Reminiscing by yourself.
Reminiscing with dive buddies.
Faulty Memory/ brain damage from too much O2.
Out of sheer habit.
Good way to kill time during deco stops.
Abe Davis, Wakulla, etc. Awards.
Certain cave access requirement.
Milestone dive to be kept for posterity.
I don't keep a Log any more
When you're there you know there's a There there.
I try to keep accurate log entries as well as detailed notes on my cave charts. Like everything in diving, it's what is important to ME that matters.
With all of the caves in Mexico & Florida, with all the Lakes and salt water wrecks on the East Coast (where I live) and fresh-water wrecks in the Great Lakes, I find that I refer to my log entries many times each year for what is to me important information. I try to draw accurate pictures on my maps and on backs of log pages so that I will remember how it was for the next time. Off shore it may be as simple as looking for vis and bottom temps on any given month. Swim times & gas usage, trimix blend + deco mixes used, etc., access telephone numbers in Mexico and the like are all valid data.
It may have been 10 or more years ago that I went here in one cave or there inside a salt-water wreck. I wish my memory was better, but it's not.
It's probably a personal perception, but I think that the tone of this poll takes the seriousness out of maintaining accurate dive information. I hope that new divers don't perceive the tone of the poll the same way. Everything in diving is important. Even having a running account of the stupid mistakes made over one's diving career has its place, IMO.
Rebreathers are something that we have to go to in order to dive the way we want to dive. They are not something we go to for any other reason.
You make a great point! I log every dive (thanks to my dive computer that downloads so nicely, it's easy). To me, it is especially important to log those dives where things went wrong. I have learned more on a 5 minute dive than on some that last three hours or more. It's very useful to go back re-read those lessons, to remind myself not to repeat the mistake, to remind myself how far I've come, to remind myself when talking to newbies that yeah, I did that too.
My dive logs often take on a journal-like tone. My trip reports come straight from the log, and damn if that computer log doesn't have a better memory than me!
Besides, it's fun when my gills are drying out to relive some of those dives!
Anybody can be calm and centered with a few candles, some incense, quiet peaceful surroundings...the trick in life is to clear your head and find that calm spot in a *poo*storm...to filter out distractions in a beehive world and focus on simple, true things. - Bob Bates
Semper Fi, Cameron David Smith, my son, my hero. 11/9/1989 - 11/13/2010
There have been some great responses out there regarding the poll. I would like to foremost thank the person responsible for adding the additional choices. I had a feeling that most respondents would check off the "awards" item, because that has a tangible benefit easily realized when those restricted sites become available.
FW: This was my first poll and it was a rather "stream of consciousness" endeavor while staying up late last night. Your option for "all" or "most" of the above was a great idea. Too bad for us all that I didn't have the clarity of mind to think likewise. Yes, I started o/w in 88 and did about 50 before I went into the military. After serving my "time" I then started diving the springs (1994) with an old high school buddy and logged the rest of our o/w and some "barely cavern" dives, mostly in Orange Grove, Madison, Little River, Troy... the usual suspects.
I met a friend at UF afterward and we then dumped about every minute and dollar into cave diving. It was not unusual for us to dive 5 to 6 nights per week. My bank account at the time suffered mightily to keep up with our cave diving exploits. I can remember during the floods of 1998 suffering deco in river water in Little River and Cow at 3 in the morning (on air). I would typically get off work, eat 'dinner' on the drive to Ginnie, scooter to mainland, then throw up my dinner all over myself and my buddies during the deco. If you were ever wondering if vomiting in regs is doable, just ask me: I have a nice picture of spaghetti noodles hanging from the vents on my scubapros! I am a veritable professional when it comes to "off-gassing" my stomach contents. Then we would drive back to the unnamed dive shop where my buddy worked, fill the tanks back up, go home, get about 2 or 3 hours sleep, then go to work the next day at 7 am. Then repeat the next day. There is no way I could even hope to do that schedule today.
