Nudibranch Safari FAQs

Join the Nudibranch Safari!

Are you thinking about joining the Nudibranch Safari? Here are answers to some of the questions you might have. If you have other questions, please get in touch and we'll try our best to help you out.



Posted on Aug 22, 2012 - updated Mar 9, 2016

If you cannot find the answer here, please look at the bottom of the page for more options and how to get in touch. I will try to add more answers as the questions pop up.

What do we do on the Nudibranch Safari?


I'm glad you asked! First of all, we have a lot of fun. There will be talks and photo tips from the experts, and we'll learn a lot about nudibranchs. Keywords are biology, feeding, reproduction and behaviour.

We'll spend a lot of time identifying what we have seen, photographed and collected (see below about this). One of more stereo magnifiers will be on hand, as will extensive nudibranch litterature, holding tanks and other equipment we need.

Since this is a workshop, you have the opportunity to shape the experience to fit your interests - don't hesitate to ask questions or make suggestions.

Prices for the Nudibranch Safari 2016


The price for the Nudibranch Safari 2016 workshops are € 620,-.

This includes accommodation in twin rooms, unlimited house reef diving (tanks, air and weights included), lectures and workshop. Bedsheets must be brought or rented, food not included (self-catering). Flights/transfer not included.

How do I book?


Although we vey much appreciate people letting us know they want to or may want to participate on Facebook, we can for obvious reasons not consider this a "real" booking.

In order to secure your place among the lucky few, you need to confirm that you're coming directly with Gulen Dive Resort:

» Click here to book the Nudibranch Safari at Gulen Dive Resort

How do I get to Gulen by plane?


The nearest airport is Bergen Airport, approx. 20 kilometers from Bergen. Several airlines fly to Bergen Airport from a host of European cities. A list of Airlines can be found here. If you can't get a direct flights, we recommend flying in via Oslo.

Check out Norwegian or SAS (among others) for flights.

Airport transfer


There will be a transfer service leaving from the airport at 16:30 on the first day of both workshops, March 31. and April 4. respectively. Driving time to Gulen is two hours.

Return transfers leave from Gulen at 11:00 on April 4. and 8. and will be at the airport around 13:00. Please make sure you don't book your return flight too early!

Getting to Gulen Dive Resort on your own

If you're unable to make use of the scheduled transfers, you can get to Gulen by speed ferry: Get on the bus from the airport to Bergen harbour (approx. 30 minutes driving time), and catch the northbound ferry to Mjømna which leaves at 16:30.

At Mjømna, you change to the "Solundir" which will take you directly to the pier at Gulen Dive Resort. The whole trip takes about three hours and offers a spectacular sightseeing. The crew will help you, just ask on board.

The "Solundir" speed ferry departs from Gulen at 07:30 in the morning, and arrives in Bergen just before 12:00. Please allow time for transfer and check-in - don't book an early flight!

Timetables for the ferry can be found at www.fjord1.no. The airport bus will take you downtown (and back) and stops approx. 100 meters from the speed ferry terminal.

How do I drive to Gulen?


Driving to Gulen might be a little tricky in the winter due to weather conditions and snow. The mountain crossovers may be closed or subject to restrictions, and you have to keep in mind that you'll need 8-10 hours from Oslo. Flying is a lot easier and normally cheaper, even with extra luggage for the dive gear.

Please also rembember that gas is expensive in Norway, and make sure you have appropriate winter tires. If you still want to drive, the routes can be found here

My preferred route when driving to Gulen Dive Resort from Oslo can be found at Google Maps. When in Norway, updated road messages in English can be obtained through telephone no. 175 (+47 815 48 991 from abroad) or online at www.vegvesen.no

If you are coming from Europe and want to avoid the long drive across the mountains, Fjordline offers three weekly departures from Hirtshals in Denmark to Bergen. From Bergen to Gulen takes about 2 hours, and the route can be found in Google Maps.

Where do we dive?


The diving on the Nudibranch Safari is done on the house reef of Gulen Dive Resort or at sites in the immidiate vicinity. The house reef offers an incredible diversity and so far 63 different nudibranch species has been found and identified here!

