I first dived SS Thistlegorm from the Princess Dalal on a week’s live-aboard with FSAC, the First overseas exped I had organised, a small scale affair really, for a couple of friends. I had heard of Thistlegorm for years having seen Jacques Cousteau’s 1950’s discovery on TV when in my teens. I’ve mentioned this before in another area of this blog and won’t repeat the story here, enough to say Thistlegorm is the subject of one of the wreck posts (or “will be” depending on when you read this!). Thistlegorm has to be the most iconic of the world’s wrecks, there are bigger, there are more intact, and there are certainly more sought after shipwrecks, but there are few, if any, more prestigious wrecks. Thistlegorm has it all, drama, situation, cargo, history, heroism and global conflict and she is still largely intact, a tribute to her builders Joseph Thompson & Son of Sunderland
I consider myself to be one of the lucky divers who have spent some time in and around Thistlegorm, having now dived her 6 or 8 times over 2 decades, and one of the “privileged” who have dived in, and on her at night. Thistlegorm takes on an air of melancholy at night, almost as if she were a dingy South Coast wreck, rather than the magnificent picture she presents in daylight. The dive video was taken in 2015 and was one of a series of Three night dives our group had the pure luck to be granted by our dive-boat captain from Blue02, an unusual honour. We dived Thistlegorm, Salem Express and Rosalie Muller, the holy Trinity of Red-Sea shipwrecks (as far as I am concerned), over Three glorious nights in 2015. At the time night diving Thistlegorm was rare enough, to dive all Three, this was unheard of and we could all simply not believe our good fortune……
The dives were all with a long time dive-buddy of mine, Craig Toplis of Nottingham, and filmed using a go-pro (Hero- 7- Black) for those of you remotely interested, I have had this permanently mounted to my dive-mask (for several years now) which makes it easier to dive as I can simply “press go & forget” as long as the red light is flashing to begin with……I apologise in advance to those purists who would rather stabilise their shots and set-up multiple story-boards in advance, in order to capture specific agenda video’s, that isn’t me and I simply dive the dive, the camera records what it does……. The only planning Craig and I did was to agree to spend our time on the main bow and for’ard section of the Thistlegorm, in order to show, or travel the most interesting of the areas with our available air and deco-time……..enjoy!
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