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I'm really getting into fish identification, so I'd like to purchase a dive slate to take underwater so's I can take some notes. But I've had a look at my LDS (they didn't have much) and in The Certified Diver's Handbook to see what Sir Clay had to say, and I'm not sure what to purchase.
I've seen the ones you can erase underwater, and those look cool. But I think I'm going to be writing quite a lot down. Plus the writing surface is small.
So. Could I get a recommendation? I was thinking the type that you put on your arm looked cool, as you can flip and take plenty of notes. But then again, are the slates that you clip to your BCD/put in your pocket better for what I'm using? I kind of understood that arm-bound flipslates might not be the best for writing things down while you're underwater--at my last dive resort, I mostly saw technical types strapping slates with memos pre-written to their arms.
The thing is that I'm also a graduate student, so while I don't mind spending money to get something good the first time, shelling out Y3,000 or Y4,000 for a erasable dive slate is kind of tough right now. (yeah yeah, so you ask--why didn't you pick a cheaper hobby...)
Can you erase basic slates underwater? I saw a basic slate on a website for roughly
Y700. Would a basic slate cover my needs, or should i go for the flip slates, so I have more writing room?
No clue! Can a More Knowledgable type advise me? I'd sure appreciate it!
Wrist slates as far as I know are mainly for letting a buddy know of a situation where sign language just won't do. Wet notes are pretty cool and I haven't heard anyone complain that I know who uses them.
I have a 3-panel wrist slate, Halcyon wetnotes and mini-quest (erasable underwater and also has a traditional slate at the back). I also had a traditional slate once.
The traditional slate filled up too quickly and it was a pain to erase/wash between dives - wetnotes would be better as you can just turn the pages and worry about erasing later on.
Of the three I currently own, I always bring down the wrist slate and that's what I find most convenient to use because I just need one hand (and one forearm) to use it and it's always right there - no need to reach for a pocket and my deco schedule and other necessary info is right there for easy viewing. However, it's hard to fit a compass, watch and wrist slate on one forearm were one so inclined. Also, you do need to keep erasing it between dives so bring your own scrubber (? one of those rough green things for washing dishes) just to be safe - not all dive resorts have them available for erasing slates.
The wetnotes are in my thigh pocket for backup with some deco schedules and such written on the pages. Sometimes I look at them on the surface to get a rough idea of what type of dive times I should expect, but I haven't needed them during a dive yet. For taking a lot of notes this would be the way to go though. The Halcyon and most other brands also have a loop for a boltsnap so you could clip it to you BC or harness, but I don't like danglies and instead prefer to keep them clipped away in my thigh pocket. Also, you need both hands to use them.
The mini-quest I never even brought down with me. It's too bulky, and I never needed it, but for underwater chatting it would be the way to go. In practice though, I just get my buddy's attention with a bright, tightly focused light and point with it if I see something interesting, or I use hand signals. On the rare occasion that I've needed to write a more complex message down, my wrist slate was always suffiicent.
You guys are awesome! Thanks for the tips. I've checked them out, and the Wet Notes looked pretty good when I saw them earlier on a scuba shop site. I was concerned, though, that you couldn't reuse the pages, but it looks like they can be cleaned and re-used so that would be optimal.
Yeah, I agree. A standard slate is going to be wayyyyyy too small for me.
But the Magna Doodle idea... will go to Toys Be Us and have a look. Especially with being in Japan. Things are sometimes more pricey here. Y8,000 for diving booties (roughly $65)? Um... naw.... especially since the last set I used from my LDS appeared to be standard issue water socks...