Today, I have become an SSI Navigation Instructor. This course is one of the specialities in Scuba Schools International dive training system. I was already an instrcutor of the specialties below:
- Deep Diving
- Digital Underwater Photography
- Night Diving and Limited Visibility
- Search & Recovery
- Perfect Buoyancy
- Wreck Diving
- Stress & Rescue
What Is Underwater Navigation?
If you are already a diver, you have definitely wondered how your dive leader finds the dive point and come back to boat/shore and doesn’t get lost. That’s because your leader knows about where to go and what to follow. Underwater Navigation lets you to know where you have to go to be able to reach your target. Let’s go on the with the details.
It is simple; the compass. But ofcourse the compass you are about to use underwater should be designed for underwater. There is a liquid inside of the underwater compasses to be able to equilize the pressure inside. A compass always points North. If the boat/shore is on the South, forexample and you want to surface closer, you should swim towards the opposite side of the compass’ point.
Going straight (it is really hard to go straight underwater due to the waves and current), turning right excatly with 90 degrees, making a shape (triangle forexample) is quiet easy if you know how to use an underwater compass.
There are some new technology like the underwater GPS, you can also choose them, but because compass is mechanic, I trust it more.
A good navigator diver should know the basic natural navigation. Let me give you two critical example.
If you are diving in an area where the bottom is sandy and willing to go to the shore, observe the sand. Waves always shapes the sand paralell to the shore.
You are on your boat and about to dive with your group in a beautiful sunny day. Check for the sun. Let’s assume that the sun is rising from the back of the boat. When you are turning to your boat, the sun rays must be shining in front of you. If the sun rays are shining from you back, you are getting away from your boat instead of getting close.
How to Get The SSI Underwater Navigation Certification?
Well, you should dive with Seaman first 😉
Anyway, you should find an Underwater Navigation Instructor. And you should already be an SSI Open Water Diver or equivalent (entry level scuba certification from any system).
Instructor should make an academic session for about 1 hour. A small final exam is followed. And then the best part; dives! In a minimum of 2 dives, you’ll do skills like:
- Going straight (excatly) underwater
- Making a square underwater
- Making a triangle underwater
And ofcourse, your instructor will make you notice the natural navigation technique.
This weekend, in Karaburun, Izmir, TURKEY, I’ll be giving this course. If you are interested, you can join me and never get lost underwater again 😉
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