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Following a request from one of the members on the London Diver Facebook group, we are covering The Orkneys, Scotland, in this issue. The Orkneys offer the usual fantastic diving opportunities that Scotland provides. But without doubt, these islands are firmly placed high on any diver's list of 'must do' dive locations because of the huge number of wrecks from the German First World War fleet that lie on the seabed of the great natural harbour of Scapa Flow.
Cottage A Good night's kip
With most of the dive boats coming out of Stromness, here are a few options that you might consider if you are not staying on one of the local liveaboards:

Millers House
Tel: 01856 851 969

Just 3 miles from Stromness, The Mill of Eyrland B&B is a beautifully converted mill situated in an idyllic setting by a stream.
Tel: 01856 850 136

If you're looking to make more of a general holiday for your group, then a thorough recommendation is to stay at Skerravoe Cottage. Situated right on the Skaill Beach, just 10 minutes drive from Stromness, this recently refurbished cottage sleeps eight people.
Skerravoe Cottage
KW16 3HA
Tel: 01856 851 077
Wreck Food & Booze
There are really only three main drinking establishments in Stromness:

The Ferry Inn John Street
KW16 3AA
Tel: 01856 850 280 With 3 bars, including the newly refurbished upstairs with comfy leather sofas there's:

The Royal Hotel
55 Victoria Street
KW16 3BS
Tel: 01856 850 342
Stromness Hotel
15 Victoria Street
KW16 3AA
Tel: 01856 850 298

For a change from pub grub, The Hamnavoe Restaurant offers the freshest local seafood.
35 Graham Place
KW16 3BY
Tel: 01856 850 606

Not In The Water
And you can still get in the water with early nineteenth century hard hat diving gear. Leviathan International will meet you off your dive boat, so you won't disrupt that hectic dive schedule and get you to experience what it felt like for the pioneers of underwater exploration (40 pp) Tel: 01856 851 002

To swot up on your wreck history, then it is well worth visiting Stromness Museum
52 Alfred Street

And the Scapa Flow Visitors Centre

22nd 24th August: Orkney Beer Festival. Try out a range of guest beers and cask-conditioned ales, and Orkney's own ales, based in Stromness Hotel.

Local Diving Contacts

Scapa Scuba
The Orkneys' only PADI dive centre offers courses, boat diving (52ft MV Radiant Queen with air & nitrox), fully stocked shop, guided dives and novelty hood designs I'm going for the Elvis look...
Tel: 01856 851 218
Ocean Visions
Scapa Flow Diving Holidays
Day boat or liveaboard diving (25.5 metre MV Invincible the largest of the Scapa dive boat fleet accommodating up to 14 trimix divers).
Tel: 01856 851 110

The Diving Cellar
Dive shop and boat diving (65ft MV John L), air to 300 bar and nitrox available on board and both skippers are qualified gas blenders. The Diving Cellar also offer accommodation in two adjoining houses in the centre of Stromness, as well as a self-drive minibus for touring the island.
Tel: 01856 850 055

Stromness Diving Centre
Diving charters (58ft "Triton" with nitrox available for those qualified to pump it).
Tel: 01856 850624 (Steve Mowat)

MV Halton Bob Anderson
(70ft dive boat with space for 12 divers).
Tel: 01856 851 532

Scapa Flow Charters
Jean Elaine & MV Sharon Rose, for day and liveaboard charters with air, nitrox and trimix diving available.
Tel: 01856 850 879

Scapa Flow Diving & John's Charters
Liveaboard and day boat charter (24m MV Karin). Air, nitrox & trimix diving available, plus mixed gas and rebreather courses. Accommodation can be arranged at John's wife, Linda's:
Polrudden Guest House.
Tel: 01856 874 761 (John Thornton)

Sunrise Charters
70ft dive boat with air, nitrox & trimix available on board.
Tel: 01856 874 425

Diving charters (58ft "Triton" with nitrox available for those qualified to pump it).
Tel: 01856 850 227

Many of the dive boats will arrange trips covering, not only Scapa Flow, but also Northern Isles, Shetland, St Kilda and North & East Coasts of Scotland.

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