Diving in Bodø, Norway

I decided to do my semester abroad in the second largest city of arctic Norway, Bodø!
That means two things:

  • Cold (-20 degrees)
  • Dark (2 hours of sunlight)

And it was exactly that when I arrived. But as the sun returned and the local temperatures increased, so did the opportunities to explore Norway on a whole new level; underwater! The only special thing you need to be able to do that is a dry suit as the water temperature ranges from 3-5 degrees. A definite no-go with a regular wetsuit!

I rented from a local dive professional and instructor which I met online. He was extremely kind and helpful and helped me get all my gear sorted. He told me of his many dive adventures in the area and that almost nobody dived here, because Norwegians apparently hate the cold (surprising, I know). This all made it feel a bit more special though, as it is a very much unexplored diving area! The only place that is frequently visited by divers is Saltstraumen, the world’s strongest maelstrom and a bucketlist item of mine!

” The only place that is frequently visited by divers is Saltstraumen, the world’s strongest maelstrom and a bucketlist item of mine! “

The first dive we did was at a local beach, Ervika, where I got used to all the unfamiliar gear. Sadly the inflator hose did not fit the attachment on my suit so the first dive we could only go 10 meters deep. In the end this didn’t matter as there was plenty to discover in the more shallow waters.

My first look underwater already made me gasp and the further we went, the better it got. Kelp would flow with the current and beams of light would shine through, giving the feel of being in an underwater forest. Lots of marine life had climbed into the kelp, like giant spider crabs, hermit crabs and nudibranchs! There were so many colours, shapes and sizes of starfish and also a large number of urchins, sadly of which one species is invasive (purple sea urchin). We had also hoped to see some large halibut, but sadly didn’t spot any.

Our second and third dive was at Mørkvedbukta, the local fjord. This was by far the best spot! We saw massive ‘troll krabbe’ (see the picture) and large groups of coal fish! The kelp here was also much more dense and the marine life even more abundant! The water clarity here is also insane, with the minimum visibility often being around 20 meters.

As my semester here continues I hope to explore more arctic diving sites and see more of what the arctic sea has to offer. This also includes getting my advanced and diving at Saltstraumen!

The conclusion is that dry suit diving is not for everyone and yes the tropics are beautiful, but it would be a shame to ignore places like this which have such an unique feel and beauty to them! So if you ever get the chance, pack your bags and head to Norway and I swear you won’t regret it!

– Shelle Kelhout

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *