Scotland: Scapa Flow
Scapa Flow is undoubtedly one of the world’s top diving destinations, and even people who will never even get their feet wet are fascinated with what lies beneath its surface. Home to the German High Seas Fleet that was scuttled here on 21st June 1919, it offers a fantastic introduction to wreck diving and a stimulating challenge for technical divers.
The wrecks in Scapa Flow lie in water ranging from 24 – 45m deep, with the visibility extending to as much as 20m on occasion. The deliberate sinking of Blockships where the Churchill Barriers were built and within Burra Sound has resulted in exceptional dive sites, and the many other vessels that have since come to grief in Scapa Flow have added to the vast amount of sites worth visiting. Fast moving water here creates excellent visibility and attracts a large diversity of marine life.
SMS Dresden rests both on its port side and on an incline, with the bow sitting at a depth of 25 metres and sloping down towards the stern at 38 metres. This wreck a very unique dive within Scapa Flow, and offers enough hidden gems to please even the most veteran divers.
SMS Cöln rests on her starboard side, and is the most intact of the four cruisers remaining in the depts of Scapa Flow. The wreck lies at 36 metres, but extends up to 22 metres at the shallowest point. It is not a complex wreck to navigate, and combined with her depth, is well within the grasp of competent sport divers.
SMS Karlsruhe is the most broken up cruiser remaining in Scapa Flow, with her starboard side lying in 25 metres of water. This means that inaccessible areas on other cruisers become accessible here, with plenty of opportunity for exploration without the need for complex penetrations.
SMS Brummer was left largely intact by the salvage team and offers and enthralling dive, making it a firm favourite amongst many divers. The ship lies on her starboard side at 3 metres, with much of her arsenal scattered on the seafloor. There is no need for overly technical commitment, however some routes have become harder to navigate following a series of collapses.
SMS Kronprinz Wilhelm
The sheer size and scale of the SMS Kronprinz is remarkable, and she has retained a surprising amount of armament, providing a fascinating throwback to the ship’s service days. Lying between 2 and 38 metres, this wreck is well within the grasp of competent sport divers.
Often thought of as the jewel in the Scapa Flow crown, the SMS Markgraf is of a scale that surpasses anything experienced elsewhere in the world. The wreck remains in superb condition, demonstrating the impressive size of the König class battleships. Lying almost completely upturned in 45 metres of water, the wreck requires a level of technicality which the others do not.
The Tabarka was sunk to protect the entrance of Scapa Flow from enemy submarines, and now rests in the strong tides of Burra Sound. The fast current nourishes a rich array of fascinating life that plasters the sides of the wreck with a riot of colour and adds excitement to a dive that explores this unturned ship.
The MV Huskyan is a fantastic vessel that was newly built for the 2015 season, designed by divers and built to last. It offers everything you could wish for from a dive boat, including central heating for those cold winter days, and spotless showers and toilets. A dry changing room with large lockers is available, and there’s even cabins if anyone fancies an afternoon snooze! On the main deck you will find a large fully equipped galley, a spacious dining room, and a lounge area with comfy seating and TVs. Also on the main deck there’s a wet room, which includes a heated changing room/kit store with individual drysuit hanging facilities, a work bench for prepping equipment, a camera dunk tank and waterproof charging sockets. The dive deck itself is a huge 33m2, with spacious dive benches that can fit gear gulpers underneath. And if that wasn’t enough, the boat comes with a stainless steel diver lift that is extra wide to accommodate tec divers with multiple stages, and it even has a crane for getting all your dive gear aboard!
This is a UK Sea Diving trip, as such all dive sites are subject to weather conditions and adverse weather can affect site selection. The choice of dive site is at the absolute discretion of the Captain and the Scuba Leeds Trip Leader. We would expect at least Rescue, Deep, Wreck, Nitrox certifications.
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