Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Runde Island, Norway
In October 2000 I travelled to the Runde Island area of Norway to dive the fiords and nearby areas. See this Runde Island General page for more information on the location and dive operation. In the map at left, Runde Island is located about one third of the way up the coast as shown by the black spot.
|A map of Runde Island and nearby area|
The attached map shows Runde Island and nearby islands. The Runde Dykkesenter (Runde Dive Centre) is located in the small harbour on the south-eastern corner of the island. It is about a 10 to 15 minute run in the Centre's boat to even the most distant dive site. Water temperature in October was 11°C, air temperature 6 to 14°C (but able to go negative at any time), very windy most times, seas millpond wherever we dived and even on journey to sites, mostly calm.
There are dozens of dive sites located within a short distance of Runde Island. You can dive virtually anywhere and as dives are always done as drift dives, where one ends you can simply start another one there. The following are descriptions of the dive sites I dived and the fish I saw. First, however, a brief description of some of the more common fish I saw.
This spot is located on the northern side of the Runde Bridge, adjacent to the causeway. Presumably this was the old harbour for Runde Island as the harbour is now at the opposite end of the island where the dive shop is located. The reef is actually the causeway, composed of granite boulders quarried from the island's western end. We dropped onto the reef at 12 metres and quickly went to the sand at 21 metres. The rocks had kelp, but only small stuff (maximum one metre). Heading north along the causeway and then west as the reef turns away from the causeway, the depth gradually rises to 16 metres or less. I did a 41 minute night dive here. Two marulk, a lot of crabs, some anemone errmit krebbes and a few small fish. Visibility 20 metres, nice dive.
Rimoy Bay, Rimoy Island
Located in the bay on the northern side of Rimoy Island (to the south of Runde Island), we did a night dive here. Again, we started just off the shore, dropping onto reef at 10 metres (small rocks, covered in kelp) and then heading east along the sand at a constant 16 metres. Heaps of crabs, at least 10 marulk, some very big (0.5 metre), a couple of octopus (orange, large and small) out in the open, scallops, one tejstenfisken, some large orange spotted flatfisk, two blackfisk and more. An excellent dive with 15 metre visibility.
Krakoja (Crow) Island
Krakoja Island is located to the south-south-east of Runde Island and is not all that big. Surprisingly, it has a lot of sheep grazing on it, put there by local farmers to take advantage of the grass. We dived here a few times. The first dive was on the northern side. We started on reef at 10 metres and after a short swim dropped over a very good wall to 30 metres. We followed the sand edge as it gradually rose to15 metres. Great wall! I saw a lot of crabs, one lobster, one marulk, some small fish (which I did not really take in as this was my first Norway dive) and a large school of herring in the shallower area. Kelp shallower is over two metres high and you can swim through it in spots. Visibility 20 metres.
The second dive was on the north-west corner where we dropped to the reef at 5 metres and headed north to the sand at 40 metres. This wall dropped in a vertical or steeping slope (like Uluru) and was spectacular. We followed the wall to the east. After 11 minutes we had to ascend a bit die to lack of bottom time. We gradually came up to 15 metres following a smaller wall. A lot of pink anemones at the start and some schools of herring. As well as a lot of marulk, there were many large gylta and crabs. At the end of the dive, there were a lot of lobster pots but they only had crabs in them. An extremely good dive. Visibility 25 metres.
Gardbaen, North Runde Island
This is a reef located about 600 metres off the tunnel to Gokysor. The reef breaks the surface and drops to over 25 metres. Basically a round reef, with a number of gutters radiating out from it. Main ones appear to be running north-south to bottom from reef. Gutters are 0.5 to 5 metres wide and 2 to 10 metres deep. Fantastic exploring, especially in the shallower areas. A lot of kelp here as well, making the gutters a total forest. Heaps of crabs, one huge lobster, male and female blagylta, a few gylta and other fish. Very enjoyable, visibility 15 metres.
Langeneset (Longnose) Wall, Runde Island
Langenes is Norwegian for longnose. There are at least four Langenes Points on the islands around Runde Island. This one is located on the north-eastern corner of Runde Island. We started at the point and entered the water on the northern side of the point. The reef runs east-west and then turns to the north and gets a bit deeper. The start was 5 metres and the wall dropped to 30 metres in a vertical drop. The bottom was sandy with a lot of rocks. The bottom comes up to 25 metres.
After 18 metres, we had to rise up a bit to the top of the reef (here 20 metres) and headed back towards the start. The top comes up to 12 metres nearer to the start point, We exited near the start, I saw one marulk, one catfish, crabs galore, one lange, one facig havskatt, a lot of gylta and a school of herring at end. Also one large soft coral on wall. The kelp in shallows is two metres high. Very good dive, 20 metres visibility.
Langeneset, Nerlandsoy Island
Another longnose point, this one is on the southern side of a small bay on the north-eastern side of Nerlandsoy Island, which is located to the south-west of Runde Island. The furthermost dive we did.
We started in 12 metres and dropped to 27 metres. The wall follows the shore line and seemed to go deeper to at least 60 metres! We followed it at 27 metres till we had to rise up due to lack of bottom time. We went to the south-east for a while before another wall went south and then north-west. We followed this shallower wall back towards start. We ended up in 10 metres and then five metres. A lot of large kelp here. I saw heaps of crabs, three huge lobsters, one flatfisk, one small marulk and many gylta, some quite large. Visibility was 20 metres, a very good dive which ended by seeing a seal when back on the boat.
