Navigation Primer

Why Take This Course?

Extending experience is a natural progression with enthusiastic divers, and for GUE trained diving teams, environmental awareness is one of the most important aspects of their capabilities. Knowing where you are and how to navigate underwater will increase your comfort and confidence to perform safe dives with your team.

GUE’s Navigation Primer is a course designed to teach divers the basics of underwater compass use and natural navigation techniques.

Who Is It For?

All divers who are autonomous should have the skills to navigate on dive sites. This course is recommended to be taken before the Documentation Diver, Scientific Diver, and especially Rescue Primer, as the latter requires competence in navigational skills.
This primer will also prepare you to dive in reduced light conditions (i.e. night dive). 


Course outcomes include, but are not limited to: compass use and navigation (simple and complex), natural navigation, basic navigational strategies, and managing a spool as a guideline underwater.

Applicants for a GUE Navigation Primer must:

  • Be a minimum of 16 years of age.
  • Be physically and mentally fit.
  • Be a non-smoker.
  • Be able to swim.
  • Obtain a physician’s prior written authorization for use of prescription drugs, except for birth control, or for any medical condition that may pose a risk while diving.
  • Have passed the GUE Recreational Diver 1 course or a GUE Fundamentals course at the “recreational” level.
  • Have completed at least 25 non-training dives.
  • For a full list of course prerequisites, click here.
The Navigation Primer is normally conducted over two days. It requires a minimum of three dives (including a dive in reduced ambient light conditions) and at least 12 hours of instruction, encompassing classroom lectures, land drills, and in-water work.

This course can be conducted as part of GUE Recreational Diver Level 2 program. 

Take the Next Step

Rescue Primer

Scuba diving is a safe outdoor activity with low accident rates, but as with all activities, participants should be prepared to handle emergencies and perform rescues to assist team members. The awareness of your ability to help will increase your confidence and make your dives safer and more enjoyable.

GUE’s Rescue Primer is a course designed to teach divers basic rescue techniques relevant to scuba diving emergencies.

Triox Primer

One of the most neglected risks in scuba diving is hypercapnia (excessive production and accumulation of CO2) that can lead to narcosis and discomfort, especially when diving deeper and in challenging and strenuous conditions.  

GUE’s Triox Primer is a course designed to teach divers the use of triox 30/30 as a GUE standard gas to reduce the effects of increased gas density in recreational divers.