On the 22nd of February 2007 we dived on the Thistlegorm, a British supply ship which was bombed by the Germans in World War II during its maiden voyage. Six crew members died.
The ship had been carrying a cargo of trucks (Bedford, Morris and Ford), BSA motorbikes, tanks, a locomotive,wellie boots and various munitions. The Thistlegorm lies in 30 metres of water with the bow 15 metres below the surface. It seems to be standard practice to dive on the wreck twice if you are visiting for the day, any more than this and you would possibly need to be on a liveaboard for night dives etc.
Our day started at 3.50am. We were picked up outside our hotel at 4.20am and transported to our boat "Diavola". Our human SMB had to stay behind for this one, so he had a lie-in.
The boat had places to sleep inside so we all got as comfy as possible. The sun came up about 6.00 and for those who had remained awake it meant that it was about to warm up. We had a hearty breakfast cooked by the crew - fantastic - and we arrived at the dive site about nine.
The sea was a little choppy and the visibility down to between 5 and 10 metres at the surface. This did nothing for those of us in the party who were more than a little nervous! Anyway, by 9.20 we were in - decending on the line down to the bow of the ship. During this first dive we did the tour of the outside of the ship and the Captain's cabin, where we were pleased to have our torches. You get an overwhelming sense of being very priviledged to be in a place, steeped in history, that so few people can visit. This really is a fantasic dive site and, although it was reasonably busy,we did't bump into too many other divers.
At the end of the dive we did our safety stop hanging on to the line