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Underwater Navigation - Mastering the Skills

Hamden Scuba, Navigator, Yale, New Haven, CT, Scuba, Dive Lessons

One of the basic skills that we learn in our Open Water Course is how to use a compass to ensure that we can both navigate to our destination and then back to our exit point. Navigation is a fundamental skill that all divers learn, but in many cases don’t utilize and practice on a regular basis. The occasional diver will engage a Divemaster to lead their dive, follow their instructor to the training site or in locations that are as well-equipped as, for instance, Dutch Springs, will follow a line from one attraction to another. However, underwater navigation can not only be a very useful skill to become proficient in, but also a fun activity to engage in as well.

In the PADI Underwater Navigation Specialist course at Hamden Scuba, you will have the opportunity to master navigation techniques that will impress your dive buddies as well as give you the self-confidence to navigate to dive spots that are the more challenging to find.

During your course, your Hamden Scuba Instructor will work with you to master techniques for using your dive compass as well as using natural terrain to navigate complex routes to see different attractions while underwater. By complex, we are talking at least 5 different turns to make to different headings. We will teach you how to accurately judge distance under water using techniques such as fin kick counts as well as using dive line.

You will go on 3 open water dives, master the skills, knowledge, planning, organization, procedures, techniques, problems, hazards and enjoyment of underwater navigation. You will learn underwater mapping techniques that allow you to relocate dive spots or lost objects – more on what to do with those lost objects in our PADI Search and Recovery Specialist course

What equipment do I need to get started on this program? We highly encourage you to acquire an underwater compass if you don’t have one already. Using the equipment that you will use afterwards while taking the course is a great way to become familiar with the more advanced features of your equipment. Not sure what compass to choose – we are there to help and can make recommendations for you based upon the kind of diving that you want to do.

Who can take the course – anyone that is Open Water certified can take this course. The course is usually spread over a couple of days, but can be completed in a single day and combined with other courses such as Advanced Open Water or other specialties if you are on your way to Master Scuba Diver.

How to get started – take a look at our schedule or drop us a line at to find out when we are next running the course or how we can get a section set up for you. We will get you your crew pack and be there for you as you go through the knowledge development process. Then let’s hit the water and get navigating!

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