Underwater Navigator Specialty

Have you ever had that “can’t get there from here” sensation underwater? It’s that frustrating feeling of knowing where you are and where you want to go, but not knowing how to get from A to B. Knowing where you are and where you’re going on a dive comes in real handy, especially if you’re looking for an object or locating that beautiful reef that you heard about.

Consider this scenario: The boat captain tells you to follow the anchor line to the bottom and you’d find a small, submerged reef directly in front of you about 30 meters/98 feet away. You and your buddy are the first ones down. You reach the anchor at 20 meters/65 feet, but no reef can be seen within the moderate visibility. Your dive buddy takes off ‘directly ahead’, but you can see him curving to the right. No surprise there, we tend to circle when we have no references.

You point back to the anchor, and your buddy shrugs and signals you a bashful ‘okay’. From there, you reorientate yourself and set a compass heading straight ahead. As you swim, you count kick cycles and note a slight cross-current running from left to right. After going a bit more than 30 meters/98 feet, you know that you’ve missed it. You set a new course 90 degrees to your left, and you run right into the reef. Glancing behind, you see that everybody else was following you, so you were glad you did a great job!

The only difference between what you and your buddy did was that you used a compass and paid attention to navigation cues in the environment. You learned the basics in your PADI Open Water Course, but the best way to really nail navigation skills is in the PADI Underwater Navigator specialty course. As a PADI Underwater Navigator, you save time and air because you get where you’re going via the most efficient route, and you avoid long surface swims because you find your way to and from the boat or entry/exit point entirely underwater.

During your PADI Underwater Navigator program you’ll go on 3 open water scuba dives, familiarizing yourself with the skills, knowledge, planning, organization, procedures, techniques, problems, hazards and enjoyment of underwater navigation.

You’ll learn methods of estimating distance underwater, how to use underwater patterns, dive site relocation techniques, and compass navigation techniques. You’ll learn how to use your compass with high accuracy, what the environment tells you about where you are, and to use specialized navigation tools.

  • If you’re a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver who is at least 10 years old, you can enroll in the PADI Underwater Navigator Specialty course.

Courses are always available, but we do not schedule our calendar online. Call us for the most current pricing, promotions, and available course dates 602-844-5732.