Why Dive a Computer? – Dive Logging

_MG_7972

Is THIS what your first dive log looked like? © Mika Hiltunen 2010. Used with permission.

I’m a gear-o-phile. Okay now that we got that out of the way…

Dive computers are a great addition to your dive system. When a diver on a limited budget asks me what they should purchase first, a dive computer is always high on the list (usually right below regulators – but every situation warrants some thought). I don’t sell diving computers, I don’t get commission when one a diver buys one but I’m passionate about getting divers into computers.

And here’s why…

There have never been more options to logging your dives. This is yet another great reason to dive a computer…

Electronic Logging

PC/Mac

The electronic age provides us a wide variety of tools for logging our dives electronically. Many, if not most, dive computers allow dive data to be downloaded directly into a terrestrial computer. This provides an easy way to keep track of your dives. The data that your computer will log is usually more detailed than max depth, time etc. The download that you will get as a result will show a dive profile, temperature, tank starting and ending pressures and more. Some will allow you to ‘mark’ certain points in your dive and those will also show up in the download. This provides a visual representation of your entire dive which can be very helpful when you have a reason to dive the same site more than once and want to remember what depth a specific feature or wreck was or where you took that great photo!

Smartphone

I will just say right now that I don’t use any smartphone apps for logging dives. I know they exist but I can’t get my head around a workflow that makes sense for me. If you use a smartphone app as your dive log please comment below and share your experience!

Website/Communities

This one I really like in principle… but struggle with getting done. There are several communities that offer the ability to upload your dives. The one I’m currently trying to get my dives uploaded to is Diveboard which I really like as a community.

Once the dives are uploaded (at least from SCUBAPro’s software) there is still clean to do before the dive is finished (dive site and other info). So it’s slow going right now. I’m sure the technology will improve (or I’ll learn how to do it faster) but for me right now it’s five dives at a time as I get a few minutes.

Ye Olde Papyrus Log

Back in the days of yesteryear when I began diving we wrote down each dive on processed pulp made from dead trees. Crazy I know.

So here we are over a decade into the new century with all this great technology at our beck and call so where are we logging our dives…?

On paper. Yeah, I still use my paper log. Why? Because when you need to advance your training and prove you have a certain number of a specific kind of dive… you will need proof of those dives. And because there are dive operators that aren’t going to let you do advanced dives without proof of experience in addition to your C-Card.

Some deep thoughts on logging:

  • No matter which logging method(s) you choose – always log your dives as soon after the dive as possible so it will be fresh in your mind.
  • Always take a surface picture of your dive site if you can! This will help you remember where the dive occurred.
  • Keep a paper log.

SKuba Steve’s Dive Logging Workflow

  1. Boot Macbook Air into Windows because Mac support for dive computers is, shall we say, sparse.
  2. Download dives from dive computer into the manufacturer’s software.
  3. Update any fields for the dives that are not automatically populated (dive site name, location, buddy, notes, pictures if you’re that cool – I’m not).
  4. Save dive log
  5. Transfer dives from computer to paper log

Comment below and share what works for you!

The surface interval’s over… get out there and dive!

SKuba Steve

© 2013 Stephen Krausse. All rights reserved.