What is Denmark ?
Denmark is a rather small country, population is around 5.5 mill, and its area is 42,394 sq km (excluding Greenland, which is a part of Denmark, but rather big and far away). Denmark is a pile of mud washed of from Norway and Sweden at the ending of the last iceage. Its flat, highest point is around 173 m. The coastline is 7314 km. and consists of app. 500 islands, which are mostly small and uninhabitable. Check the world factbook
Where is Denmark ?
Denmark is located in northern europe, just below Norway and Sweden, east of Britain and north of Germany
What about scuba diving in Denmark ?
The danes have always had a great love of the sea. Even before the birth of a unified nation, sometime in the 10th century, the danes have been seafaring people. The vikings went as far as the Mediterranean region and even North America, some 500 years before Columbus, as they were aiming for Greenland, but hit New Foundland due to a slight navigational error.
Naturally scuba diving is a common activity in Denmark. It is estimated that there are 20.000 certified scuba divers and some 7500 are members of a diving club. Most of the the 170 diving clubs are members of the Danish Sportsdivers Federation (DSF).
How is the diving in Denmark ?
The waters of Denmark has a great varity of diving environments. The Northsee (Nordsøen) and Skagerak is usually quite windy, but on a calm day you will find very good diving with good visibillity. In Kattegat and the baltic sea (Østersøen) you will find calm waters with moderate depths from 10 to 100 m. In the narrow straits of Lillebælt, between Jutland and Fyn (Jylland og Fyn) and Øresund between Sealland and Sweden (Sjælland and Sverige) there is almost always currents. Sometimes barely noticable but mostly somewhere between moderate and strong. Especially Lillebælt is known for its rather strong and unpredictable currents. Denmarks dosent really have tides, the average tide is normally less than 1 meter in the inner waters. Currents comes mainly from the huge amounts of water rushing between Kattegat and the baltic sea.
The visibility is usually between 4 and 8 meters in the open seas, but it can be as little as a few centimeters in the strait on bad days. Again this is quite unpredictable.
In the most eastern part of Denmark we have Bornholm located in the lower part of the baltic sea. Bornholm is basically a piece of rock with a few thousand inhabitants most of which speaks a language very close to danish (or swedish, nobody really knows). Anyway, the waters around Bornholm are almost fresh water and usually has very good visibillty.
Water temperatures are definitely coldwater. In a year the surface temperature can get as high as 20 degrees celcius and as low as 0 degrees celcius, but below 10 meters it will usually be between 4 and 8 degrees celcius most of the year. If you want to take up drysuit diving, Denmark is the place to start.
What about wrecks ?
As Denmark is the gate to the baltic sea a huge amount of trafic has gone and still goes thru danish waters. Naturally some of the ships sinks and over time this adds up to quite a few wrecks. It is estimated that there is over 5.000 wrecks in danish waters, dating back from the wikings a 1000 years ago. Some of the older wrecks, that are still diveable, are “Sjælland” sunk 1801 and “Dannebroge” sunk 1710. Among the more recent wrecks are “Fu Shan Hai” , a 225 m long chinese bulkfreighter which sank in 2003, just a few miles north of Bornholm. It sits on the bottom at 69 m and top at 25 m.
Most of the known wrecks are registered in “DykInfo” and presented online in “Vragguiden” (The wreckguide) (its in danish, but look at the bottom of the page for a translation of the more common danish word and phrases).
How can I go diving ?
If you are a certified diver you can either contact a divecenter (listing of divecenters by region from the danish magazine”DYK”) or a local club. The Danish Sportsdivers Federation will be happy to guide you to the nearest club or you could try this clublisting.
Are there any restrictions ?
Not really. There are a few wrecks with dive restrictions and a few areas around major habours that are off limits to divers, but basically anywhere where you can walk to the shore you can go diving.
Common danish words and phrases:
At the shop:
I would like to rent some divegear
Jeg vil gerne leje noget dykkerudstyr
I would like to have my tank filled with air
Jeg vil gerne have min flaske fyldt med luft
Are you insane ? I will not pay that much to rent some lousy divegear!
Er du sindsyg ? Jeg vil ikke betale så meget for at leje noget skrammel dykkerudstyr.
At the divesite:
What is the depth ?
Hvad er dybden ?
There is a hole/leak in my drysuit
Der er et hul i min tørdragt
Did you see the polarbear ?
Så du isbjørnen