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Dive Review of Scapa Scuba/Cottage in Stromness in
General Travel/Other Locations/Orkney Islands, Scotland

Scapa Scuba/Cottage in Stromness: "Diving the scuttled World War 1 German ships at Scapa Flow, Scotland", Aug, 2013,

by Andrew Falconer , WA, AU (Top Contributor Top Contributor 48 reports with 23 Helpful votes). Report 10215.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation N/A Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments ]Recently I spent a week on the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland, diving the scuttled First World War German battleships and cruisers at Scapa Flow. This was the main base for the Royal Navy in the First and Second World Wars, due to its strategic location (access to the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean), and it's superb anchorage (surrounded by islands with limited access through guarded channels). At the end of the First World War an armistice was signed in November 1918 and the German high seas fleet consisting of 5 battlecruisers, 11 battleships, 8 cruisers, and 50 destroyers was disarmed and sailed under Royal Navy escort to Scapa Flow, where it was interned with skeleton German crews on board.
The ships then remained there until immediately prior to the Treaty of Versailles, when rumours spread within the German ranks that the ships were to be handed over to the Allied navies. Secret preparations were made to scuttle the ships and on 21st June on a prearranged signal (raising the German flag), while most of the Royal Navy ships were exercising outside Scapa Flow, the ships were scuttled. All the capital ships and most of

In the years following the war, the majority of the ships were salvaged for their steel, a process that involved refloating and removal, with the exception of three battleships (Kronprinz, Markgraf and Koenig) and four cruisers (Coeln, Brummer, Karlsruhe and Dresden) that are still lying on the bottom after nearly 100 years. The remains of these ships are between 20 and 45 metres deep and are accessible by a boat trip of about 30 to 45 minutes from the small port town of Stromness. The diving season is from April to September, the water is cold (dry suit essential), water visability not great (usually less
than 10 metres), the light low at depth and the bottom silty.

guides who emphasised safety and knew where to go, important considerations.
Most divers come in dive club groups with their own gear and charter the dive boats. In my case, being as an individual without gear, I dived with a dive shop ( in Stromness who provided all the gear, a place on the dive boat, and experienced dive

depth and silt on the bottom penetration should only done with extreme care.
The four cruisers lie at 90 degrees on their sides and are thus easier to recognise. Because all the ships are so large and relatively deep, it is impossible to see or cover the whole of any them on a single dive. Two dives per day are the norm. In the course of a week it is possible to dive all the wrecks at least once. All have been subjected to some partial salvage, and after nearly 100 years the cruisers in particular are starting to break up. Nevertheless they are still impressive. Because of the state of the wrecks, the visibility,

{Some photos from this trip can be found at [ link] }
Websites Scapa Scuba   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vanuatu, South Africa, Iceland, Scotland, Norway, Cuba, Maldives, Chuuk, Galapagos, Phillipines, Sri Lanka
Closest Airport Kirkwall Getting There Flight or Ferry from Scotland mainland

Dive Conditions

Weather Seas
Water Temp -°F / -°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility - Ft/ - M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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