Archive for the ‘Stefan Palmer’ Tag

Egypt – Diving the Thistlegorm   Leave a comment

Hello readers,

It’s been a while, in fact it’s been a long time since I wrote here.  This site was/is all about Kerry and I’s travels around the world, so it feels only appropriate to share our trip to Egypt back in June 2014 and in particular diving the World War 2 wreck the Thistlegorm.  For Kerry and I this was a must see attraction (we had done the pyramids on a previous trip in 2006 on our first ever holiday abroad)

Because we we hadn’t dived since Thailand in September 2012, we thought we would break ourselves in gently with a few reef dives before the big one.  These were amazing with so many fish and coral.  It was great being back in the water, but always on the horizon was the Thistlegorm. To give her her official title the SS Thistlegorm was a British armed Merchant Navy ship built in 1940. She was sunk on 6 October 1941 near Ras Muhammad in the Red Sea and is now a well known diving site.

She set sail on her fourth and final voyage from Glasgow on 2 June 1941, destined for Alexandria, Egypt. The vessel’s cargo included: Bedford trucks, Universal Carrier armoured vehicles, Norton 16H and BSA motorcycles, Bren guns, cases of ammunition, and 0.303 rifles as well as radio equipment, Wellington boots, aircraft parts, railway wagons and two LMS Stanier Class 8F steam locomotives. These steam locomotives and their associated coal and water tenders were carried as deck cargo and were for the Egyptian Railways. The rest of the cargo was for the Allied forces in Egypt. At the time the Thistlegorm sailed from Glasgow in June, this was the Western Desert Force, which in September 1941 became part of the newly formed Eighth Army. The crew of the ship, under Captain William Ellis, were supplemented by 9 naval personnel to man the machine gun and the anti-aircraft gun. She was bombed and sunk by the Germans basically because they has bombs left on their bombers. They hadn’t found there intended target. The ship sank with the loss of four sailors and five members of the Royal Navy gun crew.

The ship was torn open like a tin of sardines, which gives the idea of the scale of the explosions that occurred that day.  Its an eerie place to dive.  We first made a dive to the wreck with a tour of the outer hull and deck. Our second dive was to penetrate the wreck, though the holds to see the aforementioned cargo and onwards up through the wreck to the captains quarters, past the bridge and on to the deck.  Put simply it was amazing. Our guides from Emperor Diving where brilliant which all added up to an experience that will stay with us both for a lifetime.

 

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Bangkok’s sights   Leave a comment

During our time in Bangkok we travelled out to the main temple district of the city.  It was a struggle to get there due to our distance from the main tourist area.  After being turned down by 4 taxi drivers we maanged to persuade one to take us all the way.  It must have cost her all of £2.00……We found Bagkok very humid, dirty and not particularly friendly.  Having said that the sights in the grand palace where amazing.  So much gold and bling.

If you are interested in purchasing photographs from this site, my favourite images are available at http://stefanpalmer.photium.com

Posted 23/06/2013 by Stefan Palmer in Thailand

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Happy New Year   Leave a comment

Thank you for reading my blog this year.  It’s been one hell of a year.  We started it in Queensland Australia, seeing in the new year on Mount Paluma and we are ending it in our new home back in the UK in Cornwall.  In between we have lived in the amazing city of Melbourne for 9 months, traveled the Great Ocean Road in southern Oz, visited Thailand where we stayed on the island of Kho Toa (and scuba dived!) and spend a great time with friends in Bangkok.  Back in the UK a few days where we spend time catching up with friends and family in London and Nottingham before the move to Cornwall.  We both have jobs…..damn reality hurts!

More travels and diving are planned so keep reading.

Stef

Edinburgh   Leave a comment

These images aren’t strictly of our trip around the world, but I found them by accident the other day. I thought I would share them. They were taken on a cold Edinburgh evening in December 2010. In fact the day after these photos were taken Kerry and I were forced to spend an extra night in there due to a sudden downpour of snow.

If you are interested in purchasing photographs from this site, my favourite images are available at http://stefanpalmer.photium.com

Posted 01/12/2012 by Stefan Palmer in UK

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Dancing in the Street   Leave a comment

During our pretty aimless wondering of Bangkok we came across these amazing street dancers on Khao San Road.  Now Khao San Road is what many call the center of the backpacking universe.  Judging by the travelers who converge there to shop, exchange tales and prepare for their next stint on the backpacker trail, it’s pretty accurate.

The 1 km long strip contains countless budget guesthouses and mid-range hotels, internet cafes, swanky bars and clubs, restaurants, massage parlors, travel agents, bookshops, market stalls, tattoo shops and much, much more.

These break dancers weren’t asking for money they just wanted to show off their skills.  If only I was 25 years younger and considerably more agile………….

If you are interested in purchasing photographs from this site, my favourite images are available at http://stefanpalmer.photium.com

Posted 25/11/2012 by Stefan Palmer in Thailand

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Fire!   Leave a comment

Every night on Kho Toa at the Lotus Beach Bar there is a fire show.  It’s a great way of getting more punters in.  The show runs from 9pm till midnight.  Tables and cushions are set up on the beach and table service is available, just to keep the drinks flowing.  To put prices into perspective a double spirit drink with a mixer will set you back the astronomical price of…….£2!

The show is impressive with the guys twirling chains with flaming balls of fire on the ends or sticks with just enough none burning parts that they can hold and twirl them.  Both chains and sticks are thrown casually in the air and caught.  The guys also walk amongst the seated crowd and twirl the fire around spectator’s heads.  Luckily no one on the island seemed to wear flammable hair products on the days we were watching.

Usually by the end of the night we felt quite tipsy but without that horrible feeling as you leave a bar and the outside air hits you.  We had a few of these nights.

If you are interested in purchasing photographs from this site, my favourite images are available at http://stefanpalmer.photium.com

Backpackers, Diving and Germans   1 comment

For out initial stay on the main populated side of Koh Toa we stayed at a resort called Souiree Village which, of course, had a scuba diving center attached to it. Koh Toa is a renowned diving location with over 50 dive companies on the island. The resort was situated close to restaurants and cafes and on the doorstep to the beach. My first dive since January in Queensland was to a well known and great site called Chumporn Pinnacle  It was brilliant to get back in the water. It was a nice leisurely dive with an older gentleman from Frankfurt and our guide Paddy from Surrey. Max depth 29 metres, dive time 40 minutes. The amount of coral was disappointing but there was a huge abundance of fish.

I have noted that after a few days on this side of the island I can’t help noticing the number of Germans. I would like to point out that I have no issues with our European friends however they are everywhere. This must be the time of the year that they get good deals to travel to Thailand. The older gents are particularly easy to spot on a dive boat or the beach prancing about in their black skimpy speedos….its so wrong.

The next few days involve sunbathing, diving and studying for yet another dive course. This time Nitrox/enriched air training.

If you are interested in purchasing photographs from this site, my favourite images are available at http://stefanpalmer.photium.com