but with the bottom viz now completely zero, I didn't want to risk trying to re attach them! We then did an "interesting" ascent with steve having no fins on!!!!!

Steve went up on the Karins lift and then I went second with his fins tucked under my arm!!

Minor note about Johns lift. The left goes down very deep in the water - ideal for taller blokes, but I'm 5 10 and found with when the lift stopped my feet were still floating a little above the platform - if you are quite short I would advise asking John to not lower it to its full extent and then you may get on it a bit better.

Back on board and Alan, Johns crew, had made a huge pan or veggie soup. It was absolutely GORGEOUS, steaming hot and with a few slices of bread, just what you needed.

After a short surface interval we arrived at the Mora. This is apparently an ex dive boat which was sunk as part of an “insurance job” or that’s what we were told.

We kitted up for a second time and dropped in. The swell was increasing and I had a hard swim to the shot line, it was only about 5 or so meters but felt like 5 miles!! On the surface, the swell was making me feel sick so I desended, trying to get out of the swell. The bottom was looming out of the haze and I turned to OK steve, but he wasn’t there. I was only at 6.8m and at a 2min time so I turned and went back up to the surface. Steve was there and apparently his inflator hose for his wing had been “washed” behind his back and he couldn’t reach it to deflate his wing. We both got back on the boat, steve in a bit of a temper (more with himself than anything!) and a fettle to secure it to his shoulder strap at the front was scheduled for the following morning.

We headed back into Stromness to alight and find food.

This is where it gets a little interesting. The four who were sleeping on the boat went for a pint or two in the pub and met up with the “Invincible” lot (and the Dundee brothers!). Steve and I decided to eat on the boat so went back. I’d gone to bed early and at about 10 ish I heard the others turn in too.

Steve and I were sharing a cabin in the aft and next door to us was another diver. The final and fourth diver was staying in the fore section of the boat in one of the other cabins.

At 12.41 (I checked my watch) I was rudely awoken by a banging. I lay there for a little while trying to figure out what it was. The banging continue for about 20 minutes and then the “next door neighbour” (don’t want to name names so lets just call him “X”) slammed his door and went stomping upstairs.

Now Steve snores (he won’t mind you telling you this) but I can sleep through it – no probs. But it would seem as tho our next door neighbour couldn’t. But instead of X picking up his sleeping bag and moving to the cabins in the fore or even knocking on the door and saying something to us – he felt the appropriate action to take was to kick the dividing panel between our rooms everytime Steve breathed.

For two hours I listened in horror as he basically beat the wall between us cursing and shouting. Now I’m not normally a softie but at this point I felt intimidated and basically frightened. His behaviour was not rational.

I went to the toilet, thinking it might offer him an opportunity to stick his head out of the door if he heard me moving but no. I ended up sitting on the end of the bed crying my eyes out because a) I was tired b) I was scared and c) I didn’t really know what to do.

Many of you might say “Why didn’t you go knock on his door?” Well, from what I could hear, I was scared. This idiot was kicking (I presume) the wall with one hell of a force and because I couldn’t rationalise I didn’t know what he was going to do when he opened the door – he might have lamped ME!

So I woke steve up and we lay there for a while, I explained what was going on (given that steve was now awake and not snoring the banging had stopped). We couldn’t stay awake all night and I was in bits. Eventually tiredness got the better of us and we drifted off. Only to be re awakened at about four by the furious banging again. Note Steve sleeps like the dead and slept through the banging until I woke him up.

So Steves asleep and still snoring, what sounds like WW3 is kicking off in the room next door and I’m laid awake panicking again. X then leaves his room again and goes up on the deck.

Now I know this next thing isn’t going to be rational but remember I’ve had little sleep, the guy next door is a crazy man and I’m scared. But all I could think was, what if he’s doing something to my kit. I know, in the cold light of day, that’s complete bollox but in all honesty I just didn’t know.

I’ve learnt some hard lessons in my life and one of them was “when you are in a situation where you feel threatened or intimidated – Get out” and I’m sorry that was what I did here.

I woke steve up (again) and cried some more but the decision had been made. I wanted to go home.

I use my hard earned cash and holiday entitlement to go on a holiday which is supposed to be FUN. And this wasn’t fun in the slightest. I couldn’t trust this guy, I didn’t want to share amusing details of my dive with him over a bowl of soup and there just weren’t enough people on the boat to avoid him. And if I’d tried it would have led to an “atmosphere” which would have made us all more miserable and the week would have spiralled (it’s a bit like a BSAC Social Incident Pit – wonder if it cumulates with death too!!!!!!!)

