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Which way to go says the almighty compass.... Direction seeking during specialty instructor training
Scubabunnycr - 4/27/2014 12:23 AM
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Which way to go says the almighty compass.... Direction seeking during specialty instructor trainingApparently not the right direction as I found out today +Oceans Unlimited & Go Pro Costa Rica . This is a slight vent in all fairness and also some advice to would be instructors out there when it comes to teaching the inevitable skill of navigating. Working on a search and recovery instructor specialty today, so as expected, the topics of compasses comes up, really more the focus with being on how to teach compass work to your students. With 5 specialty instructor candidates there are different trains of thought for this and i won’t force anyone to use my method, but clearly after teaching for a few years I have found this work the best so will offer the best advice I can. First up, how to read it and the discussion on the compass small window, yes.........this... Now whilst I understand that it accurate and direct to be reading the heading through this window, try doing it in lower viz, with surge, and with someone who may not have great eye sight. Ta da! There you go hence, not the way I like to teach it. This was a debated opinion for a couple of minutes before reaching a generally, slightly grumbly unanimous decision. So, whilst we are supposed to be practicing jackstay searches and U-pattern searches I thought I would do a quick workshop on how to work with compass headings and reciprocals. This is then when the second topic comes up. So you set the heading one way and then just turn around?, hmmm, so effectively NOT setting a reciprocal heading. Not by the book that one either. So, we then proceeded to go through effective teaching methods for compass work, ensuring that you are staying by the standards. The quote of the moment was, and excuse my language! but " oh he (my last instructor) said $%^&@#$$% the numbers on the bezel you never need them!!!"

Really?! Can you not see my frustration?! So, ahead we go with pointing the red line from the center of your chest and using the indirect method of putting the heading at the top of the line, walking (swimming) your heading, reaching your goal and then turning the bezel 180 degrees back so you complete your reciprocal. Ta da! we have it. Now we can move onto our U-patterns and jackstays as at this point I am confident in their ability to teach this onto their new students! I decided as well to write a little check list on the go pro blog for additional skill that you need to know for both your divemaster and instructor programs. FYI
Happy navigating!!