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: 2nd August 2002
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2002: Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands

Day 2: Saturday, 20th August 2002

By midnight we started to grab as much sleep possible, which was not easy in the seats designed originally for medieval torture. Minutes seemed like hours and hours like days, until around 3:30am on Saturday we stopped 70 miles south of Glasgow. The dawn had started to break and eyes started to open... Getting nearer to our destination, but did we have time?
Finally we arrived at Scrabster with an hour or so to spare. Packed the kit into a baggage box for the ferry and then off to the Fisherman's Mission for a late full breakfast.

MV Sunrise Everyone well fed then off to board the MV OLA. Settled down in the bar, beers ordered, stretched out and relaxed. 2 hours later and we arrived in Stromness.

The first sight, for most of us, of the MV Sunrise - our expectations not disappointed. Back on dry land, advance parties were instructed to seek out the best bunks while the reserves informed the shuttle truck to tow the baggage box over to our liveaboard.

First night in Stromness and out on the search for grub. 4 restaurants and as many pints later, we bumped into the owner of The Orca restaurant, Malcolm, propping up the bar in the Stromness Hotel.

"Can't find food? I own the place across the road, why don't you come over... We can put you in a room upstairs and eat as much buffet as you want for £8.50". An offer that couldn't be ignored, but the upstairs room sounded a little odd especially having seen the state of some of the locals - otherwise known as "moonheads". Off we set, stomachs grumbling at the thought of all the nosh. Outside, past the groom-to-be cellotaped, tar and feathered to a lamp-post, over the road and into The Orca. It felt like an invasion when we entered. 2 couples had been enjoying their meals in peace - not any longer after 11 hungry divers starting digging into the buffet. No dish left untouched - or with anything other than the merest crumb left as a reminder of its previous contents. Up the stairs and into our little room, seemingly dedicated for diver groups - specialist magazines such as Dive, Dive Girl and FHMs 'Hottest 100 Women Of 2002' piled neatly on a nearby table. Jason's love of African music became evident when he turned up the stereo a few decibels and we began to feel the floorboards shake beneath us. The owner, originally from the North East, made us very welcome, refilling the buffet and joining us for a drink and chat. Somehow the topic moved through local crime, number of bobbies (2 part-timers), traffic wardens (3) and even magic mushrooms which seem to grow quite prolifically up here - excellent if we want to stay up all night, but not a good idea as we'd be horny as hell, on a boat with 10 other male divers!

Stomachs bulging and bladders pressing we decided to make a move back to the Sunrise for some well-deserved sleep before diving commenced in the morning.

Friday 19th August 2002 The long drive ahead...
Saturday 20th August 2002 Finally arrive in the Orkneys & our welcome to "Shopping Week"
Sunday 21st August 2002 SMS Karlsruhe & Gobernador Bories
Monday 22nd August 2002 SMS Köln & Bottle Dive
Tuesday 23rd August 2002 SMS Markgraf & MV Radiation
Wednesday 24th August 2002 MV James Barrie, F2 and Barge - Party night !
Thursday 25th August 2002 SMS Brummer & V83
Friday 26th August 2002 SMS Dresden & Tabarka
Saturday 27th August 2002 The return trip South
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