At 8 oclock both Steve and I got us and started packing. Steve wandered over the try and change our ferry tickets and I cried into my bag. At which point X says “this isn’t just because of me is it???” When I question him about moving bunks he says “But I did eventually at about 5 oclock” well yes after you’d spent half the night kicking the crap out of a wall and keeping everyone awake.

I didn’t want to discuss it, I was so distressed and I didn’t know what his reaction to anything would be. It was all so unpredictable and irrational, I would have spent the week living on egg shells in his company.

Unbeknownst to me, the other diver sleeping in the other end of the boat was already on deck packing his belongings too. Apparently he couldn’t hear steve snoring and just heard X kicking and banging all night. When Steve had told him the reason for X’s outburst he also decided to leave. His behaviour was described as “childish and immature” and no one could understand it.

I have to give John the skipper credit and I don’t want this to reflect on him in anyway. He spoke to other skippers on our behalf and found spaces on other dive boats who could take us out but to quote Y – “the bubble had burst” and we were all so mortified we just wanted to go home. We were all 4 of us Scapa Virgins and had high hopes of discovering the wrecks and being excited all week but now all we wanted to do was go home.

I have to give X a little credit, as we were sat in the ferry terminal he did ring us and apologise, John had spoken to him apparently and he felt that his behaviour had been inappropriate and he had learnt some lessons about “liveaboard etiquette” which all credit to him. He has also offered to refund the 3 of us part of the money we had paid for the holiday out of his own pocket. I told him that that was very gentlemanly of him to offer and I wasn’t expecting it at all but our decision had been made. I wouldn’t have been able to relax with the guy and I didn’t feel comfortable in his presence. And all X could say was that he’d had a stomach bug for 3 days before coming up to Scapa and hadn’t slept for 5 nights.

John had absolutely no jurisdiction to take sides and couldn’t order anyone off his boat, and none of us were up for a “fight” about who stayed and who went, so we left.

So home we came with a heavy heart. I haven’t fallen out with Scapa, I have every intention of going back and will use John and the Karin again. I liked his boat and his attitude and found him easy to talk to and get advice from. It just wasn’t right and we couldn’t have “re captured” the excitement after the fracas in the night.

However, to end on a high note, one thing to come out of the this weekend was that the great Kath/Porg rift has been healed, and we shared a cuddle in the car park (video available on UTube shortly ;) )

Lessons learned – don’t go on a trip with strangers – next time I’ll go as part of a group where I know everyone and know who is and isn’t a raving lunatic!

Lessoned learned by other divers (hopefully) – liveaboard walls are thin – take your own ear plugs if you are a light sleeper.

Heres to Scapa next time!! K XX
 

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very reason why not to book a liveaboard unless you know who you are going with... scares the living daylights out of me..

sorry to hear you had such a crap time, thank you for sharing the story, heres a green to put a smile (albeit a little) back on your face..

B x
 

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You did say it would be an eye opener Kath.

A shame how things turned out. I hope the next time fares better.

Adrian
 

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currently offshore, please leave a message
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so sorry to hear your holiday had to be cut short, glad to here you will be going back though.

sounds like the diving was good even if the night time wasn't....have a green to make u feel a very little bit better


xx
 

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life is too short
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always a good excuse to go back to scapa another time.
BTW how did you get on with the trwin set??
 

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Shit, that's heavy stuff. Sorry to hear about your ruined trip Kath :angry:

Clearly this guy's never been on a liveaboard before, I'd like to have seen his reaction to being next-door to Warmwater Gary & I last year - that would have been fun (and it wouldn't have been us going home early)
 

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"Dyson with Death" diver!
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Sorry to hear it. When i go on any livaboard i always find out who snores and who doesnt then make my bed where the quiet is as a cannot sleep with anyone who snores. Its very easy just to move to somewher quieter rather than make an issue of it. Why didnt "X" just move elsewhere???...job done!!
 

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Sorry to hear that. I remember having a bunk next to a heavy snorer and unless i was in mine sleeping before him it was a nightmare, however that kind of behaviour is uncalled for. Especially if there were plenty of spare cabins.

Maybe should organise a snorers do scapa trip, with free ear plugs :teeth:
 

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A Moderate from 04/01/07-24/12/12
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It seems outrageous that your trip has been ruined because of this.

