Narvik – September 2011

galten-01The Norwegian wrecks

5th – 11th September 2011  (photo gallery)

Not the normal place you would think to go for a summer diving holiday but some of our club members had looked into it, so it got booked and on 5 September  2011 we set off.  Two flights and eleven hours later we arrived in the Arctic Circle and our liveaboard the Galten, an ex navy mine sweeper.

Day 1:

The next morning we jumped in the water for our first dive -The Romanby, an iron ore carrier of 4887 Tons.   The water temp was just 5c but clear with the vis a good 20m and the condition of the wreck, if it was not for the big hole the torpedo made in its side, you could use it today.


At a depth of just 25 metres we managed to stay down for 50 mins before the cold just got too much.

After the first dive we had a short trip back to the harbour and from there into town to the museum of Narvik where we saw a short film about the battle of Narvik and then a look around some of the finds in the museum before returning to the boat for lunch. 

The second dive of the day was back on the Romanby.  This time we when to the stern to look at the rudder and prop shaft before going though the torpedo hole and into the engine room.

 Day 2:

The Nevenfels ore carrier (8096 Tons).  We did two dives and as the day before we gave the engine room a miss on the first dive.  We went from bow to stern having spent some time in and around the bridge.  On the second dive we spent most of our time in and around the engine room.

 Day 3:

The Strassa ore carrier (5602 Tons) and the Martha Hendrikik  fisser ore carrier (4879 Tons).  The shot line was on the Strassa’s bow and from there we made our way back to the stern, then across a rope line to the stern of the Martha.  We had a look over her stern then down her starboard side to another line which took us back to the Strassa .  We did the same dive in the afternoon spending more time in the engine room of the Strassa before crossing the line to the Martha to find her spare prop and have a look around her bridge then back across and up the shot line.

 Day 4:

The Wilhlm Heidkamp Z21 and The Anton Schmitt Z22 German destroyers.  The shot line was on the bow of the Z21 so we had a good look around there first before the 20 metre swim across to the Z22 which is the first wreck of this trip not to be upright.  She lies on her port side and her bow makes a very large over hang you can get right under.  From there we went down her starboard side to the bridge and what is left of the rest of the ship before we hit the Z21 again for a quick look around then back to the shot.  The afternoon dive was much the same but this time we went along the debris field of the Z21 which went so far that we could not see its end in 30 metres of vis.


Day 5:

The Romanby.  We wanted to go back to this wreck as it has so much to see and we got right into the engine room and there are some great swim throughs . Our last dive was back to the Nevenfels – this wreck was so big.  We went down the line to the stern then down to the prop and rudder, down the starboard side to the bridge which is beside the wreck, then back to the deck and into the engine room through the big hole and back to the stern and up the line.

There is not a lot of life on these wrecks – some small fish, a ling here and there, lots of anemones and dead man’s fingers and other soft corals but lots of metal!!

The food on the Galten was the best I have had on any dive trip I have been on, the boat was dry and warm, the skipper and first mate knew their stuff and inside the fiord the sea was flat calm.

All in all the best diving holiday I have been on.

Julian Avis

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