6 reasons why you should log your dives



During your PADI Open Water course, your instructor would have given you your logbook for you to fill in. You would have included the time, the depth, calculated your pressure group and made notes about what the dive was like.


If you aren’t on a course, what is the point in filling this in? You are on holiday to see the pretty fish, not to do paperwork!


Dearest diver, do not neglect this lovely little book. Let me convince you with 6 reasons why you should log your dives.



1. It saves you money

When you go on holiday, any respectable dive centre will ask for evidence of your highest certification level, how many dives you have done and when your last dive was. Your highest level and number of dives will help them to determine a dive plan you should be comfortable with.


If you have not dived in the past 6 months, you may be required to complete some kind of refresher training, generally pool based, to ensure your skills are up to date. If you cannot prove you have dived recently, they may request you complete this before you head off to the interesting dive sites. Keeping your log up to date will ensure you can give them the evidence you need. “Sometime back in May” might not cut it!


Of course if it has been more than 6 months since your last dive or you want to brush up your skills, you can complete a scuba refresher with Aquasport in our pool before you go on holiday.


2. It unlocks more in your diving career

Education is the best way to become a safer and more confident diver. You expand your knowledge and practice new skills. As the courses become more complex and challenging, there are requirements for the minimum number of dives you must have before you can complete the course.


As an example, the first PADI professional qualification is Divemaster for which you need a minimum of 60 dives by the end of the course. If you want the certificate for the peak of recreational diving as a Master Scuba Diver, you need 50 dives. If you decide to become a technical diver, there are all kinds of things you need evidence for, including dives to specific minimum depths with certain air mixes.


If you do it as you go, it will be a lot easier than asking around your buddies for their logs and writing up a bunch of dives from your computer at once.







3. It is a useful guide for future dives

Your trip to Tenerife is going to be in 24°C water. Should you take a 5mm wetsuit? Or will you be warm enough in a 3mm wetsuit?


You are joining Aquasport on a club trip to Lundy Island to play with the seals. You will be in a drysuit in salt water. How much weight will you need?


The liveaboard boat wants to know if you would prefer a 15 or 12 litre cylinder. Which do you go for?


If you have your logbook handy, you can see what exposure suit you wore on holiday several years ago so you know you are packing the right thing. If you keep a reference of what weights you used in the past, you can be fairly confident you have the right kilos on when you do your weight check. If you often surface with 50 bar remaining, maybe it is worth getting the bigger cylinder to get more dive time.


Keep a few notes now and your future-self will be very grateful.





4. It doesn’t HAVE to be the PADI logbooks


You would have been supplied with a logbook from your Open Water course but you don’t have to continue to use this specific book. The internet is full of different styles and types, so is Aquasport!


It also doesn’t have to be a physical logbook. There are a whole bunch of apps available. You can even use a spreadsheet, my Google Sheet is my pride and joy.


Some people are excellent artists and draw the dive site or an interesting fish they found. So they have books that have more blank space for drawing in rather than writing.


If you are a photographer, you can create a digital record with your images. I once met a photographer who had her own logbook custom made using photos she had taken over the years on the corner of each page.



5. It gives you delicious data

As I revealed in my SAC rate article, I am a sucker for data. This isn’t for everyone, but I do like seeing a statistic! At the time of writing, 59.4% of my dives have been in a drysuit for example… Not the sexiest stat, I understand.


I am a little obsessive with this, which meant I was able to dance at the EXACT minute I hit 168 hours or 1 week of time at depth.






I also like the admin. I love coming back from holiday, exporting the data from my Suunto Eon Core and updating my notes and spreadsheet. It makes my holiday that little bit longer, eeking out that little extra from my trip even though I am home. Reminiscing when I am wrapped up in a hoodie rather than a towel.


6. It is a scrapbook and something to hold with memories


I am my own stereotype as a millennial. Everything in my life is online.


My paper log books are my little scrap books of diving memories. I’ve had buddies draw in my book as it was their birthday. I’ve made notes of what song we were singing on the boat. On my last trip abroad I was going to all the staff trying to get stamps and signatures from everyone like it was an autograph book. I’ve stapled in scraps of paper where someone has written down the history of a wreck for me. You already know I am a little sad, but I love flicking to random pages and remembering what I was up to and how I improved. When my notes changed from “My buoyancy was $#!{” to crying when an octopus held my hand.



Those are my 6 reasons. Are there any reasons you keep a logbook that I missed? Are there any apps you would recommend to other divers?

If you ask to see my log book spreadsheet next time you see me at Aquasport, bring a cup of tea and we will become best friends.


See you in the water soon,


Cat.


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