Orkney has an amazing wartime history, but no stories are as startling as the scuttling of the German Fleet. At the end of World War One, the ships of the German High Seas Fleet surrendered and were held in the deepwater harbour of Scapa Flow. When armistice was declared, Admiral Von Reuter ordered his men to sink their own ships, to prevent these valuable military assets from falling into enemy hands.
The mass scuttling was witnessed by a school party from Stromness, possibly making it the most exciting school trip ever!
Though some ships were salvaged, many still remain on the seabed of Scapa Flow, making these waters an exciting playground for diving parties to explore.
Many of Orkney's old fishing boats have been converted to diveboats and there are plenty of excellent dive operators who know the best places to take their divers.
If you dislike the idea of getting wet, there is a boat with a submersible camera. From the comfort of the boat you can watch the ROV dive down to a German Battleship.
There are also shops selling diving equipment especially suited to swimming in the waters of Scapa Flow, which, like the landscape of Orkney, is thick with history.
The Diving Cellar,
4 Victoria Street,
Orkney, KW16 3AA
Tel: 01856 850055
Offers a 7 night shore-based diving package including minibus. The Diving Cellar shop has a wide range of Scapa Flow souviners - we print and embroider our garments on the premises. Dry-suit and regularot repairs undertaken. We hire all diving equipment, both wet & dry-suits, and also body boards. Please look in and say hello when you are here.
Orkney, KW16 3JP
Tel: 01856 851002
Mobile: 07799 897171
Leviathan International manufactures quality items for Europe's leading distributors. We offer people the chance of a lifetime to expeience early 19th century HARD HAT DIVING in open water in Stromness. We do a full range of wet / dry SUIT REPAIRS, overnight if required. In fact if you require any tailor made product just give Andy a call.
Orkney, KW16 3DL
Tel: 01856 851218
Orkney's ONLY PADI Dive Centre. Making diving in Scapa Flow accessible to all! Offering 'try a dive' TODAY!, guided dives in Scapa Flow, a full range of PADI dive courses as well as technical training. Dry suit manufacture and repair, novelty hoods, equipment servicing and fully stocked dive shop.
36 & 40 Alfred Street
and 4 South End,
Tel: 0027 794929789
Comprise of 3 homes built in the 1800's close to each other in Stromness harbour. The cottages are private, yet centrally located to ensure a really special Orkney holiday. All 3 cottages overlook Scapa Flow - a very popular diving site - have their own private pier, contemporary decor, modern equipment and free Wifi access.
Diver and battleship gun photo © Brian Clargo, Dive Boat photo © Fraser Dixon, Roving Eye photo © Fraser Dixon. Thanks to Scapa Scuba. All text © Magnus Dixon.
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