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Scapa Flow Trip report and Photos Sept 2009


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#1 ScubaDiva

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 08:02 AM

Well my 1st trip to Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands in Scotland and I had a fab time. I went with a bunch of photographers from Digigreen (of which DDT and tdpriest are also from this parish). To everyone's credit I didn't want to throw anyone overboard all week. We went with the (in)famous H&H on the MV Valkyrie. Helens food lived up to its reputation and after 2 weeks of being deprived of vegetables in Scotland prior to getting there it was a godsend.

As was noted by my fellow divers - I am somewhat of a wreck guru which I'm sure will shine through in my descriptions. Posted Image

Some of my photos below. The only ones that I could do anything with were from the shallower dives, hence most are actually from the last dive. All were shot on natural light as I don't have a strobe and at 20m plus my compact was not coping. I had to really hike up the ISO and even then the shutter speed was painfully slow.


Day 1


Dive 1

Dived the Karlsruhe one of the lightcruisers. It lies on a slope so you can go shallow or deeper and is therefore good for a shake down dive. Descended down shot and went forward towards bow. Therein ends my nautical descriptions but there was a fabulous array of plumose anenomes!

Dive 2


The F2 & YC21. The F2, unlike most of the boats, is a WWII ship, and the YC21 is a barge that tried to salvage her. They lie about 20m apart. There was the most fabulous shoal of silvery small fish as we descended onto the barge. Really lovely light coming down onto the barge but my compact found it difficult to cope with the contrast between the dark of the barge and the light of the water and surface which kept showing up as blown out on my photos. Also discovered the bane of internal reflection on my fisheye lens.

Day 2

The Dresden - lightcruiser in 36m of water - lying on her post side with the hull at about 19m. I was taken by suprise by how dark it got and consequently how deep it felt to me. This stressed me slightly and I can't say I enjoyed this dive.

No 2nd dive for me as the wind picked up and I didn't fancy getting in in the swell. Although some of the others did the Brummer some of us just chilled.


Day 3

Dive 1


Dived the Coln - a lightcruiser in 35m lying on her port side with the hull in about 20m.Actually managed to identify a bit of the ship on this dive and saw the conning tower! Of course there were also lots of anenomes.

Dive 2

The Seydlitz - she was a battlecruiser and was actually raised in 1928 but lots and lots of debris was left behind. The wreck junkies didn't really like this but the rest of us loved it.

Day 4

Dive 1

The Kronprinz Wilhelm - battleship Konig class - lying upside down in 36m leaning slightly on her starboard side. Went forward to the bow and actually saw a gun below us. Too deep and dark for me to take a photo of though since I have no strobes and was on natural light (what light I say)!

Dive 2

The Gobernador Bories - one of the blockships lying in Burray sound. This was the only tidal dive we did and, as such, we had to do it on slack. However, we were on a high water spring and the tides around there just do what the feel like. We were warned that we would have to sit and wait and go for it just before slack and that it would go slack when it felt like it. They would know it was coming when the buoys on the shot bobbed up above the water - they get dragged down when the current is running. Add to that that it might stay slack for 1 min or 1 hr and it was anybody's guess which.

We did indeed sit around for ages after slack was meant to appear and eventually it did. We descended down the shot and were told max 35 min dive or we would end up being spat out into the atlantic on ascent. We were down for about 5 mins before a look at the kelp revealed that slack had been and gone. Posted Image We all stayed within the sheltered part of the boat and at about 25 mins headed back for the shot. Ballan wrasse everywhere.

Posted Image

Back at the shot my buddy and I started to ascend and oh my was that current running. We could see people above and thought 'good they are doing their safety stop before ascending the rest of the way'. As we got closer we realised that there was a gatering of divers because the shot had run out at about 7m - bugger. One by one peeps let go and we were left at about 5m hanging onto the rope around the bouys. We now know what flagpoling means. After a min or 2 of a safety stop we decided to sod the rest of it and let go before the current got even stronger. To me relief I didn't rocket to the surface but got there just short of too fast!

