From my initial open water dive June 25, 2005, I fell in love with SCUBA diving. Even though I was in a rather murky quarry for my open water dives, I felt like it was the most exciting thing I had ever done! I remember writing all about it in my dive log - my every feeling and sighting! As I continued through my Divemaster training in Koh Tao, Thailand, my dive log became my diary. Every night, I would sit down and record what I did and what I saw that day. I always made a point of including more than just the numbers, recounting memories or lessons learned from each dive.
I recently misplaced my dive log, and I realized right then what it meant to me. It had become a precious compendium of my most intimate memories, and I was sick at the thought that those memories were lost forever. How could I have lost it? The numbers saved on my dive computer would never replace the emotions that filled those pages. Thankfully, after only a few days of panic, I was able to locate my log book. I immediately sat down and read through pages of vivid memories that continue to bring me such happiness. It was apparent at that moment that my dive log’s purpose in life extended well beyond an impassive record of depths and pressures that I keep because I was told to by my open water instructor. It is a written history of my growth as a SCUBA diver, through Divemaster and beyond.
In talking to several people in the dive industry, I’ve concluded that it’s all too easy to let this passion for logging dives fade. Either we get too caught up in our day to day lives that we forget, or we dive so often that we don’t place as much value on each dive as we did when diving was still novel as an open water or advanced open water student. We now have the luxury of dive computers that record all of our dive statistics ready for uploading into an electronic log. However, while the numbers may be recorded, without annotation, we miss out on the process of capturing the unique sightings or feelings evoked on each particular dive. We are all divers because of that very passion that we felt upon our initial certification. After nearly losing my dive log, I have a new drive to maintain it with more than just numbers. It is more than just a dive log. It is a record of my journey and discovery of the underwater world.