New Take for the Centenary

Book Review

New Take for the Centenary

Scapa 1919: The Archaeology of a Scuttled Fleet by Innes McCartney

10198 Review Scapa 1919

Appeared in DIVER October 2019

Scapa Flow tends to be held in high esteem in most divers’ minds, a mythical place of shipwrecks so vast and complicated that you need many dives to get your mind around what you see.

Seven behemoths, sunk by their own crews as a final act of defiance, now lie as testament to a lost age of rapidly evolving war machines.

A completely new take on the standard dive is found between the covers of the new book about Scapa Flow by veteran wreck-researcher Innes McCartney. Previous books have set the standards high, but by bringing together the archaeology of the fleet, history and an up-to-date description of the wrecks, a whole new side to Scapa has been uncovered.

The wrecks themselves recently had their 100th birthday, and they have changed a huge amount in the past few years alone.

They’re huge and complex, and a naked-eye survey on a dive is barely enough to keep track of the changes from year to year. Dives merge into one, and it’s easy to get mixed up as to which stern belongs to which ship.

Many people seem to think the changing of the wrecks is a bad thing, but this evolution is revealing previously hidden areas, like the unfurling of the petals of a big rusty flower.

The book is easy to navigate, with sections for each wreck logically laid out to give any reader a fantastic foundation over which to lay their dives.

Excellent use has been made of easy-to read graphics. Overlays of plans onto the 3D scans taken in previous years allow us to see exactly how the wrecks are changing and makes even the most intricate site far easier to understand.

I rely in briefings on what I refer to as signposts – features that are unmistakable and which allow divers to orientate themselves exactly before they move on to the next.

In this book these signposts are shown both in photographs and in descriptions, helping you to navigate around what might otherwise appear to be a massive tangle of bent steel in a sort of wreck-blindness made worse

by poor vis.

After all these years and so many words written about Scapa Flow, it is pleasantly surprising to read new information about the sites, and a fresh and fabulously modern take on such an important place.

Osprey Publishing
ISBN: 9781472828903
Hardback, 272pp, 20x26cm, £21

Review by Helen Hadley (from Scapa liveaboard Valkyrie)

LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!

Get a weekly roundup of all Divernet news and articles 🤿

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related Divernet Posts

Diver Magazine Relaunch

Diver magazine needs YOU!

Are you still lamenting the demise of Diver magazine? Well now you can help resurrect an icon as we seek to bring back the magazine

Maine

Went for a dive and saw one fish

Editor-in-Chief of the Underwater Photography Guide NIRUPAM NIGAM went for a dive in the Gulf of Maine, a body of water historically known as “the

The Alex Van Opstal

WRECK TOUR 152 – The Alex Van Opstal

An old Weymouth favourite, the 5965-ton Belgian motor ship Alex Van Opstal, an early casualty of World War Two. It was sunk by a mine on 15 September, 1939, just 15 days after the German invasion of Poland.

Buford Springs Cave topside view

2 divers die at Florida cave site

Two men have died while scuba diving at western Florida cave-diving location Buford Springs Cave.  Three teenage swimmers found 63-year-old Stephen Roderick Gambrell unresponsive at

Sponges fragments

Sponges: Glue of the reef

A variety of environmental threats hang over scuba attraction the Florida Keys, but a team of dedicated divers are doing their bit to shift the

nets and diver

Spanish divers battle illegal nets

Scuba divers from Spanish marine conservation group Equilibrio Marino have removed a 600m fishing net from the Mediterranean Sea off Malaga city beach. In the

Follow Divernet on Social Media

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x