NORWAY EXPED 6-15 JULY ’13 – TRIP FULL
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1. Norway has some of the best diving in the world, you can explore incredible underwater cliffs, stupendous walls, awesome drop offs, swim-throughs and caves. Scenic diving is everywhere with an abundant and rich diversity of marine life (some unfamiliar), on walls, reefs and wrecks – all in the clear waters of the Scandinavian Peninsula.
However, it is the wreck diving that makes Norway unique and one of the must dive locations for all metal enthusiasts. Many intact wrecks start near the surface while the remainder of the wreck is at a gradual incline making them suitable for novice and expert divers alike with no special equipment being necessary, unless you plan to go beyond recreational limits. Almost continuous daylight offers excellent photographic opportunities both above and below the water and the temperature isn’t as cold as you might think. During the summer months it’s is very similar to Scotland, around 12 degrees at the surface and around 8 degrees at depth, air temperature is around 16 to 18 degrees. Stunning glacial valleys provide shelter and comfortable cruise-diving regardless of the weather which at this time of year is usually more consistent than the UK.
Our trip begins in the beautiful port of Bergen, gateway to the Fjords which are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The first part of our journey takes us to the Sognefjord where we will experience some of the best scenic and wreck diving in this area, and then some. From Sognefjord, we head further north to Malloy where we’ll dive in pristine fjords on the famous wrecks in this area. The choice of dive sites is vast and varied and our skipper has plenty of experience diving in these waters. Below I’ve listed a few of the wrecks to be found between Bergen and Malloy, some 100 miles to the north to give you a better idea of the depths. As you can see, this trip is ideal for both recreational and technical divers alike.
Wreck / Depth & Location
Haakon Jarl II 25m to 35m – Utfrundsflesa
Kilbulk 38m – Fedjefjord
Frankenwald 5m to 38m – Outer Sula
Havda 16m to 30m – Lute Land
Ferndale & Parat 8m to 60m
Wilhelm III 13m to 70m – Floro
Sterk 20m to 33m – Fafgordenfjord
Spring 8m to 42m – Hjeltefjorden
Optima 30m to 42m – Interlaken
Server 2m to 25m – Fedje Herdaland
Inga III 15m to 30m – Staffjord
Our final destination is the beautiful coastal town of Ålesund. Like a Norwegian Venice it has water on all sides, canals, bridges and stunning Jugend style architecture. Ålesund is both a municipality and a city with a population of 43,000 located on the North-Western coast – the architecture makes it different from any other Norwegian city. The rough distance we’ll cover from Bergen & Ålesund is approximately 235 kilometers (145 miles) over eight days. The extended length of this trip means we can take our time and enjoy the scenery as we meander our way up the coast between dives, stopping off at places like Floro, a pleasant small town on the coast and hopefully spending a night at Hardbakke on Sula, perhaps the finest harbour town of them all. We plan to come alongside a pier to pick up supplies most nights, this is dependent on where we finish each day and if we have to anchor offshore, it will always be in a quiet, peaceful location.
Just so you know, scallops can be caught and cooked on the boat but there is a NO TAKE policy on lobsters in Norway. Here’s a summary of the legislation and rules for scuba diving in Norway.
2. Why is it an expedition? Most wreck diving trips start and finish in Bergen, getting as far as Sognefjord in the process and without question the diving is superb. However, even better diving can be found further north. For the adventurous, given settled weather there is some virtually unexplored diving out to the west. The scenery around Sognefjord is pleasant, but not as dramatic or rugged as that to the north. It is here this trip becomes an expedition in that we will be looking for new dive sites, as well as dropping in on some of the famous ones in this area not usually accessible on a week long trip out of Bergen.
3. Introducing Bob Anderson, our skipper. Bob arrived in Orkney in 1993, attracted by the lure of Scapa Flow. He worked as a commercial diver for four years before becoming a dive boat skipper in 1998. After three years on other boats, he bought Halton in November 2001. Bob has an MCA Boat Master ticket for Scapa Flow and an RYA Yacht Master Offshore ticket for 60nm.
I originally put this trip together running over the early May Bank Holiday, but the skipper I chartered backed out saying they could no longer afford to operate in Norway after honoring commitments in 2012, great after holding onto the deposit for six months! Anyway, after much searching the opportunity came about to charter Halton while I was researching something else, so it really is a happy accident. With a bit of gentle persuading and negotiation, here we are with more (rather than less) of the exact same trip I’d planned. Whilst the Halton is certainly not as luxurious as the previous charter, I think our trusty dive boat surrounding adds to the feel of an expedition, combined with two additional diving days and more time at either end, making this trip even better in my opinion.
4. MV Halton, our live-aboard home was built in Denmark in 1973 in the distinctive Danish style to withstand the worst of the weather for her former life as a trawler. Over the winter of 2002/3, she underwent a major conversion, moving the wheelhouse forward to allow space for a galley and saloon area above deck and six twin-berth cabins were fitted below, converting the Halton into a sturdy and very capable dive boat.