There will be local boat dives throughout the Nudibranch Safari, and underwater scooters can be rented for greater range. Still, it is easily possible to do 5-6 completely different dives from the pier in front of the diveshop. There is really no need to go anywhere else!

What's the water temperature?


We can expect anywhere from 2-6 degrees Celcius (usually around 4) so it's defintely drysuit territory. Suits can be rented at Gulen Dive Resort. Since all dives are done at the house reef there are no boatrides that will make you cold, and you can choose to do several shorter dives instead of a few long ones. Plus there will be warm waffles waiting when you come out of the water ;-)

Collection of nudibranchs - IMPORTANT!


On the Nudibranch Safari we carefully collect nudibranchs for further study and identification, and to help the ongoing project which is run by Jussi Evertsen and Torkild Bakken. Some specimens may be put in alcohol and brought for further studies at the university in Trondheim, but the majority are let back into the ocean unharmed.

Collection of marine species is legal in Norway, with some exceptions. However, if you wish to collect specimens to bring out of the country for your research this will only be allowed with proper permits due to the bio-prospecting laws. This can be obtained through your university.

You do not have to collect nudibranchs if this goes against your convitction, but please be advised that others will. Gulen Dive Resort enforces a self-imposed hunting ban on the house reef to preserve biodiversity.

Do I need an underwater camera?


No, you don't need an underwater camera. If you do bring one, big or small, you will however be able to get some useful tips on how to photograph nudibranchs, and you will get great images of different species in situ, which is helpful for identification purposes and to learn more about their habitat, reproduction and feeding preferences.

At the 2015 events there will be a macro/nudibranch photography talk both weekends, held by Christian Skauge.

What do I need to bring?


The usual stuff, but keep in mind it's winter time. Drysuit and warm undergarments are a must. You may want to bring bedsheets or a sleeping bag, but this can be rented at the resort so you don't have to.

What about food, how does the self-catering work?


The dive resort offers a well-equipped kitchen, and a small supermarket is just 5 minutes away by car. There will be people going there pretty much every day so it should not be too hard to find someone who will give you a ride.

Food can be prepared at your convenience, and feel free to team up with other guests for cosy dinners!

At this point, we don't know if the catering service from previous years will be available. Please make sure you at least bring something to eat for the first evening/breakfast.

Do I need cash?


No, not really. The use of debit and credit cards is widespread in Norway, and you won't even need cash for shopping groceries.

Everything at the resort can also be paid by card. If you need to make a withdrawal anyway you can do so at the supermarket cashier.

Feel free to use the converter to the right to check prices in your own currency.

 
 

What other facilities are offered?


Outdoor hot-tub: The not-tub is available any night. Prices vary depending on self-service or not - please ask at the resort in good time. The hot-tub is wood-fired and may need several hours to heat up.

Sauna: The same goes for the sauna; it needs to be heated before you can use it.

Pub: The pub is open on request during the week and for the public on weekends. The local crowd always treat resort guests with respect and there are normally no problems.

Kayak: If you want to go kayaking you can rent one at the resort and paddle off on an exciting excursion.

Photo tips


Shooting nudibranchs can be challenging, because many of the species are extremely small and are often found in tricky circumstances.

Generally, they range in size from 5-50 mm, so we're definitely in macro territory. I have used the following equipment with good results:

    • 105 or 60 mm lens, often with
    • 1.4x or 2.0x Teleconverter
    • SubSee +5 and +10 diopters

Don't forget to bring a good focus light, plus all chargers and equipment you need.

Still have questions?

You will find answers to most things on the Nudibranch Safari page, or you can follow the event on Facebook and use the comment field there.

If you haven't found answers to your questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch. If I cannot answer myself I will forward your email to Gulen Dive Resort, or you can get in touch with them directly.

» Click here to email me your questions



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Join the Nudibranch Safari!
 
The Nudibranch Safari is perfect when you want to learn more about nudibranchs. Get together with experts and enthusiasts for a fun learning experience!
 
Held annually at Gulen Dive Resort north of Bergen on the Norwegian west coast in the spring, this unique workshop attracts divers and nudibranch experts from all over Europe.
 
The house reef at Gulen is teeming with nudibranchs this time of the year, and to date a staggering 72 species have been found!
 
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» Follow the Nudibranch Safari on Facebook

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