We shared the boat with the gang from Discover Diving from the Isle of Man, who are a good bunch but there is always a danger of ending up as a thinly disguised story in Michelle's 'Scuba Woman' column in the BSAC magazine, so you better not do anything too embrassing like jumping in with your dry suit zip open (not that any of us would ever be so silly, honest ;-).
The wrecks of Scapa, especially the scuttled German High Seas Fleet of WW1, have much written about about and are some of the worlds most famous dives. Needless to say we had a pretty good time.
MV Huskyan is an excellent dive boat (the 1st purpose built one in Scapa) and Emily the skipper is 2nd to none. She is cheerfully obsessed with the history of the ships and the salvage, very knowledgeable and can point even a Scapa veteran to interesting and previously unseen sights.
Underwater the visibilty this time was not the best, so not so many underwater photos, but you do get a real feel of adventure.
The trip was slightly marred by one of our number getting a minor bend (decompression illness) on the 2nd day, thankfully very quickly and professionally treated, but it did mean they could not dive the rest of the week :-( so we felt pretty bad for them.
It is a rare event, but a salutary reminder that all the training we do to keep ourselves safe and to deal with emergencies really is necessary from time to time and that even if you follow all the rules and do everything right, going underwater is not without risk!
We are very grateful that there is an excellent Hyperbaric treatment facility in Stromness and that it is paid for by our wonderful NHS. Stromness Chamber..
Next year is the 100th anniversary of the mass scuttling of the fleet, we got our "SCAPA 100" T-shirts and hoodies in early as they had jsut arrived in the shop! We are sure to go back in the future :-).
See the gallery for more photos.