Around 2002 I met another buddy whom I dive with now and we probably did another 70-80 before we both stopped. For myriad reasons I won't bore you with, we then started dry caving and that took up a lot of time. Circumstances then changed again recently (last year or so) and we then returned to the cave diving scene. We probably get around 20-30 dives in per year now, simply because I have more responsibilities and am no longer single, young, dumb, and full of ...
Here's the best reason to NOT log your dives: you get a lot more dives that way.
Okay, here's the cynical explanation of the above. (Note that this is not aimed at anyone on this forum.) I have found that when people don't log their dives, when they are asked how many dives they have they exaggerate by a factor of between three and ten. It seems to be common, as ludicrous as it is, to take the number of years you've been diving and multiply by a hundred. You've been diving eight years? You have about eight hundred dives. Never mind the fact that you make twenty dives a year. Here are a few examples:
I told a friend I was going to Florida for the weekend and was going to make my five hundredth dive. He said, "I don't log my dives so I don't know if I have five hundred or not." This guy makes between two and twenty dives a year, and had done so for ten years. So he probably had between 100 and 125.
This one old guy that had been diving for twenty-five years (and probably had 600 - 800 dives) once told me he had over five thousand dives. Five years later he told me he had over ten thousand dives. I told him, "Cool. So you've made a thousand dives a year for the last five years?" Went straight over his head.
So when I told people several months ago I made my thousandth dive, a lot of people said they would have guessed it was a lot more than that, seeing as how I've been diving EVERY month for over eleven years. I always say, "Yeah, but if I didn't log my dives I'd be upwards of fifteen thousand by now..."
Last edited by Slüdge; 06-22-2010 at 09:17 PM. Reason: experiment
Whoever said money can't buy love never bought a puppy.
As an instructor, it's legally in my best interest to log training dives.
All of my non-training dives are cave dives and I log conditions information, river levels, survey data, etc.
Liability: That's a VERY good reason for dive logs, RN. I noticed another diver gave similar reasons (commercial diving resume). I bet your log is very thorough and comprehensive, as well.
I think I may suffer from long-term memory loss, because even when I have found some old crumpled up and cracking wet-notes from way back, I can barely even recollect what the dive was about. But above all, I think pure laziness may be the main culprit in my case.
I log OW dives to note water temperature as of that date; it gives me a rough idea of what to expect. I also note how much lead I need with each wet suit.
I log cave dives to note how far I can expect to go in a system. I also note dive blunders in block capitals to remind me never to do it again.
Finally, I enjoy reminiscences. I enjoy rereading the records of my first encounter with a bull shark and my first sight of a manta ray. I enjoy looking back at my first reaction to a place. Columbia Reef: Moran's painting of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Olsen Tunnel: "The Flooded Cathedral." Orange Grove: "A Wormhole in Time."
"I like to do dangerous things safely."
I like having the reference and reminiscing. I've looked up directions to dive sites from old logs (pre-smart phone/gps), kept track of lead needed for rare salt water dives, noted great tips from instructors and mentors. I've also annotated how many times I've tinkered with my side mount rig (many) and kept track of various people I've been privileged to dive with.
I like to go out to eat after a dive, and filling out my log bides the time while I wait for my food. Now that I've got my log on my smart phone, it is doesn't take up any space and is always with me.
I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
Sludge: your supposed "cynical" explanation is not cynical AT ALL! I think you are dead-on correct in your analysis. In fact, I am probably guilty of the method of counting to a degree, as well. I would not say by a ludicrous multitude of 3 or 10, though, as I seriously spent some major parts of 4 1/2 years underwater/ground in North Florida. The addiction nearly bankrupted me, to which my credit score and future wife will attest. I only dive 20-30 times a year NOW, because of other obligations and health (lack of) reasons. Back when I started, though, I had no other reason for living and my estimate is still probably pretty close. It may have to be revised down to about 830-870 to be closer to what my old dive buddy (he actually kept a very rudimentary logbook of our dives) has. Very lucid thoughts you put out there, though.