I find it funny when I see filled-up diving forms and find the body weight of the diver written on the “weights” section of the rentals. I’ve probably seen that at least a dozen times!
Aside from your required weight and other details, resorts and dive operators also ask about the date and locations of your last dive. From the top of your head, I’m sure you can’t remember your certification number without looking at your certification card, right? I mean, who looks at it?
Well, dive operators do. So they can put you in a group with the same skill level, so your dive professional can avoid the hassle of bringing too much extra weights with them for your dives and other reasons that I don’t want to bore you with.
Even if modern dive computers have a “log” function, it would still be nice to write stuff down. Here are a few reasons why you should update your dive log:
It serves as your proof of experience
In 2009, when I was still working in Coron, Palawan, a diver came to the shop to sign up for dives. He didn’t have his certification card with him but his details popped up in the Dive Chek option in the PADI site so there was his proof of certification. He did not however know how many dives he’s had and how much weights he really needed so I took him on his word that he’s an “experienced” diver with over 150 dives. As soon as he hit the water, I had proof that he was a liar. True enough, he was the first in the group to run low on air because he had too much weight on and had so many problems with buoyancy. You can lie on your logs to boast but the truth comes out as soon as you setup your equipment or get in the water. 😀
You get reminded about your personal diving experiences
Diving is an activity of firsts. – First time to put a wet suit on, first time to dive without a wet suit (in really cold water – more on this on a later post), first time to see that yellow fish, the long silver fish, first time to get bitten by that big green fish, and so on. So many “firsts” that the phrase “you never forget your first” doesn’t apply too often.
I couldn’t find my logbook from when I was still a PADI Advanced diver, but I remember writing about seeing a stingray that swam past me while on a sandy patch and I was so excited to see it.
I also remember logging about sinus squeeze (all the time) and when I experience it. These logs also help you figure out what you can improve on for your upcoming dives.
Your buddy gets to leave a mark on your log
Since I mostly dive with the same set of gear and go to the same sites, it’s pretty much embedded in my long term memory so I don’t keep a log for that. What I do have is a log for my students to write on which I started in 2015, and still maintain so I’ll have something to remember my students by.
Excerpts from my 2015 logs:
I wish I had the ability to replay all the dives I’ve ever done, exactly how they happened just by digging into my memories. Just being able to recall the dive site names and what you saw makes it worth the hassle of writing on it. It doesn’t have to be the formal booklet, it just needs to have the important details.
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