Go Diving!, BSAC International,
Go Diving!, BSAC International,

Ignoring Neptunes majestic rise from the waves to a fanfare of aspirational Olympic music, I dive straight in to see how user-friendly Go Diving! really is. Is that a rock, a dice, a bubble or an icon
Yes, an icon: Getting Started. Is diving for you. I know it is, but what do they say
Hitting what looks like a first-aid box I move on rapidly to calculate my BMI (weight v body mass). No problems here - my rigorous training schedule (to get me into that wetsuit made to measure for someone else) tells me it is still OK to go to the Diver Dinner. All I need now is a couple of tickets.
Hitting Divers World, I emerge in the Red Sea to see and hear about Ras Mohammed, Anemone City, Napoleon wrasse, turtles, barracuda and diving the Thistlegorm. A video clip, one of 90, shows mouth-watering dives. I open my own on-screen logbook to record personal Red Sea experiences. Check out those sunshine hours: no less than 8/9 even in the depths of winter.
Now Im diving Ireland. Its uncrowded, with a surprising variety of aquatic life... Now I diving the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean...
Hitting the Where to Learn icon leaves no doubt that this is a BSAC product, with its policy of creating self-reliant divers, while other disciplines (who can they be talking about) keep you as a passenger. The BSAC has indeed put its credentials firmly on the table, but this is more than a marketing tool. It should appeal to the non-diver, the qualifying Novice/ Ocean/ Sports Diver, diving professionals, non-diving travel or tour operators and to anyone who wants to enthuse non-diving mates.
Go Diving! is made up of text, pictures and video footage created specifically for it. The clips and pix are useful and to the point. As a recently qualified Sports Diver I found it stimulating, a useful refresher course as well as fun to play with.
Room is also made for some aesthetic advice. Under snorkelling I find that Lycra skins are practical and stylish but do tend to show up any shortcomings in your physical appearance. This CD-ROM is seriously interactive. How do they know what I look like in a Lycra skin; the cheek! After the Dinner, presumably only a drysuit will do.
In the Equipment section, cylinders, regulators, suits, BCs, time and depth are well explained, with the help of video and graphics clips. You can even calculate your air consumption.
Under Skills and Techniques I enjoyed the clips on entries and exits, drills and rescues. I now know how to avoid tripping over my fins while minimising any shortcomings in my physical appearance; its all about where you apply the talcum powder. Youll find out about that when you hit the appropriate icon.
Science and Safety includes safe diving, deco planning, air consumption, physics, depth and diving medicine; areas that can be a stumbling block for the mathematically challenged. The presentation makes short work of Boyle and Dalton.
Enjoy Diving inspires divers on a mission (wrecks, photography, video, marine biology, nitrox) and encourages you to dream up and execute your own adventures.
After finning extensively around Go Diving!, I checked out a couple of comparable CD-Roms, NAUIs Adventures In Scuba and Mastering Advanced Scuba (both 1995), and found that the quality of material/ presentation and technology has moved on a lot in two years.
The course-orientated NAUI discs are more like homework; Go Diving! has a wider appeal.
I let a couple on non-diving teenagers (15 and 17) and my own seven and five-year-olds have a go, and they were all riveted at different levels. The teenagers parents hate me now, because their kids are insisting on going diving.
Meanwhile my own have lost interest in their first ski holiday: We want to go to the Red Sea to meet Napoleon and his wrasse. I cant even get them to talk properly any more - they just give me alternating OK and out-of-air signals. Go Diving! should carry a financial health warning. Apart from that I cant recommend it too highly.
Go Diving! is available only for PCs. It requires Windows 95 or 3.1 or 3.11 or higher, Pentium processor, 16Mb RAM, 4-speed CD-ROM drive, 256 Colour VGA display, Sound Blaster- compatible soundcard and speakers.

Go Diving!, BSAC International, CD-Rom£29.95 (24.95 to members)

Divernet

Divernet