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In March/April, the water is 6 -7 ºC. This rises to 12-14 ºC in August / September before dropping off gradually to 4-6 ºC by the end of December.
People often ask when the best visibility is, but there is no good or bad time. Visibility is generally excellent at the start and end of the season (i.e. March/April and October – December). In mid season we do get the occasional bloom but this is at no fixed time. High winds can also lead to reduced visibility at times. The visibility generally doesn’t go below 6 m.
What shall we bring?
Please bring personal items such as towels – we provide pillows/duvets and bed linen.
We provide 12 litre and some 15 litre cylinders(if you can please pre-book these), but divers are welcome to bring their own.
Don’t forget your dive kit ! It is possible to hire some equipment locally if anything is forgotten. There is also a local company offering suit repairs, with an overnight service for emergencies.
Although weights are provided on-board, please remember your weight belt.
Mobile Phone Coverage
Vodafone – full coverage
O2 – full coverage
Orange – very random
Others – don’t bother
There is a Royal Bank of Scotland and a Bank of Scotland/Halifax in Stromness. The cash points accept most cards and they can exchange traveller’s cheques. There is also a Lloyds/TSB and Clydesdale Bank in Kirkwall
Stromness has a very good butcher/greengrocer as well as an excellent bakery and other small grocery stores/delicatessens. There is also a local Co-op, which is about 5 minutes walk from the harbour. This stays open late until 10pm every night, even on Sunday. For people with vehicles there is also a Lidl and Tesco's in Kirkwall.
If choosing the dayboat option, we can help arrange accommodation and make recommendations. We can also guide you to suitable locations etc.
A good link is the local tourist board web site www.visitorkney.com
They have a downloadable brochure, which gives good information on travel to and from Orkney.
Travel to Orkney - by boat
There are various ways to get to Stromness, where we are based. The most conveniant is by NorthLink ferries. They travel from Scrabster to Stromness and this takes one and a half hours. You can either bring the car, so you can explore Orkney in the evenings, or they provide containers for your dive equipment and luggage. They do not charge for this service. The containers must be booked in advance, if travelling by foot.
They also operate a service from Aberdeen to Kirkwall
Pentland Ferries run from Gill's bay to St Margaret's Hope, which is at the other end of the island. This is about an hour's drive from stromness.
Travel to Orkney - by air
Flights to Orkney (Kirkwall) are from all scottish airports and with Flybe. We can arrange taxis/bus to and from the airport.