Book Review: Diving the Thistlegorm
Diving the Thistlegorm – The ultimate guide to a World War Two shipwreck by Simon Brown, Jon Henderson, Alex Mustard and Mike Postons.
A Review by Jeff Goodman
It’s a real pleasure when I get great books like this to read and review. This book takes the reader on a historic and fully comprehensive journey of the Thistlegorm. A brilliant in depth guide to the wreck and all it’s facets, all illustrated by superb photos and graphics. The detail of research into this ship is impressive and portrayed to the reader in an easy to read style and layout. It is obvious how much hard work has been done to make this book enjoyable to read as well as be educational.
When I first dived the Thistlegorm I knew very little about the wreck except for the brief safety dive talk given on our boat prior to entering the water. I truly wish I had had this book to read before hand. It would have given me such an important insight to what I was diving on and looking at. My dive would have been even more enjoyable. I can only hope that every boat heading out to the wreck in the future has at least one copy on board. We need more books like this.
I remember the first dive I ever had on the Thistlegorm. It was fantastic. The water was clear, there was an abundance of wildlife and the wreck itself was awesome. Gliding over the decks and the cargo holds, filled with machines and items of war, was an experience never to be forgotten. I didn’t really know just how lucky I was. So you can imagine how happy I was to know a few years later that I was to dive it again. I awoke early on the Liveaboard and eagerly looked off the open stern to the wreck site. Instead of the clear blue open sea I had seen before just a few years previously, there were now twelve to fourteen other Liveaboard dive boats all moored up to the wreck and already discharging divers into the water.
My dive on the wreck this time was truly not an experience I wanted to have again. There were more divers than fish. The decks were busy with criss-crossing people and the holds were choc-a-block with divers who seemed to have little care either for the wreck itself or other people. I was often pushed from behind, had a few fins in the face and lights blazed directly into my eyes.
With this memory in mind it was with a little trepidation that I started to read ‘Diving the Thistlegorm’. Was this simply going to draw more divers to the wreck with no consideration for careful diving practices? To my great relief, the second section of the book was titled ‘Wreck under threat’ and addressed my very concerns about the Thistlegorm being systematically ruined by careless and unregulated mooring of dive boats on the ships superstructure, as well as disregard of the wrecks contents by many divers. The section didn’t dwell too long on this, but the points for wreck preservation were strong and well made.
About the authors of Diving the Thistlegorm
Simon Brown is a photogrammetry/3D reconstruction expert who has documented underwater subjects for a wide range of clients including Historic England and television companies such as National Geographic Channel and Discovery Canada. He is currently teaching police forensic collision investigators the use of photogrammetry for evidence preservation.
Jon Henderson is Reader in Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh where he is the Director of theUnderwater Archaeology Research Centre. With specific research interests in submerged prehistoric settlements and developing underwater survey techniques, he has directed underwater projects in the UK, Poland, Greece, Italy, Egypt, Jamaica and Malaysia.
Alex Mustard is a former marine biologist and award-winning underwater photographer. In 2018 he was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for “Services to underwater photography”.
Mike Postons pioneered the use of digital 3D modelling to visualise shipwrecks, as well as the processes of reconstructing original ships from historic plans. He has worked with a number of organisations including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Historic England and the Nautical Archaeological Society.
Diving the Thistlegorm – The ultimate guide to a World War Two shipwreck is available now from Divedup.com, online and from retailers. ISBN 978-1-909455-37-5 | 240 pages | 160 × 21 × 240 mm
BOOT back with a bang!
It has been three years since the prestigious BOOT event has taken place in Dusseldorf, Germany. But this year it was back with a bang. The show attracts water sports enthusiasts from around the world. Whether you are looking to spend millions on a super yacht (or just dream about it) or a few ££s on a diving accessory – there is something for everyone.
There were smiles on all the faces around the diving hall. The event offers not only a great chance to re-engage with dive centres, equipment suppliers, training agencies and more, but also the opportunity to catch up with old friends and to make some new ones along the way.
Talks and presentations boomed out from the main stage, whilst in the background, pools with clear sides allowed spectators to watch on as kids, divers and even mermaids took to the water.
There was loads of new dive gear from all the major manufactures to look at and try out. From essentials such as masks and fins, drysuits, computers, through to rebreathers and underwater photo and video equipment. In every size, shape and colour imaginable!
Boot is a whopping 8 day show that covers two weekends. The halls cover not only diving, but submarines, yachts, a host of other water sports, ocean art, conservation projects and more. You could spend days walking around it. It certainly got my step count up, having walked over 9 miles in a single day, exploring, looking at new diving equipment and planning trips for 2023 and beyond!
Jeff chats to… Anca Vaida – Doctor, Actor, Director, Writer and Producer – about her love of Scuba Diving (Watch Video)
In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Anca Vaida – Doctor (Consultant Psychiatrist), award winning Actor, Director, Writer, Producer and Scuba Diver, about her love of diving.
Anca is a Romanian Actor, Director, Writer and Producer, who trained at East 15 Acting school, London. She has won seven acting awards at a variety of international film festivals for playing the role of Dr Alex Ionescu in the TV series ‘Psyched!’, which she also wrote, directed and produced.
Some of Anca’s most notable projects include Crossing Continents on BBC radio, the film Can We Order First? which premiered at the Berlin Short Film Festival, the play Sorry, My Compassion is on the Blink at the Pleasance Theatre, London, and the play Fine and Dandy at the King’s Head Theatre.
A keen diver, Anca got her PADI Open Water Certification in 2012 and has gone on to dive in Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and Dahab in Egypt, as well as in Lefkada in Greece, The Cape Verde Islands and Miami, USA.
In her spare time, when not diving, Anca is also a Doctor (Consultant Psychiatrist) with 13 years’ experience in the NHS.
Find out more about Anca at: https://www.spotlight.com/5491-3425-9331
Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.
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