Saturday, November 7, 2009

PADI Specialty of the month for November 2009; Underwater Navigation

PADI Specialty of the month for November 2009; Underwater Navigation

Underwater Navigation is one of the more popular dive specialties that I teach here on Koh Samui. It's popular amongst both divers and also Instructors who just passed their IDC's.

One of the main assets to have is an underwater compass. These come in various designs and from various brands. Interestingly enough they also come for various zones, like this Suunto SK 7 pictured above.

The horizontal and vertical components of earth’s magnetic field vary considerably in different
locations. For this reason (Suunto) compasses are balanced for (5) different zones. If the compass is used in an adjacent balancing zone the compass needle will tilt only slightly. However, the farther the compass is used from it’s intended zone, the more the needle will tilt. In extreme
situations the needle might stick. For this reason it is very important to know in which country
the compass will be used.

Underwater navigation can be challenging, but in the Underwater Navigator Specialty course, you master the challenge.You learn the tools of the trade, including navigation via natural clues and by compass. You learn to estimate distance underwater, follow navigation patterns and know where you are while following an arbitrary, irregular course using the Nav-Finder.

Part of the course also includes practicing patterns whilst land based, like Olivier and Craig are doing in the picture above, after they completed the October 2009 IDC.

As part of the specialty, you will also need to swim a pattern underwater and navigate from one point to another, a course that is set out with help of markers, as in this picture. Because of the variety of activities in this specialty course and the importance of being able to navigate well underwater and understanding your compass, this specialty is so popular amongst the various specialties on offer.

Hope to see you soon on our PADI Underwater Navigation Specialty of the Month 2009 and enjoy your 10% discount off the course price.

Camille



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