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PADI Underwater Navigator Specialist

The skills that scuba divers use for navigating underwater (with accuracy) take more than luck - especially when using an underwater compass or nav-finder.

Learn how to make complex search patterns, save time and energy, and be the envy of the dive group by finding your way back to the boat or shore with ease.

PADI Navigator Specialty | List of Contents

Important: You may count the Underwater Navigator Specialty certification towards the PADI Master Scuba Diver Rating. Check out our PADI® Specialty Courses List for further details on more than thirty other specialties (listed from A to Z).

What is the Meaning of Specialty Diver?

In simple terms, a Specialty Diver is someone with enhanced scuba diving abilities beyond entry level certifications (e.g. Discover Programs, Scuba Diver, Open Water Diver).

Signing up for specialist scuba courses is the ideal path to take if you want to learn new techniques and experience different kinds of underwater exploration.

Furthermore, you will get the best opportunity to acquire superior knowledge and skills in the diving activities that interest you the most because a 'Specialty Instructor' will be supervising the training.

How to Navigate Underwater

Age, Depth, and Prerequisite Certification

There are minimum age requirements and maximum depth limits for all the specialties that require scuba training dives in open water.

As a result, before you can enrol in the PADI Underwater Navigator course you will need to be:

Number of Days: Two (2) (minimum)

Scuba Training Dives: Three (3)

Maximum Depth: Depends on age and certification level

Important: Even though scuba certifications do not expire, we recommend taking the PADI ReActivate® refresher course if you have been inactive from diving for a while (e.g. longer than six months).


Reasons to Become an Underwater Navigator Specialist

Not knowing how to use a compass underwater (and the extra clues from natural navigation) can result in some disorientation.

Often, it's important for scuba divers to be able to find their way back to the dive boat or the shore without having to return to the surface. Plus, it means you can avoid making long, exhausting, surface swims.

Completing the PADI Underwater Navigator course will help you fine-tune your observation skills and use a compass with superior accuracy.

How to Get the PADI Underwater Navigator Certification in Thailand.Some of the recommended search patterns that work well in shallow depths, include:

  • Circular searches
  • Expanding square
  • Grid
  • Semi-circular
  • Snag-line
  • Towed-diver

It is important to understand that the techniques and procedures used when conducting search or recovery missions underwater will vary in different areas around the world.

Navigating Offshore Dive Sites

Having the knowledge and unique skills to explore distant locations away from the shore is another reason for taking the course.

Do you like swimming around big fish?

If so, you need to go diving in deeper water that attracts schooling vertebrates and pelagics, such as large sharks, groupers, and sea turtles.


Digital Learning Programs for Self-Study

In general, it is much easier for divers with a busy schedule to choose the online learning option to start scuba lessons.

Being able to complete the independent study portion of a multiple day course offers you some flexibility and convenience.

As long as you have a computer or a mobile device, you will be able to study the knowledge development portion at your own pace (online or offline).

PADI Underwater Navigator eLearning: Up to Four (4) Hours

If you sign up for PADI eLearning® you can complete the self-study assignments online for around 4,500 THB.

Following that, you would need to contact the dive shop to perform the required scuba training dives with a PADI Instructor to finish the course.


Underwater Navigation Course: What Skills Will You Learn?

You need to participate in the instructor-led knowledge development sessions by completing all knowledge reviews from the student manual.

Here's why...

You will learn how to enter and exit the water in a safe and effective manner while wearing scuba gear and carrying various tools used for navigating and for making searches (often from a custom-built dive boat).

Besides that, you will also learn about:

  • Different search patterns (easy and complex)
  • Compass navigation
  • Searching techniques and how to use a PADI Navigation Finder
  • How to use natural navigation underwater (e.g. without a compass)
  • Underwater map making and distance estimation
  • How to navigate accurately using easy search patterns

Note: Did you successfully complete the Navigation Dive from the Adventures in Diving Program? If so, an instructor may count it as being the first training dive of the certification requirements in this particular specialty course.



