Maintaining a logbook as proof of diving experience has been made infinitely easier thanks to the widespread use of dive computers that allow data from each dive to be speedily downloaded and stored onto a desktop computer.
Rendering pen and paper obsolete and providing relief for those who regard accurate record-keeping as a chore, technology has provided a perfect solution for those who are forgetful, lazy or lacking in imagination.
But while computers are useful for recording all of the nitty-gritty details of a dive, they fail to provide a story — a riveting narrative that when re-reading the log-book in future years conveys the thrill and excitement associated with that particular diving adventure.
Not that there’s any value in filling up the pages of your log with inconsequential trivia. As far as I can see, there’s very little point in doing a dive if, at the end of it, the only entry that you’re prepared to make is “got in; got wet; got out” or, after the umpteenth dive at the same well-visited site, “More of the same.”
With just a little embellishment — and a minimal bending of the truth — even the most mundane dive can become a unique adventure having all of the proportions of a science-fiction epic. It’s certainly got all of the right ingredients: travel, technology, hostile environments, alien life-forms, ancient artifacts (discovering a small goby living in a discarded beer bottle covers "alien life-forms" as well as "ancient artifacts"), the constant element of risk, and human interest.
And all that’s required is a little time, imagination and creative effort to produce a permanent and lasting reminder of enjoyable times, good company and memorable dives, which is, after all, the whole purpose of keeping a logbook. Isn’t it?
Diving since 1961 — with a background in military, commercial, recreational and technical diving — David Strike has dived extensively throughout the Asia-Pacific region, is a Fellow of the Explorers Club, and the organiser of the biennial OZTeK Diving Conference.