Tools of the navigation trade

Navigation specialty course

I am a notoriously bad navigator. Shockingly, embarrassingly inept. On the navigation dive for my advanced course, I swam a triangle instead of a square. Tony tried to console me by telling me that “a triangle is a more difficult shape to swim”, but doing it by accident doesn’t make it any less pathetic.

With this in mind, he gave me the PADI Navigation Specialty for my birthday last year. It’s been a great help. The manual deals with basic compass navigation, and then progresses to more advanced topics. It covers marking a particular spot – taking a bearing off several landmarks so that you can find it again – as well as estimating distances and bearings in the presence of a current.

Tools of the navigation trade
Tools of the navigation trade

The course involves three dives on which specific skills are practised. I learned about natural navigation, using a Nav-Finder to follow an irregular path, and lots about compass navigation in general. It’s made me a more confident underwater navigator, which can only be a good thing!

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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