One of the ties that bind the directors of SEASFiRE is a love of Star Trek. I know, I know, who would have thought that the people running a conservation education and citizen science organisation were geeks?
Star Trek: The Next Generation is the standout series for me. I loved the original series when I was a kid, but The Next Generation came out when I was in my teens, and I loved it. Even now, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I see the introduction. Atmospheric sound, Sir Patrick Stewart’s voice, and the soaring theme tune combine to lift us to the stars.
One of the key tropes of the series is the Captain’s Log. As the Enterprise traverses the galaxy, Captain Picard records their locations and experiences, filing key events. It’s an old maritime tradition. Ships’ captains have been recording weather patterns, locations, and wind since we first set sail on the oceans, centuries ago.
It’s a tradition that we embrace underwater. Every diver is trained from Open Water to log their dives. A typical dive log will record:
- Dive Location
- Dive Time
- Maximum Depth
- Reason for the Dive, e.g. training vs. fun dive
Divers may also record water temperature, wetsuit and weights worn, and many other details. We always encourage divers to record the marine life they see on dives, which can help make the dives more memorable.
Foliase Coral, Christian Ogle, SAS Reef to Rainforest 2016Dive logs are important documents, especially for training. By logging dives, students create a record of their training. For some courses, such as Divemaster or Instructor training, students must have recorded a minimum number of dives to begin or complete the training course. For others, such as Rescue Diver, they have to demonstrate that they have completed required training, in this case, the Advanced Open Water course. In several parts of the world, divers must be able to show that they have completed a certain number of dives before a dive centre will take them to a particular dive site. Your dive log can also show when you last dived, which might be useful for checking whether you need a refresher before you get in the water.
More importantly, by logging your dives, you can record the things that interest you about the dive, which will help you find more experiences that you enjoy. If you’re interested in the marine life that you encounter, make a note of the most interesting organisms you see. Before you know it, you’ll be looking through fish books and scouring the internet to correctly identify that nudibranch you just saw. If you’re undertaking certain activities, such as a Dive Against Debris, you can record some of the weird and wonderful debris you find. Either way, you will start to enjoy your dives even more, and become more enthusiastic about the diving you enjoy.