Dive guides Anke Westerlaken and Sonia Goggel will be sharing a few of their favourite wrecks with you. Here Anke shares her love of that iconic wreck, the SS Thistlegorm.
I love this tour probably most of all - Wrecks and Reefs in the Northern Red Sea. As a diver I like the variety; some drifts, some lagoons, night diving and the chance to visit a piece of history.
On this one dive, night had fallen and we took a service line to the bow of our liveaboard, Emperor Superior. Since we were moored up just above this famous wreck, we decided to take the bowline down to about 20-25 metres. Visibility was great that night and only a little current accompanied us. While we held on to the rope we descended and the bow came into sight. Big winches, an anchor in the seabed with the second one was still hanging on its chains.
In the light of our torches we see some lion fish hunting for dinner and we start moving south where we find the first manhole. It's big and wide so we go inside, just to have a small peak at the treasures. And while we do, the resident turtle comes out for a swim.
In these manholes there are two levels. Each carrying pieces of history dating back to the second world war. To supply the 8th army in Alexandria, this ship was on its way from Great Britain, going around Africa and entered the Red Sea from the south. While it was at safe anchorage it awaited permission to enter the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean Sea. Carrying locomotives, ammunition, rifles, air plane wings, motorcycles and many more, she was, unfortunately, discovered by German bombers and sunk to where she now lies.
As every wreck has a history, this one speaks out to us, especially because of its beautiful artefacts. And she still is upright and only badly damaged in the four manholes of her 126 metre long hull. I prefer to visit the manholes, sometimes meeting the turtle, the resident moray or even the giant grouper that hides on the outside of the hull.
I can recommend this wreck dive to anybody, even when you prefer to visit only reefs. Because this wreck is the handsomest piece of old metal I have ever seen, holds a great history and is an underwater museum with artefacts from the Second World War. Now she is a home to beautiful marine life; bat fish, lion fish, puffers, scorpion fish, crocodile fish, moray eel, turtle, clown fishes and far more than I can ever capture here. And if you are really lucky, you will see some tuna passing by or maybe even a grey reef shark.
Now you see why this is one of my favourite Red Sea dives. Come and join me!