She is 70 ft long by 17 ft wide, with plenty of space for 12 divers to kit up and then relax after each dive. The deck is laid out with benches down either side to allow kitting up whilst seated and the minimum of moving cylinders around when it comes to gas fills. Halton’s charging whips are 5 metres long and can reach most of the nooks and crannies for storing cylinders – air and nitrox fills are available to 250 br.
Helium is available, BUT ONLY FOR CCR divers as the amount that can be carried on a trip like this is limited. Entry to the water is through an opening in the side of the boat at deck level, and there’s an hydraulic diver lift mounted half way along the port side to retrieve you from the water. The wheelhouse sits in the middle of the boat immediately behind the dive deck so Bob can see what’s going on at all times – we’re welcome in the wheelhouse anytime, but obviously not all at once!
Behind the wheelhouse sits a combined toilet & shower. Heating and cooking are provided by an oil fired Rayburn and food stored in either fridge or freezer. Below deck, there are six twin-berth cabins, three on each side of a central corridor with fitted bunks against the hull. At the forward and of the corridor is another shower/toilet facility. Forward of the skipper’s cabin is a changing area with room to don suits and hang them to dry at after your dive.
5. This trip costs £1,290 it includes: EIGHT days diving, (minimum two dives each day), nine nights on board accommodation sharing twin-bunk cabins. We join Halton in Bergen, boarding after midday Saturday, 6 July 2013 and leave her in Ålesund by 4 pm on Monday, 15 July 2013. All meals are catered on board including breakfast, lunch dinner and include hot beverages and water (dinner on 6 July and breakfas on 15 July), you can choose to eat out in Bergen and/or Ålesund but be warned eating out and alcohol is very expensive in Norway is very expensive – best stock up with duty-free on the way! Finally, cylinders and air fills is included, there’s a 12 ltr manifold twin-set & 7 ltr stage, 15 ltr cylinder & 7 ltr stage or 2 x 3 ltr CCR cylinders & 7 ltr stage for everyone, the choice is yours.
6. The package price excludes all the associated costs of getting to Bergen and back from Ålesund. Nitrox costs extra, O2 is 1.7p per litre, helium is 3p per litre and helium is only available to rebreather divers, lime costs £4 per kg and is available by prior arrangement.
9. To book a place on this trip, contact the trip organiser in the first instance An initial deposit of £395 is required to secure a place (and these are offered on a first come, first served basis). A balance payment of £895 is due 12 weeks (84 days) before the trip – that’s Friday, 12 April 2013. You can pay by bank transfer - account name: diversonline sort code: 08-92-99 account number: 69513224 please reference your payment with your SURNAME and HALTON or by cheque made payable to diversonline (please contact me for the postal address). If you don’t have internet banking or a cheque book, you can pay by debit or credit card using the diversonline PayPal account. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org – please note: if you wish to PayPal using your credit card, you must add an extra £5 to the transaction value to cover PayPal’s supplement charges, thank you.
10. ADEQUATE TRAVEL INSURANCE & DIVE INSURANCE COVER ARE BOTH REQUIRED TO COME ON THIS TRIP Don’t forget, it is your responsibility to insure yourself against the potential high cost of dive related medical treatment and associated costs, and to protect your holiday investment.
11. Cancellation policy. Deposit refunds for cancellations made in advance of the balance due date can only be given once the trip is full and another diver has taken your place. For cancellations made after the balance has been paid, no refund can be given until your place is sold to another diver. If we are successful (you can help find a suitable diver to take your place too), you will receive a full refund, minus any reduction agreed between you and the buyer of your place. In the event of adverse weather conditions or “force majeur” causing cancellation of the arrangements, your payment for that part of the booking will be refunded after the trip. This only applies to day boat charter fees, it excludes accommodation, admission fees and live-aboards, unless specifically stated otherwise in the trip details.
12. Health and safety on the trip. Everyone on board defers to the skipper. It is important to listen very carefully to all safety briefings while you are on this trip and follow the instructions you are given at all times, both in and out of the water. Make sure you dive within the limits of your dive certification, experience and comfort level. If you do experience any dive related problem, make others around you aware immediately. Familiarise yourself with each dive site where possible and agree a dive plan with your buddy. In an emergency, you are reminded you have responsibility for the first actions to effect a successful rescue, without endangering yourself.
13. Please note. Care has been taken to ensure the information about this trip is both a fair and accurate representation of what you will receive and the magnitude of cost you will incur. Neither diversonline or the trip organiser accept any responsibility for errors, omissions or changes which result in an increase in cost and/or changes to the itinerary. By booking a place on this trip, you accept that diversonline and the trip organiser have no duty of care to you or others on the trip and understand we are merely facilitating the hire of the boat and accommodation.
14. To book a place or for more information:
Contact Ken Powell on 07989 387792 or email email@example.com
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Posted in Trips on February 9th, 2012 | Comments Off