The wreck of the Thistlegorm has to be one of the top attractions in the Red Sea, and also ranks as one of the most iconic wrecks in the world. This morning, we were up as the sun was just beginning to rise to make the 3 hour boat ride from Sharm to this fantastic dive site. The excitement was palpable; even at that early hour, everyone was buzzing as we boarded the Camel Tribe. Those that had dived it in the past, like us, were keen to return, and for those that had never seen it, their anticipation grew as we told stories about its history and our own previous experiences.
The Thistlegorm was bombed in 1941 and sank very quickly, along with her cargo of trucks, trains, motorbikes, and even aircraft. A huge hole was blasted almost completely through the middle of her as the bomb that hit her found the armoury section of the boat. You can still see shells & rifles in this section, and two intact guns are mounted on her stern. She now lies in 30m of water and is one of the most popular dive sites anywhere in the world.
We arrived nice and early, and jumped in as soon as the boat was moored up in order to beat the other boats that would surely arrive. There was absolutely no current and we had the whole wreck to ourselves. Just us and our Camel Dive Club private guide, Beth. We had planned the dive thoroughly, as we wanted some specific shots, and Beth led us right to the trucks that we wanted to shoot. The holds are a fantastic place to explore and take photographs. We decided to try out some remote strobe lighting, with Caroline dropping her camera rig inside one of the trucks to assist with Nick’s shots.
For the whole first dive, we did not see another diver – even the other Camel guests – and had the wreck to ourselves to explore in perfect conditions; amazing. After 45 mins, it was time to head back to the surface and review our images and plan for the second dive. This time we wanted to check out the bow section, with its rope room and bowsers, as well as trying to get external shots of the wreck. We had a great second dive, and just as we signalled to head back to the line, the current started to pick up and a large group of divers descended. Perfect timing, once again! We were keen to hear from the rest of our small group, as we had some very enthusiastic divers who had never been on the Thistlegorm before – they loved it, and the chatter was relentless.
Diving the Thistlegorm from Sharm is a great way to dive this iconic site. You do not have to spend a week on a liveaboard, you can come back and sleep in a comfy bed… oh, and it is the Camel Dive Club party this evening….
For more from Nick and Caroline visit www.frogfishphotography.com.