Treholmane - North and South
Treholmane is a series of rocks located two kilometres to the east of the dive shop. You can dive either side of the rocks. The south side has a reef running from 10 metres to 15 metres and then a wall to 40 metres. The bottom is mostly sand but some boulders. We followed wall to east and then north, the depth rising to 22 metres. We ended up between the rocks in five metres. No crabs or lobsters (amazing) but heaps of lange, quite a few male blagylta, one skarlanga and some big gylta. Kelp everywhere in shallows, some three metres high. Visibility 20 metres, great dive.
The northern side of the rocks starts on the reef top at 10 metres and a wall drops to 24 then 33 and then over 42 metres. Probably goes to 50 metres out on sand. The wall runs to north-west. We then went east and south-east where we came to a gully. We crossed this and turned right. It brought us back to the start!! Should have turned left. Depth stayed at 40 metres but we rose up wall to 24 metre bottom and followed this wall as it gradually came up to 15 metres. Heaps of crabs, a small masquerading krebbe, a school of herring, many male and female gylta, some lace corals, hard corals and some anemone (pinkie and white). Visibility at least 25 metres, an excellent dive.
This is located north of the Havna dive site, on the opposite side of the "bay" created by the causeway to the bridge. The reef started at 9 metres and gradually sloped to 20 metres. Heaps of small kelp on rocks and sand on bottom. Also a lot of small rocks all over the sand. Not a great dive, only some small marulk, a few very large flatfisk. Visibility 15 metres, not worth it.
Nord Havna (North Harbour)
This is located on further north-west than the above dive site. We started on the reef at 12 metres and then dropped to the sand at 21 metres. We headed south but after a few minutes the sand became covered with a lot of rocks (with kelp) and the reef edge went north-east so we went over reef to a wall from 18 to 15 metres. There were a lot of gullies heading into towards the shore. These were very interesting to explore. A lot of gylta, a few male and female blagylta, scallops and a few crabs, one of them huge. An excellent dive, we did it as a twilight dive. Visibility 20 metres.
These rocks are located off the northern end of Bolandet Island which is about four or five kilometres south-east from the dive shop. The reef drops from 5 metres to 45 plus metres. I went to north and dropped to 40 metres and followed a wall to the west. The sand here gradually came up to 20 metres. The reef was very rocky and covered in very tall kelp. In some spots the kelp had been harvested (for production of pharmaceuticals, artificial gelatine etc) in strips of about five metres wide. Some crabs, a lot of gylta and some male blagylta. Visibility about 20 metres. Nice dive.
Krakoysuyndet is the channel between Krakoja Island and the much bigger Leinoya Island to the south. We entered the water off the southern side of Krakoja and headed south to the reef edge. The wall dropped to 23 metres and ran east-west. We headed west. The reef was a sandy bottom and there was a nice bay that ran back right into the island. The top of the reef was 10 metres here. We continued west (with a bit of south here and there) and ended up back on the sand edge. The depth came up to 14 to 16 metres and there were one or two more smaller bays. A lot of flatfisk, marulk and scallops as well as some gylta. Visibility 20 metres.
Saeviksteinen, Remoya Island
This location is adjacent to the road that runs from the Runde Island Bridge to the Remoya Tunnel that runs almost 1000 metres through the Island. The reef drops quickly from the road to the sand at 16 metres nearer to the bridge.
We headed south parallel to the road, always over the sand. The sand got deeper to 22 metres before coming up to 16 metres again. I did two night dives here, excellent dives, two of the best I have done. Heaps of crabs, marulk, flatfisk, anemone errmit krebbes, two octopus, tiny blackfisk, one orange tejstefisken, lots of scallops and some small gylta. The errmit krebbes were amazing, the anemone firing off its tenticles when threatened and then, the krebbe dropping its shell and running away, leaving the poor anemone to cope by itself. An excellent dive site, especially for night dives. Visibility 15 to 20 metres.
Krakoya to Ingridskj Drift
This dive runs from the eastern end of Krakoya Island to the rocks of Ingridskj. After entering the water at a depth of 10 metres, you head north to a wall that drops from 15 metres to 27 metres. We followed this west for about six minutes before coming up over a wall to 20 metres. Here there was reef on both sides and we went up a gully for 11 minutes. At the head of the gully there was a wall that was 12 metres. This reef gradually rose to 8 metres and after six minutes there was another gully at 11 metres. This was narrow and after four minutes we found the wreckage of a trawler that sank in 1952. There were winches, timber, anchor chain and other pieces. There are supposed to be two anchors but we did not see them nor did we see the engine (or boiler?) or prop. Fish we saw included gylta, marulk and schools of herring. Visibility 25 metres. Very good dive.
Kvieneset, Remoya Island
This site is due south of the dive shop on the north-eastern corner of Remoya Island. The reef drops from 13 metres to 29 metres. We followed the wall to the west and it gradually came up to 25 metres before dropping back to 28 metres. The wall was mostly flat rock but there were some huge boulders. However, there was another wall dropping from here to over 40 metres but we did not have the bottom time to explore it. At the end there were a few canyons. A lot of male and female blagylta, heaps of big gylta, one very large and one small lobster, crabs, three marulk (one huge) and a big school of herring at the end. We ended up in 12 metres near shore. Excellent visibility of 25 metres.
This dive site is just off shore in front of the Christineborg Hotel which is located on the north-eastern corner of Runde Island. The reef drops straight to 33 metres and we headed south-west and parallel to the shore. The bottom was composed of sand and small rocks. A lot of gylta and crabs, a school of herring, some anemones (orangy-red), one lobster, a few small crabs (like our spider crabs) and one anemone errmit krebbe. After 10 minutes on the bottom, there was another deeper reef that went to over 40 metres. The main reef bottom gradually went to 25 metres and then we followed a gutter in towards the shore. The gutter came up to 10 metres. Visibility 25 metres, an excellent dive.