When you are going somewhere you are in fact always navigating, you just don’t realise this anymore. To go somewhere you need to know the way. This can be done with the help of; maps, navigation systems, compass or might be you already now the way. You don’t always have to know exactly where you are, sometimes it is enough that you know that you are on the correct road and if you follow this road, you know you going to arrive at the location you want to be. When you going somewhere you will always use reference point, like church towers, highway exits and landmarks, so you don’t have to look constantly on the map. In the modern world there are everywhere navigation aids like; signs, information systems etcetera which makes navigating easy. Navigating under water is not that different. You will have limited sight, like driving in the mist, but when you take the necessary preparations you will get where you want to go. When you can get information, like reference points or even a map, in advance it helps. When this is not available, you can make your own plan, with your own reference points, courses and bearings.
To navigate underwater with a compass, there are 6 techniques divers need to learn:
1. Understanding the compass and how to position and read it.
2. How to take "get me home" bearings
3. How to take a bearing to an object
4. How to swim accurately on a bearing
5. How to measure the distance swam
6. Squares and Triangles
Surge - Surge is a fairly reliable indicator of direction as the back and forth motion is to and from the shore.
Sand ripples - Sand ripples are cussed by the currents and when inshore they are a good indicator. Sand ripples can change but normally last during 1 dive.
Sunlight - If the water is clear enough and shallow enough you can use the sun as a directional reference. Never navigate at sun, or moon, only. Clouds before them can make you lost.