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In a post on Divernet about a year ago, someone (Peter K??) wrote that there are some excellent, seldom-dived wrecks in Scapa, a little further away, that are much better than ”that German high sea fleet nonsense that everyone goes to”, or words to that effect. I would be interested to hear more about this.
 

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That's Dude with an E
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l have been told by other divers and our skipper this year that there are good wrecks outside Scapa Flow but they are weather and tide dependant and that you have to go deeper to get the more intact wrecks.

Two things John, hadly anyone goes to Scapa the diving industry up there is struggling to survive, it costs less to go on a livaboard to Egypt.
And I doubt that anyone can describe a unique wreck site like Scapa as nonsence or words to that effect, where else can you dive such a concentration of relatively intact, mostly sport diving depths, wrecks in a sheltered location in the northern hemisphere?  

Out of twenty four planned days diving in Scapa we've lost one day due to bad weather, which is another good reason to dive "that German high sea fleet nonsense that everyone goes to", or words to that effect.
 

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one wreck that you must do is the "James Barrie" , its an ocean going fishing vessel lying in 42m . We could see the whole wreck from 10m
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (diving dude @ Aug. 20 2003,23:56)]And I doubt that anyone can describe a unique wreck site like Scapa as nonsence or words to that effect, where else can you dive such a concentration of relatively intact, mostly sport diving depths, wrecks in a sheltered location in the northern hemisphere?  
Well, Howard, I haven't been there but I've heard very mixed reports on the diving in Scapa. Some people think it's fantastic, others say that most of the wrecks are basically just huge rusty hulls, upside down in many cases, and that just about everything of interest was removed by blasting or cable-sweeping decades ago. There's no denying the site is of immense historical interest but how interesting are the wrecks themselves? And somebody – I've a feeling that it was Peter K – did describe them in the terms I used. Anyway, the whole point of my question was to find out 1. if it's worth the considerable expense and trouble involved in going to Scapa and 2. more about the other wrecks alluded to in the post on Divernet.
 

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Finless: You couldn't invent him...
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John,

I went to Scapa with a group of guys from our club last year. In fact it is from the Scapa trip where I took my "posting name" of Finless after jumping off the boat with none on.


I had a great weeks diving BUT you need to be a bit of a wreck fanatic. The viz was not as good as I'd hoped BUT never less than 5 mtrs. Lots of swim throughs on the wrecks. I would imagine staying outside the wrecks is pretty boring as they are upside down for the most part.

We did one drift dive which we now call (with fond memories) the Zanussi. Pulled one metre away from the cliff face and that was it, sucked away on prabably the fastest drift I have ever done. Down from 16 mtrs to 36 mtrs back up to 10 mtrs back down to 25 mtrs and I had NO control over my buoyancy. It freaked me out a bit pumping air into my suit and wing and still going down deeper. When I eventually found myself at 5 mtrs I thought b*ll*cks to the safety stop I'm out of here. What a rush. Everyone had a scary tale to tell and the Skipper said he wasn't going there again. The amusing thing was he decided to give us something easy to dive as we'd all got pretty wasted at the pub the night before.

We are planning to go back next year and spend some time outside of Scapa diving the other wrecks you have mentioned. I have heard they are excellent.

I would recommend the Scapa trip to anyone provided they love wreck diving. The in between diving moments can be a bit boring but I found it a real pleasure to be away from crowds and smoggy air and I loved it. Having said that, I wasn't to impressed when I saw where I had to sleep on the boat - I'd been looking at too many glossy magazine reports on Red Sea liveabords etc.

IMO you need to be twinned up and OK with some deco to get the most out of the trip.

Oh, by the way, there is a Scapa trip report in the Sep issue of Sport Diver (have not read it yet).
 

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Orkney is a great place to be regardless of the diving. Dived there on two trips, both times, self arranged self catered accomodation in Stromness, and dived on the Triton, I think that's the boats name, all in the flow, don't know what else is up there.
Twins?----most of our group were happy with a suitable nitrox in 15l and a trusty pony. If you want to rack up the deco, you will need twins, you can have nice 40/50 minute dives on a 15l though.
Read up on the history-----and like every heap of scrap metal, it comes to life.
It is well worth a trip-----everyone goes to Scapa??? substitute for Red sea cattle boats and I would agree  


Don't give up diving until youhave been.

