Don't worry about that Keith, I'll blame the tutors for not forcing me to do the work!
With any luck I won't need my A levels anyway, as the career I'm going into asks only for GCSEs! So the A levels are just a backup for if I don't get through the Navy dive school, plus they keep me occupied till I'm 18.
Orkney Factoid Just another factoid in a series designed to whet the appetitie of our intrepid Orkney SIB expiditioneers
The formal end of the Royal Navy using Scapa Flow as a base came on the 29th of March 1957, on a typical Spring Scapa day. The White Ensign was hauled down for the last time.
It was a grey windswept day with a gusty wind tugging at the ensign. There were fewer than 200 people present to watch the ceremony. There was not even a flag officer present to pay respects to the sterling service that Scapa Flow had paid to the Royal Navy and the country for 150 years.
The only Navy ship present was the boom defense ship HMS Barleycorn.
Well folks, we expiditioneers will pay our respects to this venerable harbour. The Vikings came over 1,200 years ago....the RIBs and SIBs of RIBNET will be there in 2003. The new invasion starts here.
Just another factoid in a series designed to whet the appetitie of our intrepid Orkney SIB expiditioneers
The high latitude of Orkney (59 degrees north) means long hours of light in the summer but a winter of very short, grey days.
The Midsummer Solstice
At the midsummer solstice the sun rises in the north-east around 4 am, before setting again in the north-west at around 10.30 pm. As such the sun shines for six hours on north facing surfaces and is in the sky for some 18 hours.
But despite the long summer days, the altitude of the sun at noon is less than 60 degrees, so high temperatures are unusual.
When the summer sun finally sets, it remains just below the horizon so there is no true darkness - simply a period of extended twilight known in dialect as the "simmer dim".
The Midwinter Solstice
But there is a price to pay for the long hours of summer light.
By the time of the winter solstice in December, the sun is rising in the south-east after 9 am, setting around six hours later in the south-west.
During this "day" of weak, grey light, the sun barely reaches a midday altitude of 10 degrees. What sunshine there is is usually dependent on the cloud cover at the time, which can often make for days of near darkness.
You are quite correct, my dear socko. (you definitely are Keith Hart). I've just been looking at a website about the wrecks in Scapa complete with pics. Should be paradise for the divers on the SIB expedition. Apparently there are seven major German ships still down there the rest being salvaged by an enterprising Black country firm, Cox and Danks. The ships were scuttled by having their seacocks hammered off. These were filled with concrete by the salvors to enable recovery. The remaining ships were too badly damaged to be raised. Just punch in scapaflow and loads of sites come up.
I'm taking my kit up if there's room in David's for it and if it's alright by him. A few other people are considering taking dive kit up. I'll be at minimum a BSAC Sport Diver by then, if possible higher. Some diving up their would be good practice, as shortly after I'll be starting my navy diver training.
It seems that some want to dive. I believe that the water will be clear (but cold) in August. However, diving in Scotland is a MUST!! I am a BSAC Open Water diver, is there any one who has a higher qualification than that so a SAFE dive can be arranged??
I'm currently doing Ocean Diver (what was Club Diver, equivalent of PADI open water) but have been diving for over a year. Reason qualifications aren't sorted is our club isn't exactly quick at getting training sorted. But I am making sure that I get as much training done as possible.
Yep, it'll be cold, but then the water is rarely warm for us