Orkney – Scapa Flow

We awoke to really high winds and drizzle – not the best diving conditions. We ate a quick breakfast before heading down to the harbour.

Luckily, because there are so many wrecks there are some in slightly more sheltered locations and so after hopping aboard the massive boat (so much room) and meeting the other divers we set off for the F2. The F2 was a German escort ship given to the British as a war reparation. The boat sank in a gale in 1946 and rests between Hoy and Farra – hence the protection from the elements. The ship was sold to Metrec Engineering in 1968 and began being salvaged by a small wooden barge the YC21. However, the salvage boat also sank in a storm during the procedure and so lies next to the F2 connected still by a rope. The wreck is pretty shallow at around 16m and so made a great first dive of the day. We descended down to the YC21 first and saw some guns and the vice that has been salvaged from the F2 still lying in the wooden boat. After a swim through and spotting a huge conger eel along the bottom of the boar we followed the rope over to the F2 itself which has been broken in half.  We swam along and managed to pick out lots of cool features such as the rudder and A Frame. The ship is massive and so after a nice dive we surfaced having not even seen all of it. One of the best things about the boat was the drying room where you could leave your drysuit and hood, gloves etc to dry between dives. We de-kitted and had a really thorough de-brief from our divemaster. After a long surface interval as the weather got worse and our tesco lunch the decision was made that our second dive would be at the same location. This was a bit disappointing, there are so many wrecks as Scapa and so to do 2 dives on the same one seemed a shame but, in diving, safety has to come first and the team at ScapaScuba made the decision with that in mind.

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For the second dive we went in the opposite direction and it gave us the chance to spot even more of the features of the ship focussing on the broken end. The life on both of the dives was incredible and I was mesmerised the whole time by looking into a part of WW2 history. However, the absolute highlight for me was definitely my first ever dogfish/catshark. We actually spotted 2 but one of them was hiding under the wreck and so it was only a fleeting glimpse. However, the second was swimming around an entrance to the wreck. It spent a minute checking us out and then once it realised we were not that interesting swam away into the blue with a flick of its tail. It was mesmerising.DCIM102GOPROGOPR3639.DCIM102GOPROGOPR3641.DCIM102GOPROGOPR3645.DCIM102GOPROGOPR3647.DCIM102GOPROGOPR3650.DCIM102GOPROGOPR3653.DCIM102GOPROGOPR3668.DCIM102GOPROGOPR3673.DCIM102GOPROGOPR3677.DCIM102GOPROGOPR3678.DCIM102GOPROGOPR3681.DCIM102GOPROGOPR3684.DCIM102GOPROGOPR3689.DCIM102GOPROGOPR3698.

After surfacing we made our way back to the mainland and after a de-brief it came to deciding about the diving next day. The conditions were due to be even worse than what we had had that day with the remnants of a US storm blowing in. After speaking with the divemasters we decided to change our diving day to the final day and opt for some sightseeing the next day instead. This gave us a good chance of hopefully getting to dive one of the famous battleships and meant avoiding being on the boat in a mental storm. Once back at the cottage we showered and had a nap before checking out Hamnavoe for dinner. We yet again had a fabulous seafood heavy dinner with wine. Sleep, Eat, Dive, Repeat.


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