An historical diving destination, Scapa Flow has captured the imagination and hearts of countless divers. We spoke to Katie and Sara of Scapa Scuba, who commissioned this video by Ellis Roberts, to find out a little bit more about wreck diving in Scotland.
What is it that makes Scapa Flow so unique for wreck diving?
Scapa Flow is probably one of the most accessible places in the world for the recreational diver to dive on genuine naval warships!
2019 will see Scapa celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Scuttling of the German ‘High Seas Fleet’ famous for its encounters with the British ‘Grand Fleet’ during WW1. This only paints part of the picture of diving in Scapa Flow though. As one the most important naval bases for the British during both world wars, and with the need to protect the Fleet, many old ships have been sunk as ‘Blockships’ these are diveable from as little as 5m. The Tabarka is often referred to as Scotland’s best dive!
With Blockships as shallow as 5m, 3 Battleships and 4 light cruisers of the German Fleet on the sea bed, Scapa is the perfect destination to dive into history!
What courses would you recommend student to have, or do, to dive here?
With such a wide variety of dive sites there really is something for everyone. PADI Open Water certified divers and Discover Scuba Divers are able to enjoy the blockship wrecks of the Churchill Barriers. But to head out into Scapa Flow to visit the wrecks of the German Fleet divers would want to be PADI Advanced Open Water certified with recent dry suit experience.
A common misconception is that Scapa is only accessible to the most experienced of divers, this could not be further from the truth!
Aside from the amazing diving, what are the draws for visiting Orkney?
As far as historical tourism is concerned the diving sites of Orkney are practically new. Famous for its ancient archaeological history and World Heritage Sites, Skara Brae, Maeshowe, the Ring of Brodgar and many more are must dos on a day out. Watching the sunset in the Atlantic from the costal cliffs of Marwick is a view to be cherished. Of course there is always the option of enjoying an evening of award winning locally sourced food accompanied by some of Scotland’s finest ales and whiskey, go easy on the latter if diving the next day though!