Got back on the boat shouting 'fantastic lets do that again'!


Day 5

Dive 1

The brummer - I had missed this one earlier in the week so it was nice to get a chance to do it. After being intially a bit aprehensive I really enjoyed it. At this point in the week with the depths the dives were getting shorter and shorter for us doing no deco dives so we only got 33mins total. Posted Image

Dive 2

The V83 - this was the last dive and my fav of the whole week. It was absolutley fabulous and I came up on a complete high. It has an intact stern in about 15m, then the forward section is wreckage stretching right up to the shore. Lots of twisted metal and life growing all over it.

Just to prove I was actually wreck diving on this trip on this dive I actually saw a gun and a prop shaft! Also a rudder but I only realised this when I saw the pics! There was much amusement when a fellow diver who failed to see any ship type bits all week said we actually saw something wrecky! Got an hr on this dive with us arriving back 15 mins after the others who we assummed were still down as the were on bigger singles and twins. We only surfaced as I was running low on air - but they rest were already back on the boat.

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I am currently having withdrawl symptoms and can't wait to get back in the water. I had such good fun and that last dive was just fab - all the twisted bits of metal everywhere - great!

Edited by ScubaDiva, 17 September 2009 - 08:03 AM.

Making up in equipment what she lacks in skill and talent!

www.ecoberry.co.uk

My Flickr page.

#2 Giles

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 11:10 AM

Looks and sounds awesome .. it has been WAY too long since I did Scapa .. i say that as if i plan to get there again sometime .. but it is unfortunately unlikely.
Truly great UK diving even without a camera.
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#3 tdpriest

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 01:30 AM

Cool shots!

I still haven't Photoshopped...

Link to thread below:


http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=32274


Tim

;)

Edited by tdpriest, 18 September 2009 - 01:53 AM.


#4 ScubaDiva

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 02:57 AM

Cool shots!

I still haven't Photoshopped...

Link to thread below:


http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=32274


Tim

;)


Thanks Tim. Got v. frustrated with Lightroom - it doesn't do a couple of things that I was able to do on my trials of Elements and CS4 and then the old PS they have at work couldn't do them either. I just don't understand what lightroom is yet or how it works. I'm especially confused by the fact that you can edit with Elements or CS4 in lightroom. I thought that lightroom would be like CS4 but let you do more - clearly this isn't the case. :guiness:
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#5 tdpriest

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 03:16 AM

One reason for my tardiness is that I don't have Lightroom: as I have Photoshop CS4 I haven't got Lightroom which, as I understand it, is a stripped down and speeded up programme aimed at photographers rather than graphic designers. RAW conversion might be better, but I have Aperture on my laptop and its RAW conversion is pretty amazing.

Tim

;)

Edited by tdpriest, 18 September 2009 - 03:16 AM.


#6 ScubaDiva

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 03:27 AM

One reason for my tardiness is that I don't have Lightroom: as I have Photoshop CS4 I haven't got Lightroom which, as I understand it, is a stripped down and speeded up programme aimed at photographers rather than graphic designers. RAW conversion might be better, but I have Aperture on my laptop and its RAW conversion is pretty amazing.

Tim

:guiness:


I think I need to go and buy myself a book or get a lesson with someone who knows them all and can explain how the different functions work. ;)
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#7 tdpriest

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 06:28 AM

... get a lesson with someone who knows them all...


That's the problem with an early bed'o'clock...

... when there was so much Wetdigipixelgreen talent around (tho' I didn't ask Cussy how he got such good control of his backscatter)!

Tim

;)

#8 ScubaDiva

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 06:42 AM

That's the problem with an early bed'o'clock...

... when there was so much Wetdigipixelgreen talent around (tho' I didn't ask Cussy how he got such good control of his backscatter)!

Tim

:lol:


:guiness:

Rob did show me some stuff early on in the week but I've forgotten. ;)

Edited by ScubaDiva, 18 September 2009 - 06:44 AM.

Making up in equipment what she lacks in skill and talent!

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My Flickr page.