Cheers, Malcolm.
 

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Thanks, all, for the feedback so far. Much appreciated. I'd like a bit more info' about those other wrecks, though.
 

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Gully mate,

grab yourself a copy of the following book:

'Dive Scapa Flow', by Rod Macdonald, an on-line copy of some of its best bits can be seen here:

http://www.shipwrecksofscotland.com/index.html

ISBN: 1 85158 983 X
UK Price £14.99 (Hardback), it's very well written with both colour and B&W photies along with excellent sketches. It's also probably one of the best books on the Fleet outside of Gerald Bowman's definitive work, 'The Man who Bought a Navy', which is superb.

or contact the chap direct at:

[email protected]

Apart from the German Imperial High Seas Fleet, here's a list of the wrecks (not complete by any means) to be found in and around the Flow:

* UB-116 - in 26 metres of water.
* The 'James Barrie - in 43 metres of water.
* The F-2 (Escort Vessel) and 550 ton wooden barge YC-21 - in 16 metres of water.
* The Prudentia - WW1 wreck in 23 metres of water.
* HMS Roedean - WW1 Fleet Minesweeper in 15 metres of water in a well sheltered site.
* German E-Boat & Motor Torpedo Boat
* HM Drifter 'Imbat' - in 14 metres of water.
* HMS Strathgarry (Boom defence vessel), lies in 58 metres of 'crystal clear' water in Hoxa Sound.


.........and then of course you've got the 'Block Ships'.......


The Burra Sound Block Ships:

* The Inverlane
* The Gobernador Bories
* The Tabarka
* The Doyle
* The Budrie
* The Rotherfield
* The Ronda
* The Urmstone Grange


and then you've got the Churchill Barrier Block Ships:

Kirk Sound (No:1 Barrier)

* The Numidian
* The Thames
* The Aorangi
* The Busk


Skerry Sound (No:2 Barrier)

* The Elton
* The Ilsentein
* The Lycia
* The Rheinfield
* The F/C Pontoon
* The Teeswood
* The Cape Ortegal
* The Rosewood
* The Emerald Wings


East Weddel Sound (No:3 Barrier)

* The Empire Seaman
* The Lapland
* The Martis
* The Reginald
* The Gartshore


Water Sound (No:4 Barrier)

* The Carron
* The Collingdoc
* The Lorne
* The Gondolier
* The Juniata
* The Pontos
* The Clio
* The Naja


And TWO you can NOT dive, as they are War Graves:

* HMS Royal Oak
* HMS Vanguard

So, as you can see, Scapa's pretty limited when it comes to wreck diving!  


All the more reason why I should get my arris on one of the trips next year!

Hope this helps mate.
 

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Thanks, Bren! That gives me a few to be getting on with  
 

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Hi John,
         I'll get back to you myself at some point in the next couple. I'll need to blow the dust off the logbiik.

Try a search for the Maninas at Sule Stack. 35-40mtrs viz has been known. Also North Shoal and Nipple(I kid you not) Rock. The last two are really meant as scenics though the North Shoal does have a couple of trawlers though they tend to get ignored and people look more at the Geology and life.

Peter
 

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Finless.

We're planning on going back to Orkney to dive the outer Islands next year and the accomodation on the boat we used this time and will use next time was superb.
Checkwww.diveorkney.co.uk
The pickies on the website do not do the boat justice.

Out of interest what was the name of the boat you were on?
 

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Finless: You couldn't invent him...
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (diving dude @ Aug. 21 2003,18:44)]Finless.

We're planning on going back to Orkney to dive the outer Islands next year and the accomodation on the boat we used this time and will use next time was superb.
Checkwww.diveorkney.co.uk
The pickies on the website do not do the boat justice.

Out of interest what was the name of the boat you were on?
DD,

We stayed on the MV Jeane Elaine out of Stromness - I believe a converted trawler which was still having work done on it by the looks of things. I was last on board and ended up with the cabin no one else wanted.

The Skipper was very good and there was plenty of deck space for kitting up.

Rgds
Bryan
 
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