Okay, so maybe you’re not going out for a world record, but you still should log each and every dive you do. It’s about much more than just journaling.
1. Safety – No one wants to think about worst case scenarios, but if you have an accident while you’re down there and cannot communicate dive details yourself, a dive log can help emergency responders get you the help you need faster. For this reason, your logbook should also include any medical conditions, emergency contact numbers and insurance information.
2. Memories – Sure, you have your GoPro footage, but that doesn’t have all of the details of your trip. For the full picture, you’ll need to log dives. The logbook is the perfect way to record everything, so you can easily share on Facebook, Twitter or your personal blog.
3. Weight Check – Buoyancy is so important when you’re diving, but weighting can be difficult. Especially if you don’t dive often, or if you only dive a particular site once a year, keeping a logbook can help you remember how many weights you’ll need to maintain neutral buoyancy. It’s a better starting point than just guessing.
4. Performance improvement – Every diver wants to improve their Surface Air Consumption (SAC). Since it is something that evolves over time and changes with varying dive conditions, keeping a logbook can help you keep track of patterns and your improvement – which can help you spend the most time under water.
5. Gear log – The logbook is the perfect place to keep track of your gear service record, which is an important part of dive safety. Here, you can record new gear purchases, service and repair. When it’s time to prepare for a dive, check the logbook to see if anything needs to be repaired or replaced before you put yourself in a dangerous position.
With so many things to worry about during a dive, keeping a logbook may seem like an extra step that can easily be skipped. In truth, it probably isn’t life or death. But it can help you become a better diver. And who doesn’t want that?