Approaching a notable milestone in her meticulously logged dives, Kirsty Andrews hopes for a memorable experience.

Is there something in the human psyche that encourages us to compulsively keep track of our activities and mark memorable occasions? I’m thinking of the pressure to celebrate a ‘big’ birthday or anniversary, or party harder on New Year’s Eve than the night before. The nervousness of a cricket batter approaching a century: so much more desirable than 99 runs.

I’ve already admitted in these pages that I still keep a log book. It’s important to keep records to track all-important qualifying and experience dives; but many put the logbooks down once they’ve served that particular purpose. I’ve kept going for various reasons, and one of the consequences is that I know when a ‘big number’ dive is coming up.

Maybe I did want it to be a little more special than that, after all

Some milestone dives really leave an impression. For some reason I distinctly remember my 50th dive (with uni friends in Gozo) and my 300th (a fun dive with fellow dive guides in between teaching Ocean Diver lessons). I’m pretty sure I know where I was for my 1,000th (an enjoyable wreck dive in Northern Ireland) but my memories of the others are rather more vague. I know various organised types who will plan a big trip around their momentous dive and this makes sense when perhaps you’re only diving, say, for 20-30 dives a year on holiday - there’s time to plan and why not make an event out of it? At the very least, the dive centre is likely to bake a cake for you! And hopefully they won’t insist on you doing the dive naked - a regrettable tradition, especially for those of us who regularly dive in sub-tropical waters.

Due to my rigorous logging habits, I knew I had a ‘notable’ dive coming up recently. At least, I knew it was soon, but I was a bit behind in record-keeping so I wasn’t entirely sure which dive that month it would be. No problem: I wasn’t going to make a song and dance out of it, I thought: all dives can be special after all. My next planned dive was at a regular local site with some friends: we’d had a good time there a few weeks previously and it was the best option for the local weather conditions that day.

However, for some reason, it was incredibly dull - the viz wasn’t great, there was just enough of a swell and covering of weed on the reef to generate motion sickness, and the wildlife was seemingly abroad that day. My buddy and I ‘called it’ early and my first words were “I really hope that wasn’t my 2,000th dive!”. Maybe I did want it to be a little more special than that, after all.

I actually consulted my log book; to my relief it had been number 1998 and, excitingly, the following weekend was the Torbay Splash-In - a highlight of the calendar for Devon divers, where during a 19-hour window divers try to capture photos in Torbay waters to be judged later that evening at an evening do run by hard-working Torbay BSAC members.

What a memorable occasion for a memorable dive! And in short, it was brilliant. A late-night adventure with a great buddy and a host of night-owl critters, from phosphorescent plankton creating underwater starlight to snakelocks anemone shrimp (pictured above) to variable blennies, jewel anemones to finally, as I reluctantly headed to the surface, a buzzed flyby by some big squid. How is my next big milestone going to live up to that?

Log Books

Make sure you've got your log book for these events. We've got you covered if you need to purchase your log book or wallet in the BSAC shop.


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