Diving in general but liveaboard diving in particular requires a certain amount of laissez-faire and comraderie to make it work. I can't believe the other diver behaved the way he did, especially when there were other sleeping options.

Hopefully 2008 will work out better.

Mal
 

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The brains & beauty behind 'Kinky Divers'
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Sorry that your trip to Scapa was not all you wished for......

It can be absolutely amazing on a liveaboard with like minded people...... both our Scapa trips, Donegal, the South China Seas, Egypt & every trip we (Kinky Divers) go on is 'dry' (self imposed)
We have joined up with other trips which were not dry, but made the best of our trip, enjoyed the diving, but will not join another 'unknown' group I think.
Granted there was not the violence nor intimidation you felt on your trip, but I feel for you!
Jump on with one of the trips this summer, enjoy all Scapa has to offer, and I hope this will not put you off other liveaboards!
 

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Swims with More Seals
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
always a good excuse to go back to scapa another time.
BTW how did you get on with the trwin set??
Got on with the twins great. Still figuring things out but fantastic decision to move to them.

The F2 was a brilliant dive and has only wetted my appetite for the vis and condition of the other wrecks to explore. Def going back up!

K XX
 

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Swims with More Seals
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We have joined up with other trips which were not dry, but made the best of our trip, enjoyed the diving, but will not join another 'unknown' group I think.
I just want to clarify that I don't think this guy was drunk. I honestly believe that becuase he'd been ill and hadn't slept for quite a few days he just over reacted. Not that I am excusing his behaviour (definitely not!) but I don't think it was alcohol related.

K XX
 

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Irish Cave Diver in the making
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:boy_hug: :girl:
 

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So sorry to hear that your trip was cut short. i quite agree about the dangers of going on a liveaboard with 'unknowns'... on the other hand, i have been on trips with unknowns where we have got along brilliantly.

i would have been the same... panicking about my kit, and wanting to go home. I hope you manage to go back and have a better trip next time
:)
 

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on last legs
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why didn't you just tie a weightbelt around x's neck and send the fcukwit for a swim? He sounds like a right plonker to me.I mean it aint exactly difficult to move your sleeping arrangement for one night so you can sort it out in the morning now is it?
I'm honestly one of the worlds worst snorers, but the irony is that i just cant sleep if someone else is snoring!
A handy trick I've discovered over the years is to either become a pi**head, or get a slack handfull of the little yellow squashy earplugs.
Funnily enough - I have even been known to wake up a full caravan of people with my impressive early morning pumping:D

When's the next try at scappa - I may just be up for it :D
 

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The brains & beauty behind 'Kinky Divers'
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Sounds like alcohol HAD been partaken......

I just want to clarify that I don't think this guy was drunk. I honestly believe that becuase he'd been ill and hadn't slept for quite a few days he just over reacted. Not that I am excusing his behaviour (definitely not!) but I don't think it was alcohol related.

K XX
kath2407 said:
This is where it gets a little interesting. The four who were sleeping on the boat went for a pint or two in the pub
some people have a very low tolerance to alcohol, he may have been tired, he may have been ill previously, but nothing excuses Mr X making you uncomfortable.
I worked with a woman who had 1 drink & lost all inhibitions/manners/knowledge of what she was doing......

I snore, Juz snores, I've been on a boat where 4 people in a 6 berth cabin snored, with Juz snoring in the bunk below me but no-one ever made anyone so uncomfortable that they left a trip......
I did threaten to beat Gary (WWD) to death with a VR£ once in Scapa but we moved about, went to bed early and survived the snoring! :D

I vote for a dry boat (& I love my vino) everytime!
 

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Gutted for you Kath, and I am sorry that the other diver wasn't asked to leave instead of the 3 well-behaved other paying customers having to give up their holiday. :(
 

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Gutted to hear about your trip: strikes me the individual concerned had come on their own.......no surprise there then!!

On a more serious note I am unaware of ANY situation where it would be remotely acceptable to behave in that way in close proximity to other people: you have clearly travelled a long way for what was going to be a fantastic experience then marred by an individual who clearly lacks basic social skills and any form of common sense.:angry:

It is not right and it is absolutely not fair: I hope the offender reads this and some of the other comments offering a rather more direct solution to his issue and seriously reflects on whether they really want to continue in this sport, cos they will not make many friends behaving like that.
 

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Gutted for you Kath, I can't imagine what it was like to be in a position where you felt your best option was to leave :(

I'm sure you'll get yourself back there and have the great experience you should have had, not that it's much comfort now :(
 
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