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Diving their socks off

Book Review

Diving their socks off

ss Thistlegorm – The Ultimate Visual Guide to the World’s Greatest Shipwreck (iBook), by Simon Brown, Jon Henderson, Alex Mustard & Mike Postons

0419 review Thistlegorm

Appeared in DIVER April 2019

IS THE THISTLEGORM really the best wreck-dive in the world? Is it the best dive in the world?

I’d have to answer with a resounding no to both of these claims. I suspect that most DIVER readers will be familiar with either the wreck itself or with its reputation, and can form their own view.

Is this the most intelligent, most spectacular and most interactive photographic publication about a wreck that I’ve ever seen? Well, I’d have to say yes. It is stunning.

The photos and images are top-quality, and it combines a wealth of material with “3D photogrammetry and digital reconstruction”. This is some awesomely clever stuff.

The four guys behind this publication have clearly dived their socks off, know their stuff and have taken sublime, mouth-watering images of the wreck.

This publication makes you feel that you’ve dived every lovely inch of this wreck with a limitless supply of gas and no concern for your bottom-time.

If you’re sent into a spin of excitement by the thought of all those classic motorbikes, trucks, aircraft spares, armoured vehicles and boxes of ammunition, then fill your boots. This is seventh heaven. I can imagine non-divers being persuaded to take up the sport just to experience what they’ve seen here.

So I had to ask myself: what is missing? Well, only the circus! The dive-boats jostling for position. The cat’s cradle of competing lines. The brave dive-guides, risking a bend to tie in or retrieve those lines. The queues of divers waiting to enter the holds, torches flicking back and forth like a crazy underwater disco. The champagne effect of thousands of exhaled bubbles rising through the water. And the Italians, constantly running out of gas and causing endless drama.

That’s part of what’s lost between me experiencing and remembering my actual dive, and the experience of looking at a well-researched publication about the wreck with brilliant photos and interactive 3D models, on a computer. Fortunately it’s not a choice of one or the other. You’re really better off doing both.

Any dive that you do on this wreck is going to be infinitely better informed, and therefore probably more fulfilling, if you look (and play) with this publication beforehand. Is it the ultimate visual guide to the Thistlegorm? Yes, it certainly is. Top job, guys!

Available on iTunes for Apple Books, iPad, iPhone & Mac iBook, 113pp, £19.99

Review by Louise Trewavas


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