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.