Underwater navigation is the common reference term for navigation techniques learned by Scuba divers in order to accurately navigate in an underwater environment.
Although it is considered a basic skill, it is normally only taught to a limited degree as part of basic Open Water certification.
Orienteering is a matter of training and familiarity with the use of underwater compasses, combined with various techniques for estimating distance underwater, including kick cycles (one complete upward and downward sweep of a kick), time, air consumption and occasionally (for shorter distances), by actual measurement.
Compass Tips - Efficient underwater navigation builds diver confidence, saves energy, makes dive planning more effective, keeps dive buddies together and reduces air consumption.
A course plotter, or nav-finder, is used in scuba diving to track a multi-heading course and then return to the start point, or to find your way from one of the points to another.
Though the diver needs to record the heading and direction each time he moves, its primary benefit is tracking complex search patterns or navigation exercises.
These complex patterns could be especially useful for scuba divers who are searching underwater for lost items, recovering boat equipment, or looking for hidden treasure.
The direction is determined using a magnetic compass.
Nav-Finder Tip - The distance may be measured by noting 'time', or by 'kick cycles', so for accuracy travel at a constant rate.
PADI Specialty Courses |> Search and Recovery |> Underwater Navigator |> Deep Diver |> Wreck Diver |> Nitrox Diver |