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Thread: Scapa Flow Wreck History Week with Kieran Hatton and MV Halton (Bob Anderson)

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    RBW Member craige is an unknown quantity at this point craige's Avatar
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    Scapa Flow Wreck History Week with Kieran Hatton and MV Halton (Bob Anderson)

    SCAPA FLOW WRECK HISTORY WEEK WITH KIERAN HATTON AND MV HALTON (BOB ANDERSON) 11 TO 17 JULY 10

    Although I have been diving for about 15 years I have never been to Scapa. So following seeing an advert and chatting to Kieran Hatton I decided to book on this trip and finally go and see what I had been missing all these years.

    The journey was a long one from Plymouth, over 800miles, but doing it in two stages with a stop-off overnight made it reasonable.

    The boat we were using was MV Halton. We met the boat in Stromness in the Orkneys. The boat is a 70ft wooden former trawler. It is well equipped for divers with a lift, compressor, kiting up benches, a dry area for putting your dry-suit, along with oxygen and helium. Inside the boat is very comfortable with a galley containing a Rayburn, which keeps the boat very warm, and a large dining and seating area. Cabins are down below and are 2 person cabins that are warm and comfortable. There are two showers and toilets on the boat.

    Kieran Hatton was running the Scapa Flow History Week. He is an experienced diver and instructor who previously worked in Scapa for 4 years. He is a real enthusiast when it comes to the wrecks of Scapa Flow and both his passion and extensive knowledge about the German High Seas Fleet was demonstrated throughout the week. The boat is skippered and owned by Bob Anderson who is an experienced skipper and himself a diver.

    The group that were diving on the Scapa Flow Wreck History week were a real mixture of divers with 2 rebreather divers, 5 on twinsets, 1 person on a single cylinder, along with Kieran who dived on a rebreather throughout the week. The wrecks in Scapa Flow range from depth ranges of 20 to 46m and these are big wrecks with plenty on the outside or opportunities for lots of penetration, so there is something for everyone whatever their diving qualification or experience.

    On 21 Jun 1919 the German High Seas Fleet was scuttled under the command Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter with the famous signal 'Paragraph Eleven - Confirm.’ 72 warships, which formed the core of the German High Seas Fleet were scuttled on that day.

    Today there are 3 König class battleships and 4 Dresden class cruisers at depths from 20m to 46m. The battleships are lie on the bottom upside down to varying degrees and the cruisers lie on their sides. Water temperature in the flow ranges from 4 to 14 degrees Celsius. During the trip in July we had temperatures of 11 or 12 degrees. Underwater visibility during the trip varied from approximately 5m to 10m inside the Flow. In Burra Sound on one of the blockships we had about 15m+ visibility.

    The format for the diving was with breakfast followed by a briefing on the wreck we were diving that day. Kieran’s knowledge of the wrecks is fantastic and he is able to draw upon his extensive knowledge to clearly describe the wrecks and to allow you to look for the interesting features. He supported these briefings by using ADUS (a high resolution sonar scan of the wrecks), ship plans, sketches, and his own experience to really enhance the dive. One of the group members commented that although having dived Scapa Flow previously that they found that they saw so much more on this trip. There was no limit to dive times and I usually did around 60 to 75 minutes on each dive.

    During the surface interval we had a wholesome lunch and had a number of excursions including visits to the Lyness Museum and Cemetry. Throughout Kieran gave his time and experience to really add to the picture and to allow us all to understand both the history behind the wrecks and the layout of the wrecks themselves. Before the afternoon dive there was another dive brief.

    Following the days diving and once everyone was ready Kieran gave a talk each evening on the history behind the German High Seas Fleet. These talks were pitched really well and were both enjoyable and interesting and really brought the wrecks to life.

    During the trip we dived all the German High Seas Fleet including the 3 battleships; Kronprinz Wilhelm, Markgraf and König; and the 4 light cruisers Karlsruhe, Dresden, Brummer and Köln. Additionally we dived one of the block ships in Burra Sound – the Doyle.

    I shall definitely not leave it so long before heading back up to Scapa Flow again and am already planning my next trip. Having the Wreck History Week really brought the wrecks to life and enabled us all to have a fantastic trip where both those who had never dived the flow like myself and those that had already done the flow numerous times really came away feeling that the dives had been improved by the Scapa Flow Wreck History Week.


    Just some photos to bring it all to life:

    SMS Dresden:
    Name plaque


    Breech of gun


    Firebricks from the boiler room


    SMS Karlsruhe:
    Stern section


    Gun with shot line


    Anchor capstans and chain


    Gun brass with “offnen” (open)


    Scorpion fish


    SMS Kronprinz Wilhelm:
    12” gun


    Upside down casement gun


    Soft stuff


    SMS Coln:

    Diver next to boat davot


    Wreck with fish


    Scorpion fish


    Wreck with ladder


    Crab
    [

    Diver


    SMS Brummer:

    Spotlight and iris


    Wreck showing scale and diver


    Wreckage


    SMS Markgraf:

    Author by the rudder


    Porthole


    Doyle:

    Inside the Doyle


    Wrasse


    Inside the Doyle


    Rudder and rebreather diver


    Surface Shots:

    Ring of Brodgar


    Kitchener’s Memorial


    Skara Brae


    MV Halton – Bob Anderson’s boat

  2. #2
    RBW Member robinfante is a glorious beacon of light robinfante is a glorious beacon of light robinfante is a glorious beacon of light robinfante is a glorious beacon of light robinfante is a glorious beacon of light robinfante is a glorious beacon of light robinfante is a glorious beacon of light robinfante is a glorious beacon of light robinfante is a glorious beacon of light robinfante is a glorious beacon of light robinfante is a glorious beacon of light robinfante's Avatar
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    Re: Scapa Flow Wreck History Week with Kieran Hatton and MV Halton (Bob Anderson)

    great write up, great pics.

  3. #3
    RBW Member j.rawley is an unknown quantity at this point j.rawley's Avatar
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    Re: Scapa Flow Wreck History Week with Kieran Hatton and MV Halton (Bob Anderson)

    Excellent write up craig - thats me just back off the second week with Bob, and yes we made it to the Flannan's...

    Apart from agreeing with Craig and being the diver by the prop, I wanted to add my little bit too....

    I've dived Scapa a fair bit and this was by far the most beneficial week, in fact if i had done this week before the numerous trips up there with various boats I would have gained a lot more on every dive.
    The background, added extras of excursions, extra materials and info on the wrecks than the usual john liddaird guides and scapa books and of course the chance to pick kierans brains and get a wee tour of specific areas that can rarely be identified by visiting divers.

    Never been to scapa before???? - then the history week is definately the way forward...
    Been to scapa before but dont feel you got all you could from it???? - well the history week is definately worth considering.

  4. #4
    Ossi gerstl_ossi has much to be proud of gerstl_ossi has much to be proud of gerstl_ossi has much to be proud of gerstl_ossi has much to be proud of gerstl_ossi has much to be proud of gerstl_ossi has much to be proud of gerstl_ossi has much to be proud of gerstl_ossi has much to be proud of gerstl_ossi has much to be proud of gerstl_ossi has much to be proud of gerstl_ossi has much to be proud of gerstl_ossi's Avatar
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    Re: Scapa Flow Wreck History Week with Kieran Hatton and MV Halton (Bob Anderson)

    Hi, really nice pics, thanks for sharing.
    Cheers Ossi

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