Jack Parry is a first year student at Cirencester Sixth Form College studying A-levels in Photography, Media Studies and Environmental Science. Jack is a keen scuba diver, diving with Cardiff Scuba Diving Club with whom he recently travelled to Egypt. This was a fantastic opportunity for Jack to dive in the Red Sea and combine it with his other hobby of photography. In the future Jack would like to Conservation around dive sites and maybe become a diving instructor. Here in his words he has written about his trip to Egypt.
“Diving is one of my main hobbies and is the most entertaining to me. My trip to Egypt was not only for pleasure, but also to expand my knowledge as the more dives I do the closer I can get to progressing through the PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) courses. My goal is to gain the Dive Master certificate. This requires me to go through many other courses like the rescue diver course, the deep diver course and the wreck diver course. I am currently only an advanced diver and these other courses will allow me to dive in more specific conditions without an instructor.
Each dive throughout the week was unique, even if we had dived the area before there would be new things to see and different conditions to deal with. The most exciting set of dives for me was on the Thistlegorm. The Thistlegorm was a British armed Merchant Navy ship which sank on the 6th of October 1941 when it was struck by German bombers. We had 3 dives on the Thistlegorm which was the most time we had spent on one site. The dives consisted of an afternoon dive, a night dive and a morning dive. The afternoon dive gave us time to familiarise ourselves with the layout of the ship and to look around the outside. There were plenty of different things to see ranging from lionfish and batfish to the huge anti-aircraft guns on the stern. This gave me a chance to photograph the outside of the ship and my favourite photo from that dive was one of me and my dad next to the anti-aircraft gun.
The dive after that was incredible, during the night dive we were given the chance go inside the wreck and go through the four different holds of the Thistlegorm. The cargo of the holds ranges from the boots and motorcycles stored in hold one, to the ammunition in hold 4. The ammunition hold was struck by most of the German bombs as it was closest to the engine room. Because of this, the explosion was much bigger than it should’ve been and almost completely destroyed the middle section of the boat. Swimming through the wreck is quite surreal at night as shoals of fish are visible through the darkness in each hold and the bikes and trucks in the holds were amazing to look at. This dive was by far my favourite of all of them just because we had the ability to go inside the ship at night when the fish are most active.
The dive in the morning allowed us to see the inside of the wreck with better light and let us see the contents of the ship without having to use torches and the slight lack of fish gave a clear view of the sheer size of the holds too. The damage to the boat was even clearer now and you could see how the constant diving of the wreck had eroded parts of it completely because of the constant movement through the wreck and the air bubbles trying to escape through the metal. The wreck is covered in coral and other life and it’s interesting to me to see how something man made is creating life underwater but it’s still slowly being destroyed by the people exploring it and the tourism it brings.”