Thistlegorm (SS Thistlegorm) is one of the most famous wrecks of the northern part of Red Sea, which found its home on the sandy bottom, at a depth of 30 meters in the Strait of Gubal, north of the nature reserve of Ras Mohammed, between the Shaab Ali Reef and the west coast of Sinai. Usually divers, who want to take part in the diving live aboard Thistlegorm, get to this location on the boat from Hurghada, making the path nearly 80.5 kilometers.
This place almost always has a strong undertow and large waves on the surface. So only experienced and advanced divers can cope with the vagaries of nature. Although there are days when quiet weather allows to dive even for beginners. Usually the immersion takes place with the aid of a rope, by which divers descend directly to the wreck lying at a depth of 30 meters.
Thistlegorm weighed 4898 tons, its length was 126.5 meters, it was equipped with a powerful three-cylinder steam engine, which allowed it to reach speeds of up to 10.5 knots. Thistlegorm was launched on 9 April 1940, and was a cargo ship intended for the carriage of military cargo for the British army.
The ship, carrying once the ammunition, was fired on by German aircraft. As a result, the ship was torn to pieces. Today, divers are given the opportunity to examine either the bow section or stern section. The bow of the ship is in excellent condition to this day. Here are the captain's cabin and the bridge. Anti-aircraft guns are preserved at the stern section. There is the ship's propeller just below near the ship.
Usually divers do two dives here. The first dive is usually an orientation dive around the vessel. Immersion depth does not exceed 30 meters. In one dive, during the red sea diving safari Thistlegorm, at a leisurely pace, you can explore:
• the area of the explosion, wedgies, shells, bullets;
• the stern with the anti-aircraft guns;
• bronze propeller, each blade of which is about your height;
• engine, upper deck of Thistlegorm, 4 tank cars and tenders, fallen mast, anchor winch and chain;
• the bow of the vessel with curved sides, a huge anchor on the port side and hanging the anchor chain on the starboard side.
The second dive you make into the holds of the ship. Here is still buried all the cargo destined for the British Montgomery army. It includes jeeps, trucks, motorcycles, generators, crates of rifles, aircraft wings and engines, beds and even troughs for showering of personnel, and that's not all. If you will go to the galley and inspect it, then, looking in the fridge, you'll be able to find a wooden deck for cutting meat and the mountain of cans out of canned food, which once fed the crew. In the holds it is decided to swim anti-clockwise.
If you are lucky and you dive to Thistlegorm during the safari, then, having studied in advance a diagram of the tides, it is possible to plan your dives in the best time. It is the highest point of the tide, when the current stops, and the visibility is maximized.
A night dive on the upper deck of the wreck deserves a special attention. There you can see many interesting things: moray eels, crocodiles, scorpion fishes, beautiful soft corals, sponges and even turtles.