A Guide To Your Holiday

GETTING TO ORKNEY

You can get to Orkney by ferry or plane.

BY FERRY:

Northlink operates the ferry from Scrabster to Stromness (1.5 hours). Scrabster is the port with Thurso the main town just a mile away. Many divers like to bring their cars over with them so they can sight see. If you would rather save the car fare you can pre book free dive trolleys with the ferry company to drive your bags on and off the ferry for you. You can then come as a foot passenger. Everything in Stromness is walking distance. There is a long stay car park in Scrabster - just down the road opposite the Ferry Inn – approx. £25 per vehicle per week. When you arrive in Stromness you will need to collect your trolley from the ferry terminal and wheel it round to the boat (approx. 100 metres).

They also operate a run from Aberdeen to Kirkwall (25 minute drive to Stromness).

For information about transporting cylinders on the ferries please see our separate information sheet.

www.northlinkferries.co.uk

Pentland Ferries operate from Gill’s Bay to St Margaret’s Hope. The ferry crossing is just 1 hour and often cheaper but it’s a 45 minute drive to Stromness so you will need to bring your cars.

www.pentlandferries.co.uk

BY PLANE:

The airport in Orkney is Kirkwall Airport. Taxis cost approx £40 to Stromness. We can book these for you if needed. Please be aware that delayed dive gear is unfortunately common. We suspect due to the small planes and heavy bags – they can often be a day or two behind you! If most of your group wish to fly then a nominated driver with a van is often a good idea to ensure your gear arrives.

YOUR CHARTER

Arrival day is Saturday.

The boat and the accommodation will be ready from 1pm onwards. We will meet you at Huskyan to load dive equipment onto the boat first then take you over the road to Number 15.

Saturdays are very busy for us – it is our only day of the week not on the boat and there is a lot to do to be ready for you. Therefore we would prefer 1 whole group arrival time to meet everybody at Huskyan to coincide with the lunchtime ferry arrival. If you need to arrange a different group arrival time please contact us to discuss possibilities.

Huskyan will be berthed in Stromness – we will confirm her exact location in the harbour before your arrival on Saturday but if, upon arrival, you can’t find us just call Emily 07974178612. Dive trolleys can be easily wheeled round to the boat.

Parking in Stromness – Stromness is a very small town with a narrow winding main street. Parking is limited for all of us. You can bring your cars onto the pier to unload but not to park. There is also no parking at Divers Lodge.

There is a free long stay car park just a couple of minutes’ walk away.

MV HUSKYAN

MV Huskyan is a purpose built dive boat. She is designed with your comfort in mind and has double the space of the Radiant Queen.

Your dive gear stays aboard the boat for the whole week and not in the accommodation.

You will get your own bench space for the week with room for gear gulper sized boxes or dive bags underneath. Please feel free to bring your own boxes.

What’s inside…

240 volt power throughout - Central heating throughout

2 × showers - 2 × toilets

Below decks

Large dry changing room with individual lockers

Cabins for overnight adventures or afternoon snoozes!

Bathroom 1

Main deck – Galley & Saloon

Large fully equipped galley

  • Full sized oven/hob
  • Fridge & freezer Microwave
  • kettle & toaster
  • Hot water urn

Dining Tables – plenty of room for everyone to eat together.

Lounge seating area with comfy seating. Wide screen TV’s & media facilities

Main deck – Wetroom

Heated wet changing room/kit store with individual drysuit hanging

Access straight out to the dive deck – no more small hatches!

Equipment prep work bench with camera dunk tank

Walk in shower & separate toilet & wash hand basin

Dive Deck

33m2 (Radiant Queen dive deck is 19m2)

4 × 2.5m benches with bottle racks – designed to fit gear gulpers underneath 2 x booster pumps

2 × 18cfm Bauer compressors

Load tested Stainless Steel Diver Lift - extra wide to accommodate tech divers with multiple stages – no need to wiggle!

