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Home 9 Get Certified 9 Specialty Certifications 9 Underwater Navigator

Underwater Navigator Certification

Want to be the diver everyone wants to follow because you know where you are and where you’re going?  Become a certified PADI Underwater Navigator! The Casino Point Dive Park is the perfect location to continue your adventure.

Imagine cruising through the labyrinth of turns in the kelp forest and coming back precisely to the descent buoys! As a PADI Underwater Navigator, you’ll be able to do just that – you’ll be trained to safely navigate and explore underwater with a compass as well as learn how to estimate distance, follow natural clues and find your way back to the boat or shore.

In addition, this specialty will count toward your Master Scuba Diver rating. Underwater navigation isn’t something you’re born with – it comes from techniques that are taught and practiced.

Fun Fact:  California dive boat trips do not include a Divemaster to guide your dives, and the same is true in other parts of the world.  As an Underwater Navigator, you’ll feel safe and confident diving independently.

Your class will cover a range of topics including:

  • finding your way underwater without the use of a GPS
  • handling task loading
  • navigation using natural clues and compass headings
  • estimating distance underwater while making at least five turns
  • marking or relocating a submerged object or position from the surface
  • underwater map making
  • techniques to avoid kicking up silt, going too fast and losing track of your buoyancy
  • dive planning and buddy procedures/ communication
  • necessary specialized equipment


PADI navigation

You’ll learn to be a safe, independent diver – understanding the “how and why” of each skill so you’ll be able to make informed decisions when your instructor isn’t around to offer guidance. In this class, you’ll have an instructor right by your side, so you’ll feel comfortable while you gain more confidence in your abilities.

All of our classes are private, limited to just you or your small group. This class is generally planned over a minimum 1-day period, but with us, learning happens at your own pace.  Rushing through is not the way to go.

Our belief in the art of possible and adaptive approach to teaching empowers you on a journey that is unique to you.

Our approach is different than you’ll find elsewhere: we celebrate inclusivity and diversity and ensure that everyone is treated with respect, patience, empathy and kindness.

All PADI courses are performance-based, meaning that we modify skill techniques to meet performance requirements by leveraging what individual students can do.  You purchase a class, but you earn your certification. Call us if you feel you might need additional adaptive support. Learn more

What to Expect
  • Your instructor will call each diver before the class begins, so you’ll be able to get to know each other and get answers to any questions you might have.
  • Your minimum 1-day class will include 1 Checkout Dive and 3 Open Water training dives.
  • The Underwater Navigation Adventure dive completed in your Advanced Open Water training may count as the first dive of this certification at your instructor’s discretion. If so, your 3rd dive will be a fun dive.
  • Pacific water is considered cold water year-round (upper 50s-low 60s F in winter and upper 60s – low 70s in summer), so you will be wearing a 7mm wetsuit, boots and possibly a hood.
  • NOTE: Use of any kind of camera during your training dives is not allowed.


  1. Your class will be conducted at the beautiful Casino Point Dive Park, which is a world-class marine preserve with stunning kelp forests and numerous points of interest located in Avalon. It has a shore entry down a short flight of stairs. (Adaptive accommodations are available.)
  2. The price of your course includes the required eLearning, which you’ll complete at home before your arrival on Catalina Island. We’ll review the information you learned to make sure you have a clear understanding of the information.
  3. You’ll complete some land-based training, to make sure your compass skills are where they need to be.
  4. Next, you’ll complete a checkout dive to allow your instructor to evaluate your abilities and level of comfort in the ocean.
  5. We will complete two or three Open Water training dives, with surface intervals between each dive, including time for rest, water and a healthy lunch.

There’s always time for questions – we’re here to help you every step of the way!

PLEASE NOTE: The Park is considered Confined Open Water by PADI standards.  None of your class will be conducted in a pool – there are no pools available on the island.


  1. If you still have dives to complete, we’ll begin where we left off and complete them.
  2. If not all skills are completed on any given dive, an additional dive will be required. Some divers need additional time to complete the class, and multiple options are available to do so. PADI standards allow up to 3 training dives per day.
  3. If you only needed to complete 2 total training dives, the 3rd dive will be a fun dive.
  4. If you’ve completed all performance requirements, TA-DA! You’re now a certified PADI Underwater Navigator!


