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Dive Training Blogs

Just the tips: logbook advice for new divers

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By: Jesse Iacono

Depending on how you treat your logbook, logging dives can be seen as a chore, or it can be seen as an enjoyable part of the diving process. Here at SDI, we prefer to think of it as the latter. Consider the following five tips to increase efficiency when logging dives and bring some life back into your logbook.

1. Log Your Dives ASAP

Logging your dives as soon as possible helps you to document information before it leaves your mind. Our dive computers record many details from the dive, but other details must be recorded by us. These include details such as:

  • Equipment used
  • Starting and ending gas pressures (if your computer isn’t air integrated)
  • Dive site
  • Dive buddy

These rely on your memory to successfully make it into your logbook. If you don’t have immediate access to your logbook, temporarily recording this information on a slate or in your phone can be a great way to ensure an accurate record later.

2. Back Up Your Logbook

Paper logbooks can get lost or damaged. Digital logbooks can get compromised or deleted. Dive logging apps may not allow you to export your log data. Having a single copy of any important document is risky, especially when your logbook can be your ticket to proving experience and moving on to advanced training. If you prefer a physical logbook, make digital copies of the pages and keep a backup on your computer. If you prefer a digital logbook, keep a backup in cloud-based storage.

3. Make Your Own Pages/Layout

Many divers start out with a pre-made logbook, created by a training agency or dive manufacturer. For many, these are excellent options and fulfill all their needs. Others, especially as they gain more experience and move to higher levels of diving, may need something a bit more personalized. Whether you use a physical or digital logbook, it may be worth taking some time to create a template that caters to your diving and logging preferences.

4. Treat It as a Journal

Spending extra time to document your diving experiences can be valuable in the long run. If you use the Notes section of your dive log pages to reflect on what you saw, how you felt, and any post-dive thoughts, it will produce two results:

  • Your logbook will contain more valuable information that can be used to better yourself as a diver and your future diving experiences.
  • Your logbook will become a collection of experiences you can look back to and reminisce upon.

You’ll be surprised how easily you can visualize previous dives with a few extra recorded details.

5. Include Pictures and Notes

Divers use tools and pieces of equipment to support their dives or enhance the fun aspect. These can also be used to beef up your dive logs.

If you are taking notes on a slate, keeping dive details on wet notes or taking photographs during a dive, add copies to your logbook. The additions will create more detailed dive logs and help embody what was occurring during each dive. This option goes hand-in-hand with the point about turning your logbook into a diving journal.

Get out there and log those dives!

Whichever method you choose, the most important thing is to keep diving and keep your logbook up to date. Remember, your logbook is your proof of diving experience, but it also needs to work for you. Comment in the section below to share your favorite tips for making your logbook the best it can be.


To find out more about International Training, visit www.tdisdi.com.

From its humble beginning in 1994 to today, the group of training agencies Scuba Diving International (SDI), Technical Diving International (TDI), and Emergency Response Diving International (ERDI) form one of the largest diving certification agencies in the World – International Training. With 24 Regional Offices servicing more than 100 countries, the company today far exceeds the original vision the founders had when they conceived the idea on a napkin, sitting at a kitchen table in the early 1990’s.

Dive Training Blogs

Jump into… Powerboats

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As divers we all love the water, either on top or underneath, so what could be better than learning to powerboat. This was something that I had not really looked to do before… basically because I knew that I would be hooked with already being a huge pirate fan, and that’s exactly what happened!

Last year I joined the RNLI, which has been a fantastic organisation to get involved with. I could not think of a better way to volunteer my time and, I get to jump aboard and helm a 20m Shannon… awesome! At the same time, after 6 years of owning a boat, I decided to take my Powerboat Level 2 Course. Learning the basics of operating the boat, the two main things that I learnt were:

  1. I now have huge respect for the boat skippers that work here being able to get right close up to come and pick me up regardless of the conditions.
  2. There are no breaks… no back ups…at all!

It was an awesome course, just as good as my PADI Open Water Course, I was hooked and wanted to learn more. The next step being the Advanced course (deja vu!) and then, I went on to do the Day Skipper and Instructor. So, even cooler, we can now offer the RYA Powerboat Courses at Hafan Marina Dive Centre with our boat Little Viv.

Doing the course was great for me, to be able to move out of my comfort zone and learn something completely new. Like being an Open Water student again, I just wanted to learn more… and more… and find out what came next. It was brilliant to be the student again and pick up new tips and tricks, as well as having the frustrations of not being able to do something. An aspect that was a good reminder for my own teaching, that we as instructors should remember from time to time!

The Powerboat Course is definitely something that I would recommend any diver to do, not only to have an appreciation of the boats, but to improve your knowledge and understanding of tides, charts and all of those things that are useful for our dive planning. I like to think that I had a good knowledge of these beforehand, but doing the course has definitely reinforced this aspect… and if doing the course to become a better diver still doesn’t do it for you, surely the thought of a 250hp engine on the back of the boat will do!


Clare began Duttons Divers at just 19 years old and a short while later became one of the world’s youngest PADI Course Directors. Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com

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Dive Training Blogs

Tips for… Your IDC

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Looking to become a PADI Instructor? Then you will be looking to take your PADI Instructor Development Course. Those of you thinking of becoming an instructor may be finding this a scary process and those of you that have already been through it, will (hopefully) have looked back and enjoyed it! But that’s normal with anything that involves an exam, no?

The IDC is, as it says, a course designed to refine your teaching skills to the standard required to pass the Instructor Examination… and not only that, but prepare you for teaching your own students. There are some things that can make your IDC easier… this involves being prepared!

We have lots of divers come through to take our IDC’s and have the same types of questions each time, mostly asking how best to prepare. So, here are our tips and tricks.

To start – consider the time of year, and what you will be wearing. The IDC open water sessions can be stressful enough when you are trying to become neutrally buoyant in front of the Course Director, without the added stress of having added an extra few layers and not being weighted correctly. Prep your kit before you join the course.

Our next tip – skills. We have no doubt that you can perform mask removal and replace, but can you demonstrate it? The best way to do this isn’t always in the water either… how about trying it in the mirror? Yes, you will probably feel like an idiot (but that will only make you feel better when in front of a group). Watching yourself go through the skills, will allow you to see if you need to slow down…and what your student would be seeing. If you were to be on the other end watching the skill, would you be able to understand it? Our only other tip would be, maybe to leave out the hover with this tip!

Theory – Don’t forget the physics, RDP etc… not the most fun part, we know, but an all-important one nonetheless. This is the element of the course where you can do a lot of work behind the scenes and whilst we will of course take the time to teach you on the IDC, we also don’t want to waste all of the valuable time sat in a classroom. As with all diving, we want to be diving; working with you in the water to develop your skills and underwater control.

Lastly – don’t stress! Easier said than done, right? But we can almost guarantee that you will enjoy it. Go into the IDC having prepped with your skills and theory, questions prepared, and don’t be afraid to ask. That’s why you are there. Remember when you started your Open Water course? You didn’t know all of the answers, and guess what? This is the same.


Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com

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