At that time I remember hearing a certain Mr Capon on the radio explaining that in the future a person in Australia would be able to have sex with someone in Britain, thanks to the Internet.
I didnt believe it. Well, actually, I still don't.
It seems a very long time since I made the long pilgrimage to Scapa Flow to dive the wrecks of the German High Seas Fleet, scaring myself in the murk by getting temporarily stuck in an opening and freezing my butt off to boot. Every British diver should do it. It's a rite of passage.
Of course, in my day you dropped into the water and felt your way along the rusty metal, never really understanding exactly where you were or what you were looking at.
Thirty years later I find myself sitting in front of my computer, cyber-diving the wrecks of Scapa Flow.
Im sorry, Mr Capon, it's not better than sex, but I am getting a much better idea now of what I was doing while under water at Scapa, and I'm doing it in a lot more comfort.
In fact, thanks to this WreckSight wreck-visualisation program put together by Martin Deans ADUS, the Archaeological Diving Unit Survey, I'm not sure it's even necessary to get wet. It makes use of high-resolution multi-beam sonar survey data and sophisticated post-processing.
Using a computer that works in conjunction with a massive HD monitor, I was able to open the WreckSight program as a window on the monitor and at the same time open the PDF of the simply written instruction manual on the other screen (you can of course print out the manual if you prefer).
Bags of RAM in the computer ensured that no function was slowed down by this action. Everything then became simple.
ADUS has surveyed the eight main wrecks in Scapa Flow with literally thousands of scanning points, so that a three-dimensional image of each wreck can be built up. Then, with mouse at the ready, you can swim around the chosen wreck site, thoroughly getting to know it.
The cursor is linked to an information panel that provides useful facts such as depth, and you can even position a shotline or plan a route with all the real distances measured out.
Then you can automatically animate the wreck and let it rotate. Alternatively, you can take control with your mouse and a few keyboard short-cuts and rotate and revolve the wreck at will, complete with distances and depths displayed.
Its a great way to get to know what you're going to be diving, and it will save you the embarrassment of coming up after a dive and confessing that all you saw was masses of torn and rusty metal.