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Lofoten overview


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Lofoten, Norway, Europe dive site map


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Scuba Diving in Lofoten, Norway, Europe


Water temperature:

7°C in October, 5°C in November, 4°C in December. Air temperatures average 5°C in October, 1°C in November and -1°C in December

Suit:

This seems to vary vastly between nationalities. 5mm wetsuit, semi-dry or drysuit. I wouldn't dive with less than a membrane drysuits with thinsulates and thermals at this time of year.

Visibility:

8 - 12 metres (26 - 40 feet) due to poor light conditions above the sea and a small amount of plankton bloom. The best visibility is during March. However, there are no whales at this time of year and the water temperature is close to its coldest

Type of diving:

Sheer walls, overhangs and dramatic rock formations, vast number of wrecks, deeper dive sites (walls down to 400m), and plenty of night diving (any dive after 2pm!)

Marine life:

Much of the scenery is fairly similar to the UK with plenty of giant kelp, edible and spider crabs, squirrelfish, cod and similar fish, nudibranch, clams and muscles, starfish, anemones and jellyfish. In the open fjord, there are killer whales and huge shoals of herring

When to go:

The killer whale safari season is from the beginning of October to mid-December. Between December and January there is barely any light and most of the tourist industry shuts down. The water temperatures are still very cold until May, when diving recommences. Arctic diving is from the beginning of May to September

How to get there:

From the UK - There are regular flights from London Heathrow to Oslo. From Oslo, you take an internal flight to Bodo and from Bodo you can take either a prop plane to Svolvaer or a ferry to Svolvaer. We booked all our flights through Scandinavian Airlines so we could check our kit through for the entire journey. The dive centre is based in Kabelvag, which is a 15 minute cab ride from the airport


Lofoten, Norway, Europe  - courtesy of Rik Vercoe

Kabelvag

The dive centre (Lofotdykk) is based in the small town of Kabelvag on the shores of the Vestfjorden in the islands of Lofoten, in Northern Norway. This is a traditional fishing town, surrounded by beautiful scenery and has recently seen tourism become its biggest business, with people coming from Scandinavia and the rest of Europe for climbing, hiking, fishing and diving.

We were staying in the recently-renovated dive centre on the waters edge in the centre of the town, a stones throw from the local shops and bars. The living accommodation is communal living at its best; a well equipped kitchen, and dining facilities with navigation maps on the walls, several bunk rooms for 4 - 6 people each and a few bathroom facilities. We were doing a week-long trip with a three day safari, and so for 3 nights were expected to cater for ourselves. This included providing breakfast and dinner, although the local pub had several pizzas on the menu.

Trawler in Lofoten, Norway, Europe - courtesy of Rik Vercoe

Trip Breakdown

The trip breaks down into 2 days Arctic diving from the rib (up to 2 dives a day), with sites determined by weather conditions and the ability of the group of divers; 3 days liveaboard on the Anne Bore and 1 day off to explore, visit the aquarium and have a lecture on killer whales. There is also the option of just a 3 day killer whale safari.

Additional Diving Information

The centre (Lofotdykk, run by Local Norwegian Magne) offers diving and snorkelling for groups of up to 15 people. This would make a great group dive trip, for qualified divers. Rib experience would be good as well as relevant training if diving in a drysuit. There is no time for practice or training, the weather conditions can often be rough and unfavourable, there are often strong underwater currents, and if drift diving you'll be required to use SMBs and be tied together.

Jenny Pickles, BSAC Dive Leader


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