There has never been a better person to write an article on this subject than yours truly. Why? Because I don’t keep a dive log. And over the past six years that I’ve been diving there have been numerous times when I’ve wished I had.
When I mentioned to my partner I was writing an article on dive logs, he raised one eyebrow in that skeptical fashion.”I don’t keep a dive log” he said.
It seems that the dive log is an underrated and underused bit of diving equipment. A dive log is like your own little personal diving encyclopedia, and they are great to fill in after every dive, no matter your level of diving experience.
You’ll have a keepsake of all those fantastic dives you’ve done
Working in the dive industry, I’ve had some incredible underwater experiences. But when you ask me to tell you one, I’ll have to rack my brains. All my dives just seem to blur in to one. I wish I’d kept a dive log more meticulously so I could remember all the amazing dive sites I’ve explored, and all the wildlife I’ve seen. Dive logs are like an undersea journal of all the cool places you’ve dived in, and the not-so-cool so you can remember for next time to leave that site out of your itinerary. Dive logs are like travel diaries for scuba enthusiasts, and they are worth using just so you can have a personal document listing all the spectacular diving you’ve done. Surely if you’re heading over to the Galapagos Islands for a dive holiday you want to remember each and every moment you experience underwater so you can reminisce about the trip once it is over? Dive logs are a quick and easy way to record what you see, and where you see it.
You’ll see how you’re improving as a diver
When you fill out a dive log after every dive, you’ll be able to see and map your progression as a diver. The more you dive, the better your air consumption will become and you will be able to see this clearly from your dive log entries. A change in water temperature and wetsuit or other gear will usually mean your weight needs to be accorded adjustingly prior to jumping in the water. Rather than wasting time on the back deck of the dive boat, having this info in your dive log from a previous holiday or dive trip means you’ll never have to worry about being over or underweighted on a dive, resulting in a far more enjoyable dive experience for you.
You’ll be able to work towards new levels of certification
Think you might want to go pro one day? Or become a dive master purely because you love diving? You’ll need a minimum number of dives to do these courses, and if you’re not logging them from the start it’s going to take you a lot longer to reach this goal! To travel on some live aboards or explore particular dive sites, a certain level of experience can be required. How will the dive instructors check this? Not from your cert card, but from your log book. Trust me, it’s no fun having to miss out on an amazing drift dive because you can’t prove you’ve logged more than fifty dives!
Logging every dive is really important, from both a safety angle and from a diver development angle. If you haven’t been using your dive log lately, start! These days there are all kinds of great diving apps, so if you’re not into lugging a log book around, download an e-log and keep your dives on your phone or tablet. That way on Monday morning in the office you can scroll through your app and remember that your saving for more great trips and dives like the ones you have stored in your dive log.