The Scapa Flow Dives – What to Expect.
Scapa is what you make it. People always think it is deep, dark and technical. Well, it can be, if you want it to be. It can also be shallow, light and friendly! Depths range from 10m on the blockships to 45m on the battleships and the James Barrie. If you go out of the flow hunting for deeper stuff, you are into mix territory, but there are some excellent dives up there if you do.
The German Fleet Wrecks are at the opposite end of the flow to the blockships but are not tidal. The huge hulking wrecks are truly massive with many features recognisable to even the untrained and new diver. All are shotted permanently, but many people choose not to ascend the shotline and send off an SMB as the size of the site prevents them from getting back to the start. All of the cruisers lie on their sides and are shallower than the battleships. All of the battleships lie upside down with one deck slightly higher than the other, allowing us to peek underneath at the remains of the superstructure & armaments.
The Blockships are very tidal. Because of this the life on them is spectacular, and the visibility is forever – I have had 15m easily. My favourite dive there is the Tabarka, simply because it is like diving inside a cathedral. Huge interior, I am yet to see a photograph which does it justice.
Other wrecks include the V83, the F2 and the barge which sunk while trying to salvage it and contains two anti aircraft guns. HMS Roedean, where you can still find sections of the tiled galley floor hidden in the fine silt and the fishing vessel the Radiation.
The bottle run is a great second dive – an area where the detritus from the daily life on board a ship was ejected over the side. Here you can find all manner of items, from plates, bottles, cutlery and even shell cases along with the odd scallop.