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That's Dude with an E
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Scapa 2003

Sat 9th-  I pick up my daughter Rebecca at 3am and off we go on our fourth trip to Scapa.
5 pm arrive in Scrabster for 7.30 ferry to Stromness, ferrys late and finally board our livaboard at 11pm-  its quicker to go to Hull.
We booked the same skipper and boat that we had in 1999 and 2000 unfortunately although he a friendly guy hes not a good businessman and had packed in up and taken a job as assistant harbourmaster in Stromness, however he had arranged for another skipper with a newly re-fitted boat to take over his bookings and the boat was excellent.
Its the first british livaboard that I've come across that has six reasonable sized twin bunked rooms each with a hand basin, one shower below deck and one above, two WCs, fair sized lounge and fair sized galley with eating area. I've in the past looked over all of the livaboards that use Stromness and this is definitely the best for all-round comfort, privacy, deck space, easy ladder, good skipper

Day 1- We dived the Karlsruhe a German cruiser followed by a blockship called that we call the Go Banana (Gobernador Bories).
Day  2 The cruisers Brummer and the Koln,
Day 3 The Battleship Konig, and Cruiser Dresden, Rebecca missed the last dive because her neck seal ripped, l took it to Scapa Scuba when we docked and it was replaced and returned to the boat about 10pm- great service.
Day 4 The Battleship Markgraf and the F2 and barge
Day 5 The Cruisers the Dresden and Brummer
Day 6 The Koln and the F2 and barge again.

All great dives except the Markgraf, deep and v.bad vis

The cruisers were covered in small silver fish approx 30/40mm long. Reminded me very much of the glassfish in Hull but much more atmospheric.

Then on Saturday 16th Rebecca`s 23rd birthday we drove to Seahouses and met up with Rebecca husband and my wife and did the tourist bit on Sunday.

Monday dived with Dawsons of Seahouses on the Three Sisters, had tow fair dives but no seals.
Tuesday Steve W joined us, mainly as a translator, but we let him dive, he buddied Rebecca and myself for the first dive on the Hopper, Wow, seals galore, they seemed to like Rebecca`s green fins, rubbing there noses against and biting them.
However this on dive a small section of my dry suite zip detached itself so l got v.wet and could and decided not to do the second dive.
However whilst the others were diving Rebecca and l decided to snorkel amongst the Seals, l put on scuba because my dry suite leaked and we drifted into this narrow channel with seals on the rocks on both sides, as we got to about 3 mtrs from the seals they slipped into the water and just waited with there heads bobbing in the water, as we got nearing they dived swam under us and surfaced behind us.
At any one time during this 20mins we had at least six seals below us and about 50 in front on the surface.
Après dive the others had not seen as many seals as the first dive and we decided that we were better off on the surface. Absolutely fantastic day and a great end to our holiday.

I consider myself lucky that my recently married 23yr old daughter still wants anything to do with her old man, let alone spend 10 days diving with him.

We are going back to Scapa next year but we will do as Peter K recommended and that is dive the northern Orkneys, the boat we had was big enough and suitable for this. So if anyone else is interested watch this space.


<a href="www.diveorkney.co.uk" target="_blank">www.diveorkney.co.uk</a>

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Excellent report dude, diving sure can keep the family together, my same aged son even joined my wife and me on a club trip to St Kilda recently, plus we are off diving in theLot/Dordogne soon-------somehow I don't think a normal holiday would have interested him-------come to think of it, my wife and I only do diving holidays now  


All the best, Malcolm.
 

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DUE CEO, Booking agent, Coffee maker & Dogsbody...
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Howard

Nice report, the Brandenburg i sent you a text about is in the shipping lanes off Dover near the Varne. Slightly less of a drive to get there.

May well have to add the seals onto our Scapa trip next year.

Regards

Paul
 

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I didn't ever get round to reporting our Scapa trip back in June. But as everyone knows what the wrecks are and what the dives are like, I though I would hijack someone elses thread and give our itinery and a few comments:

Day 1 Koln and Karlruhe
Day 2 Dresden and F2
Day 3 Kronprinz Willheim and a drift through the blockships
Day 4 Brummer and "go bananas"
Day 5 Koln again then Tabarka (see later)
Day 6 James Barrie and F2 again

I have to say, apart from doing the battle fleet to say I've done it, the second dives were the better ones. The F2 is pretty cool along with the barge next to it. However, the best dive of the week was definitely the Tabarka. This is a block ship, upside down. You enter wherever you like (we entered right at the stern) and can then swim the whole length inside. It really is like a cathedral. I was running a Nitrox practical for someone so we had 75minutes down there!! Came out of the bow and drifted for a good few minutes doing stops as part of the Nitrox course. Lovely dive.

James Barrie, deeper than the rest (shallowest part = 38m, sea bed at 44) but viz 10 times better as its outside the flow. Not a bad dive, small enough to get round it all - even at 42m. Oil a real pain, it isn't just inside the wheel house as everyone says.  

Paul
 

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Scapa is big on my hit list, so thanks for the livaboard info Howard.

Nice report too, I hope I am as lucky with my two daughters when they get bigger.

ATB M8

Mark Chase
 
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