What’s Required
  • All divers must currently hold Advanced Open Water certification.
  • Class Size: For the Underwater Navigator Specialty, we prefer to keep the class size to a maximum of 4 divers in one party so that everyone has enough time to learn in comfort at their own pace. However, if you have a larger family group, please call us and we will try to accommodate your needs.
  • We have had requests by friends or family members to join divers on certification classes. Generally, this is not allowed, as both the student and instructor need to be focused on diver skills and safety. If this is something you feel strongly about, please call us to discuss your concerns.
  • Minimum Age: Certified divers ages 12 and up may participate.
  • Gear: Because this is a more advanced class, you must provide your own flashlight, DSMB with spool, penetration line and reel, grid slate, computer and compass (or a computer with digital compass) for use in this class. Please download and carefully read the computer’s user manual before you arrive. Give us a call and we’ll help you choose the correct options for your gear.
  • Insurance: You must purchase DAN Dive Insurance for every member of your group and provide proof of insurance prior to your arrival on Catalina Island. Learn more
  • Logbook: Please bring your current Logbook for your instructor to review.
  • Medical Clearance: All certification classes require medical clearance before arrival on the island. Please download and complete this form immediately, returning it signed via email as soon as possible before your arrival.
  • Depending on each diver’s unique circumstance, signoff by a medical doctor may be required. Please contact us immediately if you have any concerns whatsoever. If you need medical signoff and you do not have that before your arrival, you will not be allowed to proceed with your class.
  • If anyone under the age of 18 is participating, there are additional forms which will be provided, and which must also be completed and signed by a parent or guardian and returned via email as soon as possible before your arrival.
  • You must have good buoyancy skills and be in good overall health.
  • Do bring your own bathing suit and towel. We also recommend bringing a warm jacket for surface intervals.
What’s Included
  • eLearning: The price of your class includes the required eLearning, which must be completed prior to your arrival on Catalina Island. Once you’ve purchased your class, a link to your personal e-Learning will be provided.
  • Private Instruction: Your class will be yours alone. No one you don’t know will be participating.
  • Standard Gear: We provide everything you need for your day of diving from quality high-end gear, to shade, mats and chairs – even locked storage for your valuables and fresh water to rinse off after your dive. All included for no extra charge. Learn more

Gear Package includes:

  • 7mm wetsuit, hood, boots and gloves, as needed
  • Computer, if needed
  • Mask, fins and snorkel
  • BCD, regulator, tanks and weights
  • Sizing: Please indicate the correct body weight, height and shoe size for each diver. Because we bring your gear to you, we would need to leave Casino Point to exchange sizes or retrieve necessary items. This may not leave enough time for all dives planned per day, incurring additional fees for the time needed to complete the class.
  • If you already have your own gear, we’ll fit you and help you learn to use it properly if needed.
  • Underwater Navigation Specialty Gear: We will provide a backup flashlight, additional slates or compasses as needed, demonstration items and safety/ first aid equipment for your use during the course.
  • Proof of Certification: We will process your certification and PADI will issue a certification e-Card upon completion of your class. Physical cards may be purchased from PADI at an additional charge.
  • Drinks and Snacks: We provide water (and hot beverages if it’s chilly), but please feel free to bring your own light snacks and we’ll keep them in a cooler if needed.
  • Catering: Healthy catered lunches including options for protein shakes are available at an additional fee.

Our Environmental Commitment ensures that our gear, products and packaging are as eco-friendly as possible. Learn more 

Pricing Options

Underwater Navigator Certification Class – 2 days, including 1 Checkout Dive and 4 Open Water Dives

  • Solo Diver: $795
  • 2-4 Divers: $695 per person
  • If you have already purchased your eLearning, you will receive a $100 discount. Please call us to provide your eLearning code and receive your discount.

Additional Training Days

Purchase of a class does not guarantee certification. Additional days may be required to complete training dives (at the discretion of your PADI instructor) in order to meet PADI standards for certification.

  • Additional training day: $350 per person
  • Additional half training day (less than 4 hours): $250 per person
  • NOTE: For Adaptive Divers, different rates may apply. Please call us to discuss your unique situation.


  • Add PADI AWARE Specialist certification: $55 per person Learn more
  • Add Enriched Air/ Nitrox certification: $195 per person (includes eLearning) Learn more
    • A second certification may be earned during your Underwater Navigator class at a reduced rate from purchase of a stand-alone class. There is no separate in-water dive, but Nitrox may be used during a training dive.
    • eLearning must be complete before arrival.
    • You must have your own computer so that you can change your gas mixture settings independently.
    • Nitrox tank rental may be done on-site through a local vendor for an additional fee.
  • Bundling Classes: If you are interested in bundling other certifications, please call us to discuss your options.
  • Add catered food or beverages for your surface interval. See Menus

 All prices are in US dollars.

 Please carefully review our full Terms, Conditions and Cancellation Policy before purchase.


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