Natural Navigation Underwater

Why would it be useful to understand a bit more about natural navigation underwater you might ask. After all you will most of the time go with a Dive Guide in areas you don’t know or take a compass with you.

But there will be times when it will be useful to make use of the natural navigation once you go diving.

There is always a slight risk that something goes wrong and if that means you lose your group, dive guide etc or get dragged away by the current and cannot find your boat anymore.

So let’s have a look on how you could easily minimize the risk and rely less on others when it comes to navigation.

Everything starts already when you are still at the surface and what is called predive observations.

Check the angle of the sun and how the shadows fall and where the sun is in relation to your planned travel direction.

You can watch the direction of waves, currents and tides. They might change during your dive but usually remain pretty consistent during one dive.

Use the position of objects, position of the reef, piers etc. offshore as a way of natural navigation before entering the water.

Once you are in the water and descending you should note again the sun’s angle and use its shadows relative to your planned course. So remember at the beginning of your dive to which direction the underwater shadows goes.

During the dive you will notice how the bottom pattern will be changing and plant and animal life will vary in the different areas.

Although you will remember from your Open Water Course that it is difficult to determine sound direction it might still help you when it comes to using it a means of natural navigation. For example, organisms on reefs often crackle or click, telling you whether you are going towards a reef or leaving it behind.

If you want to find out more about navigation and diving, please let us know and we will be happy to help you.

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