Techniques > Recording > Dive Logs
Techniques: Filling in Dive Logs
The main purpose of an archaeological dive log is to get a record of any work done underwater on a wreck site. The form is similar to a log for sports diving but is different as the emphasis is on writing down what was achieved and what was seen. The aim is to write down everything that was done or was seen as often you don’t know what details are important until later on.
The dive log is part of the primary record of the work done on the site and should be kept as part of the archive. The log form can be scanned and kept as an electronic file.
A single form should be used for each dive but only one form is needed for a buddy pair of divers.
Each of the blank boxes needs to be filled in on the form. An explanation of each of the boxes is given below:
This is the name or number of the dive, made up from the date and a number allocated to each pair of divers on that day. The dive reference is in the form
DIV is always the start of the reference
yy is the year as two digits, so 2012 is just '12'
mm is the number of the month as two digits, so April is '04'
dd is the day of the month as two digits, so the 3rd is '03'
x is the number given to each pair of divers.
Example: the Dive Reference for third pair of divers on 8th July 2013 would be:
The site code is the unique code name given to a site. Commonly used site codes include :
PLYCOR Coronation wreck
PLYCAT Cattewater wreck
PLYMWL Mewstone Ledge wreck
The names of the divers on the dive being recorded. Do not include the divers on other dives as they will have their own dive log forms.
The name of the place the dive was done, such as Tinker Shoal.
The position of the start of the dive as a latitude and longitude. If the dive was on a known wreck or the position was not known then leave this blank.
The date of the dive, given in the form 23 August 2012
The name of the boat used for the dive, or the name of the organisation or dive club if the name is not known
The maximum depth achieved on the dive
The time spent underwater
Current / Visibility
Select an estimate of the current from: Nil, <0.5 kt, <1 kt, > 1 kt
Estimate the underwater visibility in metres at the seabed
Add a note on he weather, such as fine, rainy, windy, cold, snowing
The breathing gas mix used, such as Air or Nitrox 32
Describe the seabed starting with the most common first, such as reef with sand gullys, sand and reef, flat sand, silt and seagrass.
Describe the aims of the dive, such as target search, area search, gun recording
write down what you achieved on the dives, if the aims were completed and what else you did
Notes / Sketch
Use this area for sketches of things found, small maps or any additional notes or comments. Its better to write down everything as something you have seen may not have been seen by anyone else.