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Dive Review of Lofotdykk Orca Safari/Same in
Norwegian Sea/Lofoten

November, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by LeRoy Anderson, UT, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 3730
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Bali, Komodo Islands, California, British Columbia, Washington State,
Cozumel, Florida Keys, Cayman Islands, Cocos Island, Galapagos Islands,
Malpelo Island, Yap & Palau, Channel Islands, Milne Bay and Eastern
Fields Papua New Guinea.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
32   to 38    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
None. Advanced divers only on trip. Drysuits of course mandatory, and
available for rental if needed.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
The water was so cold and the dive conditions so strenuous, it was
difficult to motivate myself to take photos. Since I only take digital
photos, accomodations other than a rinse bucket and a charging station are
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
Overall this was a good and a very unique trip. I decided to do this trip
as I felt probably the coolest thing I could see in the ocean would be a
pod of killer whales up close and under the water. I did accomplish this
objective, which has left me very happy, but the reader needs to know more
about the situation in Norway for these encounters. I became intrigued
about going with the Lofotdykk operation after finding out they charged
about fifteen hundred dollars for a week of orca hunting, and knowing that
elsewhere you could spend about ten thousand dollars for the same
experience. The difference is that with Lofotdykk you have to buy and
prepare your own meals. Sounded like a good deal to me. 
Very important to know for any potential customer for this activity,
regardless of price point, is to know what is going on now with the orcas
in Norway. The other dive report for this activity published in
Undercurrent by another reader several years ago is unfortunately now
obsolete. The large groups of orcas which used to frequent the fjords in
northern Norway have not done so for last year (2006) and also this year
(2007). The orcas follow large schools of herring for food, and during the
past two years the herring have been gathering for winter in the open
Årctic Ocean far from the coast and inaccessible to any liveaboards
or shore based diving operation, both from a distance and also the very
rough and hazardous  conditions in winter in the open Arctic Ocean. In
previous years the herring would gather in the fjords, bringing the large
pods of transient orcas with them, offering relatively easy and frequent
snorkeling and diving access to many orcas. What now exists in the fjords
are small pods of apparent resident orcas which follow smaller collections
of herring here and there. These orcas are now much more difficult to find
and offer only fleeting interaction with divers as they swim rapidly in
search of food. We roamed far and wide in an inflatable skiff, in subzero
temperatures, with choppy water conditions dressed fully in drysuits, with
of course the hammering from the waves and at times sleet of the Arctic
Norwegian winter blowing full force on us in an unprotected way. Not for
the faint of heart. After several days like this of searching, we finally
found about five or six orcas in a pod, followed them for a couple of
hours, but could not get them to slow down to snorkel with them. They can
really haul, they seemed to be swimming very, very fast. We finally ran
into a fishing trawler, which was dumping some herring, which was found by
this same pod and allowed them to slow down to feed. We then entered the
water several times to snorkel out to them. About two thirds of our group
were able to visualize some orcas underwater for a few seconds after many
attempts to intercept them in their paths to the herring. The interactions
were too fleeting, dark, and unpredictable to allow for any photography of
the experience, but it was still quite exiting for me.
Otherwise, on the days when we found it impossible to find orcas, we would
usually schedule one dive. More than one dive per day in these cold and
rough conditions was not physically comfortable for any of the divers in
our group, many of whom were accomplished cold water divers. I found it
interesting to compare the diving in Norway with my favorite cold water
destination, British Columbia. Overall I feel the diving in British
Columbia is quite a bit more colorful and diverse, with larger amounts of
all types of life. We did have one very colorful reef dive with brilliant
anemonies, large jellyfish, hermit crabs, large schools of minnows, a few
codfish, and many small to medium sized crabs on this trip. The other sites
were ok, with some of the above life in less abundant amounts.
One last word about financing a trip like this. The dollar at this point in
Norway is next to worthless. Five dollars for a cup of coffee in Oslo,
Twelve dollars for a cinnamon roll, twenty five dollars for a hamburger in
Lofoten, twenty dollars for a shuttle bus to your hotel from the airport,
three hundred dollars for a night in a hotel. It goes on. Incidental
expenses made the trip much more costly than I had expected. 
Still, overall, worth doing for me, a very unique and certainly very
adventuresome trip. 
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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