Whether you are a new diver or a Dive Instructor, or anywhere in between, you always have the need to write something down underwater. Whether it’s asking questions underwater or recording them for later back on the boat or simply noting down what kind of marine life you encountered to help you remember when filling out your log book later on. For Underwater Photographer it may be the camera settings used on specific shots you took for review later, or the Instructor for writing evaluations of student’s skills; whatever the need underwater writing devices are a real boon to scuba divers.
There are several different kinds of underwater writing devices; here are a few of the most frequently used ones:
Standard Underwater Slates
One of the most commonly found underwater writing devices is the standard underwater slate, which comprises of a white slate, blank on both sides, attached to a plastic hook clip or in this case a steel carabineer to clip the slate on to your BCD. The Slate comes in a variety of sizes selected based on diver preference and writing surface needs, and also comes with both a pencil clip and pencil tether made of latex tubing to prevent you from losing the pencil. You can also get luminous glow in the dark slates which glow brightly upon shining your dive light on its surface for a couple of seconds allowing you to write on a night dive. Underwater slates are quite cheap, and are reusable by erasing the slate with an ordinary pencil eraser or using Dive slate cleaner.
Featured Above: Innovative Junior Pro Slate with Stainless Steel Carabineer available at Leisurepro.com
Scuba Notebooks, or notepads look just like regular notebooks in appearance but contain waterproof, tear resistant and yet erasable writing paper. Usually 15-30 sheets of this special paper are attached to a spiral spine book and can be torn off if necessary. Scuba Notebooks come in a variety of sizes and wet notes are so much easier to carry than big bulky slates and they fit in the pockets of your BCD with ease. Most waterproof notebooks come with special plastic underwater pencils attached to them with a bungee like cord.
Featured Above: Anura Amphibious Scuba Notebook with Pencil 4″ X 6″ available at Leisurepro.com
Multi-Page Wrist Slate
Comprise of multiple sheets of stiff but thin slate material contoured to wear on the divers’ wrist using an elastic velcro strap. Having a wrist slate on your arm makes it much more useful and easier to access than a traditional slate. Great for navigation dives or communication with your buddy underwater, and best of all the compact size makes it easy to carry with you on a dive.
Magnetic slates use special patented technology which allows the diver to write on a plastic surface, with a special magnetized pen, which causes tiny magnetic particles inside the slate to form the writing which can be erased with a slide eraser. Magnetic slates write better and are considerably easier to read than traditional slates as it uses a magnet for pen tip to attract magnetized “grains” which are clearly visible. Available in both large notebook size slates as well as small wrist mounted type; magnetic slates make great underwater communication devices.
AquaSketch Minno Wrist Slate
The AquaSketch Minno Wrist slate is an underwater writing device that allows divers to write an unlimited amount by ingeniously using tiny vellum scrolls inside which can be advanced by simply turning a knob. An ordinary graphite pencil can be used to write, and erasing is possible as well. The AquaSketch has a phosphorescent writing surface that illuminates notes during night dives and users can purchase the vellum scroll refills at a variety of different lengths. One of the biggest advantages of the AquaSketch wrist slate is that the scrolls can be scanned into a computer after the dive for record or future reference.