PADI Underwater Navigator Specialty at Mermaids Dive Centre in Pattaya

Underwater Navigator Specialty

Underwater Navigator Specialty at Mermaids Dive Centre

Find your way underwater!

When you’re underwater, knowing where you are and where you’re going comes in handy, especially if you’re looking for that beautiful reef that you’ve heard all about. The PADI Underwater Navigator Specialty course will help you become a pro at finding your way underwater. There is nothing more embarrassing than leading a dive and getting lost, maybe not finding the reef or the ship wreck 🙂 You’ll learn skills that are quite essential as a diver – if you’re not making a drift dive it’s always nice to get back to the boat at the end of a dive.

How do I begin the PADI Navigation course?

  •  You need the PADI Open Water Diver or Junior Open Water Diver certified (or qualifying certification from another organization).
  •  Be a minimum age: 10 years old.
  • Possess the PADI Nav-Pak, which includes Nav-Finder, manual, video and log insert. Your Navigation Specialty Instructor will guide you through the course academics. This can be done in the classroom or on the boat going out to the different dives.
What will I do during the Navigation training?

During your PADI Underwater Navigation Specialty course, you’ll learn underwater navigation dive procedures, techniques and dive planning. There is a lot of organisation in navigation and potential problems are covered. You’ll also be introduced to natural navigation and underwater patterns (using coral, sand and current patterns as navigation), distance estimation and further your compass navigation skills. During your PADI Advanced Open Water course navigation is touched upon but the PADI speciality really expands upon your navigator skills. You’ll put new skills into practice during your three open water dives.

Navigating around where there are no road signs or directions takes quite some skill and should always be practiced in order to stay on top of your game. Whilst navigating it is easy to forget the basics of a diving like maintaining good buoyancy control, monitoring your gauges and ensuring that you keep on your buddies.

How long will training take?

  • Recommended Course Hours: 12.
  • 2 days of training.
  • Minimum Open Water Training: three dives over one day.
Where can I go from here?

Your Adventures In Diving Navigation Adventure Dive may count toward your Specialty course at instructor discretion. This Specialty also counts toward your Master Scuba Diver certification. To become a Master Scuba Diver one is required to achieve a minimum of five PADI specialty diving areas.The PADI Navigation course is one of the most important courses at elementary diver level as is an essential skill that can assist you in having great fun during a dive but also enhances your safety as a diver. But beware – if you’re a great navigator then you’ll have a lot of buddies that will wish to buddy with you. A lot of divers that have trained in navigation often take the PADI Search and Recovery program. This further heightens a divers’ awareness of natural underwater navigation and goes further in depth to underwater search patterns.

A couple of tips on navigating underwater

Always know whom is to be navigating and plan accordingly. – Too many chefs spoil the broth – or in this case too many navigators will get you lost. It is important to know whom is navigating and for them to have a good idea of the dive site layout. Gather information on rock formations and points of interest that can assist with natural navigation.

Does the dive set have a map? – Map out the dive site on a dive slate if you can. Most dive centres will have maps drawn of their local dive sites. Any pro-active dive centre that operates dive master training will have many maps on the sites. See if you can gain one of these from the centre and copy it onto your slate – it might come in very handy indeed.

Use a good underwater compass – Having a compass underwater is necessary for all divers really. It is one the owning a compass but completely another knowing how to use it properly. During the PADI navigator course you’ll learn all about the lubber line and correct use of a compass – the main tip about a compass if used correctly is always to trust it. Before your dive set the bezel to ensure you know which way you are heading out on the dive – it can simply be turned 180 degrees to return you to your entry point (with many other factors to take into consideration but this is where good training comes in).If there is a discrepancy between what you feel and what your compass is telling you, go with the compass. Be sure that it is working properly before the dive and that there is no interference from undersea objects like sunken ships in the Gulf of Thailand, Pattaya or anything that can be magnetic. Whilst using a compass it is increasingly difficult to maintain good underwater buoyancy control – so this requires practice also,

Measuring distance can be done in several ways such as air consumption, fin kicks or time if you are a consistent diver/swimmer. Measuring your distance to be used as a navigation tool is covered within the PADI training.

Practice your navigation skills often. Practice using your compass on land. It is easy to do squares, rectangles, set headings and reciprocals, note bearings, in short…perfect your compass skills on land.  The PADI course will have you ding this prior to diving with a compass. On practice or fun dives make use of your navigation skills no matter if you are being led or not. It is always good to have an idea of where you are – certainly in location to the boat if a boat dive. It’s nice to surface to the correct boat:)

Mermaids Pattaya, Thailand offer a full range of PADI Specialty courses on your schedule – allow Mermaids 1-2 days and we can operate any PADI Specialties that you require. Specifically tailor made dive packages can be created for your specific training needs. We can combine courses and add days  diving and offer you a bundled package. Simply contact us and let us know your desired dive training. A typical mixed divers tailored package would be Advanced Open Water with a couple of specialty courses and a few days diving – all in one nice all-inclusive package.


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