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DIVING IN HEMMOOR

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Scuba diving in Hemmoor

We had talked about diving in Hemmoor many times before. Marco and I are avid Scandinavia travellers and every time we drove through northern Germany towards Denmark/Sweden/Norway we talked about Hemmoor.
Shall we go diving in Hemmoor? It didn't come to that. After all, I was rather apprehensive about the depths there and all those rules they have.

In the end, it happened. And all my reasons for not diving there because I thought it would be so "technical" went overboard.
I took my TDI course Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures in Hemmoor at Bart den Ouden and so I found out that I could have gone diving there much earlier. You can also have super fun diving there at 15-20 metres and don't have to go straight into the depths at all if you don't want to.

Scuba diving in Hemmoor

The Kreidesee Hemmoor in brief

Where is it located?
Hemmoor is in the German state of Lower Saxony, an hour and a half above Bremen. From Zwolle, 315 kilometres. A bit of a drive, but perfectly doable for a long weekend.
How deep is it?
Hemmoor is about 60 metres deep at its deepest point.
How big is the lake?
About 1300×500 metres, so plenty to explore
How is the visibility?
Good! Of course, this is a bit subjective. If you dive a lot in Dutch lakes, you might find the visibility is good. On a perfect day up to 40 metres, a bad day maybe between 5-10 metres. The times I dived there it was somewhere in between both.
And the temperature of the water?
We dived there in February and early May. The water then was 5 and 6 degrees at 30 metres. Because the lake is deep, the water does not warm up very quickly.
What does it cost to dive in Hemmoor?
You pay €15.- per day regardless of how often you dive. You can also buy a ten dives card or a weekend card.
Can you fill scuba tanks there?
Of course! The lake is 100% set up for divers, there is a filling station where you can go for your breathing air, oxygen and all possible trimix mixtures.

Diving rules and safety of Kreidesee Hemmoor

Diving in Hemmoor is well organised. We are in Germany, after all.
On busy days (weekends, holidays, etc), a rescue service is present. They also carry out spot checks on diving equipment and depth limits. If you do not comply with the established rules, you can be banned from diving.
There are 112 emergency phones at the various boardings.
There are a number of diving rules in place. For the comprehensive list, contact us or check them out at their website, but these are good to know before you travel to Germany:

  • You hold a current diving medical examination
  • Your diving equipment must be cold-water resistant, according to the DIN EN250 standard
  • You have two separate first stages
  • You are not allowed to dive solo
  • The maximum depth to dive on air is 45 metres
  • You may use a scooter if you can demonstrate at least 100 dives
  • And at the Rüttler (see below to read what that is), you are only allowed to dive if you have logged at least 40 dives, 5 of them in cold water.
Diving in Hemmoor, nice places to get ready
Diving in Hemmoor, with steps to the water

Various dive sites in Hemmoor

The great thing about Hemmoor is that you can go in the water at all sorts of different places. If you sign up for your dives at reception, you can take a ticket right away. The easiest entry is right at the front of the lake. It is the road where the trucks used to drive into the excavation and you walk along that road into the water. Under water, you can continue swimming down that road into the depths.
Other sites are higher up, which means you have to descend a bit by stairs. (and later up again) The sites are practically laid out everywhere. Apart from the above-mentioned, they are floating decks where you can do your diving gear properly.
Near the various boarding areas, they have built tables where you can build your set next to the car. Super convenient!

Scuba diving in Hemmoor

What do you see underwater?

If you come to watch fish, you won't have it very spacious. There are fish like perch, trout and eels swimming around. There are some giant sturgeon swimming around.
But the attraction is the clear water and the excavation it used to be. You can see, for example, the building "the Ruttler", which still has a truck on top. You will also find other materials that used to be used in limestone quarrying.
I personally prefer to see marine life while diving, but I too found it impressive to see that big building underwater.
At the front of the lake are fun objects and the plane and shark are super cool.

Underwater photography in Hemmoor

The finest photography opportunities

Met het heldere water en de bijzondere objecten onderwater heb je echt wel een aantal hele toffe mogelijkheden voor onderwaterfotografie.
You will enjoy your wide-angle most in this location.

The Rüttler is photogenic in itself, with the truck on top. If you swim down at the base of the building (30 metres deep) you will have a nice view upwards. If visibility is good, that will also make for a nice photo.

The trees that grew before the excavation flooded are still standing on parts of the lake. A beautiful sight, such an underwater forest.

My favourite photo subject is the plane they hung free in the water at a depth of ten metres. Above the plane is about ten metres of water, but below it is another 20 metres or so. A very special experience, such a plane in midwater.

I definitely want to go here more often to photograph. During the training dives, I obviously couldn't photograph and there was no time to capture those beautiful spots I saw.

Where to stay

You can camp ideally at this diving lake. Right next to the lake is a neat campsite, in the main building are showers, toilets and a small kitchenette. It's not luxurious, but neat and clean.
Next to the campsite are several cottages you can rent. Ideal for when it's colder (or you don't like camping!) If you have a cottage close to the boarding point, it can be handy to bring a (wagon), so you can walk to the lake with your things. Or drive your car to the boarding point.

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