What’s included free of charge

  • the use of a single 12l or 15l cylinder if required
  • use of lead weights – we have block lead weights in 3kg, 2kg and 1kg sizes. You must bring your own belts
  • air fills
  • tea, coffee, hot chocolate, a selection of girly fruity teas, fruit squash & biscuits served in our very own pint mugs

What’s not included

  • nitrox/O2/He
  • extra equipment hire
  • weight belts
  • lunch

Please let us know if you would like to use our cylinders. All of our cylinders have nets and boots to protect them. Due to the harsh environment they live in these are non removable. Our cylinders will be full of air for the first dive unless nitrox is pre-booked.

FOOD - TRY THE FOOD - IT’S GREAT…

We have been known to overfeed you at lunch making the 2nd dive a little hard work so we are changing how we cater aboard

AFTER DIVE 1

Smaller two course lunch – Same great hearty food, desserts & cakes just a smaller portion.

AFTER DIVE 2

Tasty treats for the trip home. Savoury and sweet lighter bites all from Emily’s every growing recipe book.

£12.50 PER PERSON PER DAY

(minimum 6 people)

Our food is fast gaining the reputation as the best in Scapa, fresh local produce is used and the home baking is fantastic! Pre- booking is essential - some special dietary requirements can be catered for – please contact us for more info.

With the Scapa Package lunches are available on board with fresh home baking and delicious snacks every day.

Full board is available for expeditions and further afield trips.

GAS FILLING

We fill to 232 bar

Bottles are filled where you sit – no need to lug your equipment around.

We have 2 booster pumps for high pressure O2 fills.

We do not sell “top up” fills. We charge for a full fill each time.

Your own cylinders must be in test and should you want to use Nitrox they must also be O2 clean.

We don’t fill cylinders on Friday afternoons.

O2/Nitrox Prices – 2016

  • Minimum charge £7.50
  • Up to 32%
    • Single cylinder: £7.50
    • Manifolded twinset: £13.00
  • Up to 36%
    • Single cylinder: £10.00
    • Manifolded twinset: £17.00
  • 37% and above
    • O2 priced at 1.5ppl
  • Manifolded twin 7’s charged as a single cylinder
  • Un-manifolded twin sets charged as 2 x single cylinders

He/Trimix 2016

Helium must be pre-booked - please contact us to discuss your requirements.

  • CCR Dil
    • Minimum charge £7.50
    • O2: 1.5ppl
    • He : 4.5ppl
  • OC trimix
    • O2: 1.5ppl
    • He: 4.5ppl

Sofnolime 797

  • £4.75 per kilo sold in 4.5 kilo tubs
  • Discounts available for a bulk purchase

DIVING ITINERARY

We will normally leave the pier between 8am and 9am and return around 4pm. It takes about an hour to reach the majority of the dive sites. We will tailor the week to suit you whether that is diving as many of the sites as possible or focussing on just one battleship. Let Emily know what you like and don’t like and she will do her best to help.

A briefing will be offered for every dive. These really are the best in Scapa – with over 25 years combined experience diving the fleet we can help you get to know the wrecks in detail or perhaps direct you to something a little different.

We do not require you to dive in buddy pairs – this is up to you to arrange.

We do not set maximum dive times unless external circumstances such as tide dictate a need. Most of the dive sites in Scapa, however, are non tidal.

Generally you can be as long as you like but we will ask when to expect you back on the surface for safety reasons.

You should be confident in the use of SMB’s.

A note on shot line etiquette… The shot line is the only way to the wreck. If you choose to use the shot line to ascend please be aware that you may get a “bunch of Muppets” land on you on their way to the wreck. The skippers here are very good at letting their divers know there are people on the line but we can’t account for their ability to descend without barging through the middle of you! You have the choice of using an SMB.

It is illegal to remove anything from the German Fleet. The ships are protected under the historic monuments act. We also adopt a no take policy for all sites in Scapa except Gutter Sound. You will not be able to enter the water with tools or lift bags.

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES & MEDICAL CARE

We work very hard to be prepared for any emergency or first aid requirement. We carry all necessary emergency equipment for both the vessel and for diving and Emily is trained in both Firefighting and Medical First Aid. There are several diving doctors in Stromness along with a hyperbaric chamber. Scapa Flow is covered by 2 lifeboats, our nearest rescue helicopter is stationed in Shetland.

