Thursday, September 17, 2015

Counting Hours

In addition to keeping a tally of how many dives a diver has made, one is supposed to keep a tally of all the hours spent under the water.

I have been very good about logging my dives and keeping a record of how many dives I have made.  I record the time, date, how much weight I have put on my weight belt, who I am diving with and where.  I then use up the rest of the page describing the dive and what fish I've seen. A record of the total hours under water, not so much.

As I work toward my master diver award, I have to count up all the hours I've spent under the waves.  I did have a record of the hours a few years ago when I was becoming a branch instructor.  I had vowed then that I would be much more conscientious at keeping a tally of the total hours under water.  Like many resolutions before it, I it slide.  

Dragging out all the diving log books I have ever used this morning, I paused.  
I love taking a good long look at the pile of dive logs and their wrinkled from damp pages with the very important things to be kept safe, stuck between the pages. . . . brochures from dive companies we have used, spare i.d. photos and even a plastic Red Sea fish identification guide that was purchased on our first trip to Egypt.

What a lot of lovely memories are logged in these books. I treasure them.  They are a record of my consuming hobby.  My first enthusiastic but short dives off the coast of Skiathos when I didn't know the names of any of the fish and went through my air so quickly.  There is a record of my decision to start diving at home in the United Kingdom.  I realised that I didn't know nearly as much about diving as I thought I did and then there was the getting to grips with diving in a dry suit.  

The dives this March near the border with Sudan were much longer as I'm so much better at air consumption.  I saw dolphins and sharks on the same dive and I knew the names of most of the fish I saw.  

I recorded when I was shown my first nudibranch in Menorca, when I managed to get over an hour on a twelve litre tank of air and when I got to watch a spotted dogfish digging in the silt in Loch Fyne.  I recorded my first frightening night dive and compared it to the last enthusiastic night dive I had.  

My diving has brought me so much joy and I'm glad I've got a record of the journey.


tom said...

I've been telling students that having a paragraph that is more than two pages long is like taking the readers down to the bottom of the sea, and showing them all the beautiful coral when they're five minutes past being out of oxygen. No, I tell them, you want them to be able to appreciate what you're showing them!

joared said...

Enjoyed your diving reflections. My experience has been limited to snorkeling one time in Hawaii many years ago. I was mesmerized by all I saw and wished then I had lived near the ocean to more readily allow me to pursue under water explorations.