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Just had a call from an oppo in Glasgow and we were discussing possible trips for next year and Scapa came up. He tells me that he and some of his crew go every year and ususally use Skipper Andy Cuthbertson's boat, 'MV Jean Elaine'. She's available for either day-boat use or liveaboard and my mate reckons that he, the Skipper, makes all the difference as he's mustard on all the right wrecks - given the prevailing conditions on the day - and has both air and nitrox onboard, with 'other gases' available upon request. Here's the link for her:

MV Jean Elaine - Scapa Flow

Anyway, if any of you have either used Andy or have a comment (good or bad), please post here and gizz heads-up.

Cheers,
 

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Have dived off Andy's boat a couple of times - a few years ago now. He is superb, so's his boat and I'd go to him first if I went back to Scapa. Nuff said.
 

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I dived off it about 5-6 years ago as a liveaboard and thought the boat was crap. I am going up in two weeks to her again as a dayboat as I have been told it is much better.
We will see.
 

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Dived with Andy/Ronnie off this boat in June this year. Bloody brilliant. Great liveaboard (admittedly not full board as some are), excellent diving platform. Andy is a superb skipper, Ronnie's breakfasts are ledgendary. I have been on quite a few liveaboards in the last couple of years and this one rates very highly.

However, if you are looking at 2004, join the back of the queue. He is already fully booked and we are way back in the list waiting for a cancellation!

Go for 2005 though!

Paul
 

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I always dive with andy on the jean elaine - i would never think about going anywhere else.  Ronnie is as mad as a bucket of frogs and i love him to bits.  Its so funny watching southerners trying to work out what the hell he has just said!

Ask for the chicken joke.
 

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Ive been diving scapa for 20 years (yawn old fart) and started out on a day boat out of Burra , but the last three trips, done over four years, ive done a liveaboard with John Thornton on the MV Karin, and its been some of the best (laziest) diving ive done, you never touch your set other than to kit up and de-kit or check it, johns' assistant mixes your gas and tests whilst the rig is tied onto to the gunwhale of the ship, you sit into it to kit up, and walk ten paces into the water, getting out is the reverse and you store the rest of your in your bag/box undo the seat- sorted, the rig is refilled with whatever mix you want whilst you are having lunch,
John has never missed a wreck or slack water, and if the weather is good you will get to go outside the floe and do some different wrecks, depper than the floe and some stunning vis as well. He also does courses whilst doing real diving, and I learnt a lot about kit configurations under his watchful eye,having said all that about John Im sure i'm just biased as I have recently been on other boats.
 

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Bob Anderton who used to skipper the Sharon Rose now has his own boat, haven't used it yet but he is a great skipper.
 

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Thanks for the replies thus far people! I think that's a resounding thumbs up then!

Can anyone throw any light on this out fit? Again, good and bad experiences sought, pros and cons etc. - preferably 1st hand.

http://www.scapa-flow.co.uk/
 

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The livaboard we used this year was theMV Bounteous Sea
which is the second largest dive boat in Stromness the largest being the Invincible so if there was not enough space at the jetty the two boats would moor alongside each other which gave us the oportunity to look arround.

The Invincible is a large boat, new this year, with a bar & lounge below deck but a very cramped sleeping area.

There were eight people staying on board, some slept on deck some in the bar and l think only three smaller people in the bunks.
So although they thought that the skipper was excellent and a great boat to dive from given the choice next time they would use the boat we used, which had six twin berth cabins.
The skipper on the Invincible is Ian Trumpess, who is a great skipper and used to skipper the crappy wreck the Radiant Queen, which we used the first time we went.

To be fair, the boat was rushed into service, l think the skipper has plans to remove the bar and enlarge the sleeping areas and give the boat a face lift, it was a bit tatty this year.
 

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We used MV Invincible as a liveaborad back in August this year.

The skipper is very good.  He knows all the sites very well, catches all the slacks and the wrecks and runs a pretty tight ship.  He also has a good few yarns to tell; not least about locating and diving U-297.

The boat itself has plenty of room although the bunks are a little tight to get into, especially after a night in the Ferry Inn!  
  It has a large fully functioning bar complete with pumps & optics although Ian is planning on revamping it all during the close season to give the bunks etc more room.

I've dived a few of the boats up in Scapa and Ian runs one of the better ones although as someone mentioned earlier MV Halton with Bob Anderson is a good dayboat with a great skipper.

Safe Diving
 
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