DIVING RELATED EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

Please make us aware of any specific emergency procedures and signals – do not assume they are the same everywhere.

AT THE END OF YOUR CHARTER WEEK…

Dive gear is unloaded from the boat on the Friday afternoon straight into your vehicles or the Northlink dive trolleys. There is a hose on the pier if you want to wash you kit. Dive gear cannot be left aboard on Friday night and wet dive gear is not permitted in Divers Lodge.

You need to vacate Divers Lodge by 9.00am on the Saturday morning. If you are leaving Orkney later than this there are coffee shops in Stromness to relax in while you wait.

NUMBER 15 (DIVERS LODGE)

Number 15 is only 60 metres from the boat but a world away from living aboard a UK dive boat – even our brand new one!

  • 5 bedrooms plus "snorers" room – just in case!
  • Fully equipped kitchen diner for 12 with an extra-large oven, dishwasher, microwave, larder fridge and freezer. We include cleaning products, kitchen roll and tea towels
  • Large living room, leather sofas, 42” Plasma Screen TV, DVD & Freeview, mp3 player docking station (we have a few dvd’s but please bring your own)
  • Washing machine & tumble dryer – we provide washing powder
  • Unlimited wireless internet access – please bring your own laptops/devices
  • Bed linen and towels – 2 × large bath towels per person plus head towels on request
  • Toilet rolls

Number 15 is a shoes off house. Please bring slippers if you get cold feet.

ROOM LAYOUT

MIDDLE FLOOR

Entrance Hall

Bedroom 1: triple ensuite

Bedroom 2: triple with sink

Bathroom

TOP FLOOR

Bedroom 3: triple with sink (or 1 x super king double)

Bedroom 4: twin with sink

Bedroom 5: twin or super king double with sink

Bathroom

Bedrooms 3 & 5 will be set up with single beds unless double beds are pre booked.

GROUND FLOOR

Living Room

Kitchen Diner

Bathroom

Snorer’s room: small double with single bunk above

STROMNESS

All walking distance

  • Scapa Scuba – well stocked local dive shop – genuine overnight repairs
  • Free long stay car parking
  • 3 pubs serving pub grub & the Hamnavoe restaurant
  • Chip shop
  • Hyperbaric chamber
  • Doctors surgery
  • Chemist
  • Supermarket – open till 10pm every day
  • Bakers
  • Butchers
  • Pier arts Centre – very good small gallery
  • Local gift and craft shops
  • Petrol station

For other tourist attractions please see the Visit Orkney website www.visitorkney.com

EATING OUT IN STROMNESS –

There are 4 places to get evening meals

The Ferry Inn - The Stromness Hotel - The Royal hotel – The Hamnavoe Restaurant

Most serve until 9pm and we recommend you book for larger tables

There are far more options for eating out in Kirkwall including The Foveran & The Lynnfield restaurants – some of the best food Orkney has to offer.

DIVE SCAPA CLOTHING & PINT MUGS

We stock a range of ethical garments both male and female fit. These are available to our customers as a discounted rate aboard Huskyan.

Our famous pint mugs are also available in 4 different designs for 2016.

SCAPA SCUBA

Scapa Scuba logo

Overnight dry suit and equipment repairs.

Well-stocked dive shop.

Everyone needs a Ben!

Ben is part owner of Huskyan but also owns Scapa Suits & Servicing at Scapa Scuba.

For those on a week’s dive charter in Scapa Flow he offers an overnight repair service. Ben will ensure that your suit is fixed and dry for the next day’s diving. So anyone with a ripped cuff or neck seal, leaky boots or a zip that lets them down need not worry! The suits are then returned to the boat for you by the morning.

He also repairs other equipment such as regulators.

The Red Shed Shop is well stocked and housed in the old lifeboat station.

PDF version of A Guide To Your Holiday.

Images from around Orkney Images from around Orkney Images from around Orkney Images from around Orkney Images from around Orkney