Underwater Navigator Course
We’ve all seen them – pictures of pristine, inviting Caribbean and Pacific seascapes, usually placed in a travel agency window or in the back pages of a dive magazine. The trees are lush and green, the sand snow white and radiant. And the water – gin-clear with unlimited visibility, seemingly clean enough to bathe in. Tranquil and tempting, these are the type of locales you save up to visit.
Upon planing for a trip to such a paradise, a million things will go through your mind – hotel reservations, renting a boat, checking your gear and perhaps buying a new camera. One of the last matters you may consider is acquiring the skills you need to avoid getting lost underwater. After all, why worry when you can practically see forever?
Why is an underwater navigator course important
Because even the best conditions can change very quickly. The clear water you jumped into an hour ago could turn cloudy due to wave action. Visibility can also be cut down when the sun is hidden behind clouds, placing you in a (no pun intended) twilight zone where you can only see for a few murky feet in front of you. And even though there will be plenty of instances where you can locate enough features to guide you back to the boat, you may find yourself in areas where the bottom is so uniform that getting turned in the wrong direction is much too easy. A sandy seafloor devoid of rocks or plant life – or one with a uniform carpet of turtle grass – can be as intimidating as a stretch of desert or expanse of forest. And a colorful reef can often double as a maze.
We at Scuba Lessons Jax believe that proper navigational training is of the utmost importance to everyone who scuba dives. Whether you’re a mile off of Jacksonville or in the middle of the Coral Sea, knowing how to get around safely and efficiently is critical. If you happen to partake in night, wreck, or search and recovery diving, it can make the difference between a great experience and a bad one. It may be the most valuable specialty course you take with us. And you may be able to earn college credit when you enroll.
What exactly will I learn in the course?
Our underwater navigator course will point you in the right direction by covering the following topics:
- Navigation patterns
- Natural navigation (navigation using underwater features as guide points)
- Compass navigation
- Marking or "relocating" a submerged object or position from the surface
- Underwater map making
- How to follow irregular courses with the PADI Nav-Finder (a lightweight device that combines the benefits of a slate, course plotter and heading calculator)
- Dive site relocation
What is required for me to take the course?
Participants must be at least ten years of age and have completed a (jr.) open water diver course or have received a qualifying rating. Certain accessories may be required.