Home > Scapa Flow Charters > The ‘Aberdeen connection’ makes Scapa Flow Long Weekends accessible to all divers

The ‘Aberdeen connection’ makes Scapa Flow Long Weekends accessible to all divers

Traditionally Scapa Flow diving has been a week’s event.  After receiving many requests from loyal divers who use the Aberdeen connection, John Thornton has launched four day ‘long weekend’ charters on the Karin.  This is proving popular with the latest invaders of Scapa Flow.

“We’ve noticed that with more demands on leisure time, more of our divers are giving Scrabster a miss and driving straight to Aberdeen instead”, stated John Thornton, Skipper of the Karin.  “Having talked to them, it does make sense because of the distance and time saved.  You can drive from Birmingham to Aberdeen in 7.5 hours and for divers north of the Border, Glasgow is 3.15 hours and Edinburgh a mere 1.5 hour drive, so divers are laughing at the reduced travelling times.  We’ve found that the Thursday night sailing at 17:00 from Aberdeen on North Link Ferries www.northlinkferries.com is proving especially popular with divers, as they are in Kirkwall by 23:00.  This means that on Friday you go diving”.

The beauty of the Karin is that it is driven by a man who has been sailing and diving the Orcadian waters for over twenty years.  In fact John also teaches diving, making him one of the most experienced and qualified Skippers to work Scapa.  Therefore on the Karin divers get all the important things in life, like big wide benches to kit up on, a range of exotic gases on tap which are blended to a ‘T’, slack when it should be (more or less), a good Scottish Breakfast (when requested), and a skipper who understands what divers need.

“I’m very lucky that I’ve a consistent, loyal customer base that keeps on coming back because they know what they are going to get, so I do a lot of day charters and liveaboards.  Obviously”, John grinned, “there is more flexibility with a liveaboard, for instance on the four day charters we can sleep over at Long Hope or Burray.  But that is where the beauty of the Flow comes into it’s own.  Where else can you find Blockships, Cruisers and Battleships right on your door step, and it doesn’t really matter too much what the weather is doing.  With it being so protected you can get out diving pretty much all year around up here”.

John’s experience of leading expeditions as far afield as Singapore has given him a huge insight into trip planning.  “We want everyone to have a good time and one of the better ways of ensuring this is prior planning.  When divers are not sure of something, the best thing they can do is hop onto the website (www.scapaflow.com) and drop me a line.  We can organise B&B’s, tanks, equipment hire, nitrox, trimix, an onboard cook, and of course training, so get in touch if you have any questions”.

The Thursday sailings from Aberdeen now mean that a long weekend in Scapa is easily achievable for all divers.  For those of you who have not yet experienced the magic of  The Great Harbour, a four day long weekend charter (sailing from Aberdeen) is a perfect way to introduce you to the renowned wrecks and legendary landscapes that is Scapa Flow.

Notes to Editors:

Scapa Flow is arguably one of Britain’s most historic and famous stretches of water.  Affectionately known as “The Great Harbour” this natural maritime haven, one of the largest in the World, has been used since prehistory with its sheltered waters playing a key role in travel, trade, tourism and conflict over the centuries.  The Flow’s geographical location makes it strategically important, as this refuge allows easy access to both the North Sea and the Atlantic.  As a result the Orkneys have had their fair share of invaders who have left their mark in more ways than one.  For the Vikings who utilised this harbour, also named this harbour.  Skalpeid-floi or ‘Bay of the Long Isthmus’ comes from Old Norse.

The Karin was built in 1968, originally working out ofHamburgin theNorth Sea.  She is licensed for 15, including crew, with 12 pax being the norm.  SinceThorntongot his hand on the Karin in 1995, she has undergone quite a conversion.  Currently she has two heads (toilets), one shower, a drying room and a snug main day cabin complete with lots of charging points and aDVDand television.  Sleeping wise, there is one single and seven twin cabins all with proper sized single mattresses.  Divers should bring their own sleeping bags and towels, but in the event that someone forgets these, John can provide them. 

There is a galley on board so divers can self cater if they wish, or a cook can be provided on request.  Local fresh organic produce, such as Orcadian meat is used where possible.  In the evenings there are many hotels and pubs that cook good food.

Four Day Charters Itinerary

This is a suggestion.  It is not set in stone due to weather, diving abilities and preferences, but to give divers an idea of what to expect during this Charter.

Light Cruiser
Brummer
22 – 35 metres
Blockship
Gobernador Bories
16 metres
 
 
 
Battleship
Kronprinz Wilhelm
18 – 35 metres
WWII Escort Boat
F2
16 metres
 
 
 
Light Cruiser
Köln
22 – 36 metres
Light Cruiser
Karlsruhe
24 metres
 
 
 
Trawler
James Barrie
45 metres
Blockship
Tabarka
12 metres

Press Coverage includes;
http://www.scotsac.com/html/scottish-diver/2005/SD_0508/0508_scapa.pdf

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