When it comes to recreational diver training, underwater navigation is a requisite for all open water certifications. It comprises various techniques like underwater compass navigation, surface observation, and observation of the natural features. Are you someone who’s looking to master this art of underwater navigation?
Professional Association of Diving Instructors or PADI, as the name suggests, is a diver training organization that also offers memberships and certifications. Founded in 1966, it has more than 137,000 certified members and 6,600 dive centers and resorts worldwide.
If you are planning on getting certified, why not do it from the best? Here, we have created an all-encompassing guide to help you get your PADI underwater navigation specialty certification. We have also included some underwater diving tips and FAQ’s to top it off.
What Is The PADI Underwater Navigation Specialty Certification?
PADI underwater navigation specialty course aims to make you adept at cruising underwater. It does so by teaching you the correct usage of a compass, observation skills, and natural navigation underwater.
Here are some integral details regarding the certification.
To be eligible, you must be ten years or older and physically fit. You need to be a PADI Open Water Diver (Junior) or you should have other qualifying entry-level certification. All divers must also fill the PADI/RSTC Medical Statement Participation form.
The online study material is available in 4 languages, namely, English, Spanish, Dutch, and French. For information on languages available for practical learning, you need to contact your local PADI Dive Center or resort.
· Skills You Will Acquire
It is specially designed to teach you how to use natural clues to navigate underwater. By the end of the course, you’ll know the methods to measure distance underwater and underwater map making.
Compass navigation and marking and relocating objects submerged in water or on the surface will also become a piece of cake. Confidence enhancement is just a by-product of this comprehensive course.
· Time Commitment
This certification course takes as little as 1-2 days. You need to commit 2-4 hours on an average.
· Equipment Required
You will need your scuba gear, like fins, primary and backup masks, regulators, and twin cylinders. You’ll also need a compass and underwater slate. Besides these, your PADI instructor may suggest some additional gear, depending on the waters.
The standard cost for accessing the e-learning module is $170.00. Apart from this, you might pay additional fees for gear and practical training. Please contact your PADI underwater navigation specialty certification center, for more details.
· Other Benefits
Apart from acquiring the necessary underwater navigation and observation skills, you’ll be eligible for the Advanced Open Water Diver certification. You get 2+1 additional navigation dives at about 6-12 m depth range, as a bonus.
This certification has worldwide recognition. The fun part is, this also counts for college credit in most of the institutions. Other details may vary from center to center.
How To Enroll?
The process for enrollment is fairly simple. Visit the PADI website, click on start diving, and select your course based on your requirements. You can use the filters on the left side of the page to make it more convenient and explore your options. A plethora of courses has been categorized into youth, beginner, continuing education, and professional levels.
PADI underwater navigation specialty certification is offered as an intermediate course, under the category, continuing education. Open that page and from the right side of the page, choose your preferred language. Then, add it to your cart and complete the purchase.
As for the practical training, you need to get in touch with your preferred or closest PADI Dive center or resort. It is also advised that, before you proceed with your training, you read up on the recommended topics. This will ensure that you can make the most out of this experience.
Some Tips For Underwater Navigators
Being an underwater divemaster or navigator certified by PADI is not an easy feat. So, to help you make a smooth transition from a beginner to a professional, we’ve curated some valuable tips.
- Start your dive from the surface by planning out the route that you’ll take.
- Always remember the direction of the open sea and the coast to avoid any mishaps.
- Keep the position of the sun in mind so that it’s easier to determine your route.
- Gather as much information about your diving spot as you can, it will only help you.
- Always mark a reference line while moving forward, be it from the sandy part or the edge of the reef.
- Choose the appropriate equipment like an Idyllic underwater compass.
- Don’t be too immersed in admiring the beauty, always notice your surroundings.
- Know your compass and use it to track your exact location at all times. PADI underwater navigation specialty certification helps you with this.
- If you plan to dive at night, map the location during the day-time or go to a familiar location.
- Check your tank pressure regularly and end your exploration when it’s time; it’s non-negotiable.
These tips will not only help you navigate better, but they will also make this adventure very safe.
Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
We have addressed some of the most common questions in this section. Please go through them for a clearer understanding.
How Deep Can I Dive With A PADI Certification?
With the open water diving certification, you’ll be well-equipped to dive as deep as 60 feet.
You can always challenge yourself if the situation permits, and it’s safe to do so. As with this certification, you are qualified to dive in moderately adverse conditions too.
How Many Dives Do You Need For Advanced Open Water?
You need 5 PADI Adventure dives to qualify for this. PADI Underwater Navigation Specialty certification is just one of them. You can choose the other dives from the PADI website.
For How Long Is the PADI Certification Valid?
The PADI certifications have a lifetime validity; they never expire and don’t need to be renewed. If, in case, you don’t practice diving for a while, it’s always better to refresh your skills before diving straight in.
Underwater navigation is fascinating, to say the least. As a beginner, you must have wondered how professional underwater divers move from place A to B with such ease.
With this PADI underwater navigation specialty certification, you’ll be capable of doing all that and more. Not only will you become a natural at using a compass, but you’ll also be able to explore the beauty below the surface with enviable smoothness. We hope that we were able to guide you.