Dive Gear and Specialist Equipment

You need to wear standard scuba gear for the three training dives conducted in open water. Other specialist equipment that you'll use, may also include:

Note: Using different underwater torches will be useful as the surroundings become darker and if you will be navigating your way through any dangerous structures (e.g. 10 best wreck dives in the world).


FAQ Section and Medical Questionnaire Form

How Many Dives for PADI Underwater Navigator Specialists?

You need to make a total of three (3) scuba training dives to complete the course. Each session will include a range of tasks and skills that you need to master prior to certification.

Can a Certified Navigation Diver Dive Alone?

The diving buddy system is a safety procedure pairing two or more divers together. Also, the group should perform pre-dive safety checks (Begin With Review And Friend) before entering the water.

Nonetheless, PADI does consent to a kind of 'solo diving' through the Self-Reliant Diver certification course, which is available in Pattaya, Thailand.

Can I Touch the Creatures Underwater?

Divers share a common responsibility to protect and conserve nature. As a result, passive interaction with aquatic animals helps to safeguard the habitats of delicate and sensitive sea life.

Is there anything I Shouldn't Do after Scuba Diving?

After cleaning the gear, there are several kinds of activities that divers should avoid doing after using scuba equipment, including:

  • Exercising
  • Flying in a plane (including traveling to altitude, such as mountain hiking)
  • Having a deep tissue massage, hot bath, or hot shower
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Forgetting to log the dives

When Should You Do a Scuba Refresher?

Suppose you don't go diving for more than six months. There is a simple way to refresh the knowledge and skills that you already learned.

After a long period of inactivity, taking the PADI ReActivate® program will help you brush up on the safety procedures and scuba diving fundamentals.

Medical Requirements: Free Download

You must be in good physical and mental health and be medically fit for recreational scuba diving. You can review the Diver Medical Participant Questionnaire Online to check whether you need to be evaluated by a physician.

It is not appropriate to ask dive staff (e.g. divemasters, instructors) for medical advice or clearance to go diving. Instead, you can contact the Divers Alert Network (DAN) if you have questions about your medical fitness to dive.


Price for PADI Underwater Navigator Specialty Course in Thailand 8,500 THB*

We have qualified instructors and expert dive guides who can teach in several languages, including English, Thai, and Chinese.

The price includes (all):

Blue Check MarkBoat trips (with free soft drinks served on board)

Blue Check MarkProfessional tuition from a "Private Scuba" Instructor

Blue Check MarkFree rental of required diving equipment (including a dive computer)

Blue Check MarkPADI Underwater Navigator Specialty Manual and Certification Card

Blue Check MarkHotel transfers within Pattaya City limits

Important: You will usually be making two (2) scuba training dives in the same day. The PADI flying after diving guidelines say you need to wait a minimum of eighteen (18) hours after the second dive before you go to altitude. Please send an email to our team if you need further information.


YouTube Video and Knowledge Base for Underwater Navigators

Most of the information and advice in this section focuses on deep scuba diving activities which we usually conduct from a boat in Thailand.

We also have a list of blog articles about snorkeling and freediving - with other popular watersport tourist attractions at the beach resort of Pattaya.

Scuba Diving Help Guides

Note: The short video [5:05 seconds] presented by PADI highlights what to expect when taking the Search and Recovery Diver course with some tips about underwater navigation for beginners.


What Comes after the Underwater Navigator Specialty Course?

Underwater navigation is an important skill no matter what type of scuba diving you engage in. Being able to navigate accurately underwater is especially useful when diving at night, around a wreck, and when you are trying to recover a lost item.

Recovery diving is very popular with many divers because of the excitement and exhilaration that searching for lost objects underwater can offer.

So what comes next?

This certification links to several other scuba certifications, including Advanced Open Water Diver course as well as the popular Specialty Courses offered by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors.

Even so, the PADI® Underwater Navigator Specialty course combines nicely with several other specialties, such as:

  1. Boat Diver
  2. Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB) Diver
  3. Multilevel Diver
  4. Public Safety Diver™
  5. Wreck Diver

Note: All course prices for diving are subject to change and assume that all prerequisites have been met to start the training. Click here to contact the team at Private Scuba in Thailand to make a booking or send an enquiry.

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