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  1. #1
    TDF Member NW6 1TH's Avatar
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    Anyone who uses a fountain pen for their dive logs?

    I've searched the forum for information on this, but I haven't found anything. If there already was a thread devoted to this topic, please direct me there and forgive for the inconvenience.

    I suppose there must be more people here who, like me, love fountain pens. I've been a fountain pen user since I was in my early teens, and only use ballpens when I must fill in some carbonless copy paper form and borrow one (there are fountain pen nibs which work on this type of paper, though I've never looked for one, since most of the times I have to fill in a form I didn't know beforehand I would have to do so, and I'm not going to carry around ne of those fountain pens just in case).

    Now I've found another instance where I cannot use a fountain pen: dive logs. Well, this is not strictly true: I am sure fountain pens can be used for dive logs. It's only that up to now, I haven't done it. And I'd like to ask for your advice, since I'm pretty sure some of you already know what the best options are and, much as I like and use fountain pens, I'm no expert.

    Of course, I'd need, first of all, a waterproof ink. Or would ink with very high water resistance be enough? After all, I don't intend to dip my dive log, and it would be mostly a problem with water splashes (though if the worst comes to the worst, my buddies' signatures and the dive centers' stamps would be affected even if what you wrote isn't). But what worries me most is the pen's maintenance. I'm not an everyday diver, as someone living in a coastal town may be. I'm more of a sporadic weekend diver (four or five weekends in July/August, and maybe four weekends more during the rest of the year, with four dives a weekend). This means I'd have to clean the pen thoroughly almost every time I use it. I've never used waterproof inks, since I'm rather clumsy and always end up staining something when I ink my pens, so the easier they are to clean, the better. But I'll have to toe the line this time.

    Would you please recommend a waterproof ink, or one with good water resistance, which is reasonably easy to clean from the pen (supposing this is possible), and which is not too expensive, as much of it will end up in the dustbin (until I get the knack of knowing how much -or rather, how little- ink I must put in the pen to last me one weekend). I'd like some sort of blue black, but I'm not too particular about this.

    And, while we're at it, is there any fountain pen that you find particularly good for this purpose? It would have to be cheap (as the chances are that it'll get lost) and easily disassembled.

    Lastly: the paper. My logbook, which I was given at the dive centre just before my OWD dives, consists of some spiral-bound normal paper sheets. But I've seen some people whose divelog books have some sort of shiny paper which, I suppose, has better water resistance. Would a fountain pen write well on one of these, or would it take for ever for the ink to dry?

    Any sort of advice on how to start using fountain pens for this would be very appreciated. Thanks a lot in advance!

  2. #2
    Established TDF Member
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    I also use a fountain pan wherever possible but not for dive logs. Logbooks do tend to get dampish and the writing seeps and doesn't look very nice. I did fil in one dive 's details in founrtain pen because I didn't have a ball pen to hand and the writing leached into the paper. Fountain pens don't work on the waterproof paper because they don't leave an even film behind - the surface tension causes the ink to accummulate into blobs.

  3. #3
    Established TDF Member Nickpicks's Avatar
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    Personally, dives are logged on my dive computer, then uploaded to subsurface which shares them on the cloud between my desktop and my phone.

    If I'm writing anywhere that might get wet, I use a Chartwell survey book, which contains rag paper which can handle getting soaked. It can be written on with pencil, but my pen of choice for it is the Fisher Space Pen. If I want to make notes about the dive, this is what I use, then type it into subsurface later)

    Many divers use "wetnotes" which use a similar waterproof paper and can be written on with pencil.

    Similar paper is available to laser print your own forms if you wish.

    As for fountain pans, there are plenty of waterproof inks available. (This one is suitable for watercolour washing) Why not either have a specific pen just for diving logs and keep that ink in it, or switch to using a waterproof ink for everything?
    Proud to be a boring health and softy crap following sissie!

  4. #4
    TDF Member NW6 1TH's Avatar
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    Thanks for your answers! @Nickpicks, yes, my idea is to have a single fountain pen devoted to diving, but the problem is -I think- that waterproof inks make pen maintenance much more necessary, as they will clog the pen if left unused for some time. This means I might get in trouble if I don't clean the pen after every diving weekend (mainly outside the summer season, it can be a couple of months or more between two of them). I don't want to switch to waterproof ink for everything because there isn't as great an availability of colours as with normal inks and, mainly, because I'm so good at staining everything when inking my pens that I wouldn't feel comfortable having around something which isn't washable.

    @Allan Carr, it's great to know that shiny waterproof paper isn't suitable for fountain penks. Luckily, my present divebook has normal paper. The idea behind having a waterproof ink is precisely to stop it from seeping if the paper gets damp (in theory, it should even withstand a complete and relatively long immersion -provided the paper doesn't disintegrate-, which not even ballpen writing would do).

    Thanks for the De Atramentis ink suggestion. I've seen it's available in different colours, so I'll try to figure out how prone it is to clogging the pens, and maybe try it.


  5. #5
    Established TDF Member Energy58's Avatar
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    You can refill the disposable Pilot V Pen (about 4 in the shops) with any old ink to save damaging a "good" pen. Just pull out the nib section firmly and the rest is obvious - you could refill it with waterproof ink and it isn't a disaster if it gets clogged.

    I use these all the time as I like to write notes with a fountain pen but mislay a lot of pens in the process. They are OK to write with and you can get big packs of them off Amazon at a much lower price (in bulk they come in at about 2.30 each - delivered)

  6. #6
    TDF Member JasminNeedsGills's Avatar
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    To be fair I haven't found plain old biros to be much better either. I use them with the standard-issue BSAC logbook and it's not great as the paper is slightly wax so it smears a bit. Switched to pencil and its a lot better.


 

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