As scuba divers we use and maintain a dive log, often referred to as a log book, to record important information related to each dive we make. Typically a dive log contains information such as the date, time and location, of the dive. The dive profile, equipment used and air usage.
Other information can include above and below water conditions, such as temperature, current, wind and waves as well as general comments such as what marine life or interesting things you have seen.
Usually each dive log will be verified, either by your dive buddy, or if it’s a training dive, your PADI Instructor.
You will be issued your first logbook during your PADI Open water course. Your PADI Instructor will show you how to ‘log’ your first Open water training dives, and explain what important information you should record.
Why Is A ‘Dive Log’ Important?
Keeping a log of your dives has many benefits from recording important technical information to memories of your dive.
Here are a few reasons why keeping an up to date dive log is important.
Why Keep Up To Date?
Any reputable PADI dive shop will ask to see your logbook for proof of your diving experience before allowing you to dive with them, rent equipment or cylinders.
Having an up to date logbook may mean the difference between going straight for a dive or the dive centre insisting you complete a PADI Scuba Review first.
Thinking of ‘Going Pro’?
If you get totally hooked on scuba – and most people do – you may want to progress onto a PADI Professional training course in the future. To do this you will need proof of your diving experience. This is in order to meet the necessary PADI standards related to pre requisite diving experience required to enrol on the PADI Divemaster course as well as the PADI Instructor Development Course.
If it has been a while since your last scuba adventure you may have forgotten how many weights you last dived with. Having an accurate record of the weight you wore on your last dive will avoid wasting valuable scuba time experimenting and working out your correct weighting.
If changing diving environments and using different exposure suits it will also help you calculate the correct amount you need before performing a buoyancy check.
Having the correct amount of weights enables you perfect your buoyancy making you look a lot cooler underwater and helping your air consumption making for longer more enjoyable dives.
An Underwater Diary
As you become a more experienced diver you will start to recognise and correctly identify more and more marine life. At the end of the dive jot down what you have seen. Some people will even sketch a drawing. This will help with Fish identification as you will have your own reference to check against past encounters.
Keeping a note of how much air you finish with at the end of each dive will enable you to track the progress you are making as you become a more accomplished diver. After completing the Advanced open water course dives such as Peak performance buoyancy you will see dramatic improvements in your air consumption, which will lead to longer and more enjoyable dives.
You can use the comments section to record some of the fun experiences you have on your dives. On the other hand it is also wise to input what may have gone wrong or something you didn’t enjoy so you can learn from that experience and remind yourself in the future.
In case of a diving accident, it can provide valuable data regarding a diver’s previous experience, as well as other factors that might have led to the accident itself.
Digital Dive Logs
Paper logbooks could soon be a thing of the past as we move to an ever more digital age.
Dive Log Software
With more and more divers now owning dive computers, most major manufacturers have developed their own software to view and analyse dive logs.
There is also open source software available such as “Subsurface” which supports the downloading and processing of many of the major computer brands.
Scuba Earth (www.scubaearth.com) is an online resource and social community for scuba divers. Divers can research, plan and share dive experiences as well as check current weather and dive conditions.
Scuba Earth offers a comprehensive set of options for logging dive data. It has a dive site search tool, which allows you to locate the site you dived.
If you dive a site that is not yet listed you can add the site to the more than 50,000 dive sites worldwide Scuba Earth already has. Once you have located your dive site there are five required fields, but you can add much more.
You can record the amount of weight you use, dive conditions, depths, times, surface intervals etc. as well as tag your dive buddies, PADI Instructor or PADI Dive centre.
You can also upload some of your cool photos or videos of your dive as part of your dive log.
In the ever growing world of smart phones and Apps it is surely a move in the right direction, plus you don’t have to worry about getting it wet!
Always Remember – At the end of a day’s diving, log your dive!
Here at Crystal Dive we like to impress on our divers the importance of keeping your log book up to date. After the dive boat returns our dive groups retire to the bar to discuss the dives over a cold beer. It is during these feedback sessions that we all get out our log books and log our dives.
Author: Crystal Dive