If you have never snorkeled, you don’t know what you are missing. Snorkeling is a wonderful experience you can do by yourself or with others. Now, before you put on the first snorkeling mask you find at the supermarket, there are certain things you must know. You need to use the proper gear, know what to do and what not to do, and search the most appropriate location for you to develop snorkeling skills.
Bring the proper gear
As you may imagine, the first thing you must do before attempting to snorkel is to acquire the right gear. This includes a mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuit, sunblock, backpack, and anti-fog spray. Masks with wide eye sockets that cover the entire face are preferred as they not only prevent water from getting inside your nose but also allow you to see your surroundings better. Although it’s a bit more expensive, go for the scratch resistant and anti-fog mask. When you are underwater, you don’t want floating objects or foggy lenses ruining what otherwise would be a life-changing experience.
A good snorkel is also essential. You want one made of silicone. Why? Because when you place your face underwater, you are likely to clamp down on the mouthpiece to prevent water from getting inside your mouth, and if the material of the snorkel is too rigid, you will end up with tremendous pain in the jaw. Fins are not required, but they are a great help. Fins increase your mobility underwater and allow you to swim with less effort. They should be long and flexible. Moreover, you should be able to adjust them firmly to avoid losing them. If you are snorkeling in cold waters, you want a wetsuit to keep you warm so you can enjoy long periods of time underwater appreciating the marine life. Warm climates demand serious sun protection as you can easily get burned by UV rays while snorkeling. Use a good waterproof sunblock or a wetsuit if you prefer. A waterproof bag is always helpful to carry your valuables while being underwater, so remember to bring one. Anti-fog spray is a must for those that aren’t wearing a mask with anti-fog lenses.
Practice until it feels right
Before you jump into the ocean, it’s important to test your gear and practice holding your breath. Use a pool or a shallow spot in a beach to make sure water is not leaking inside your mask. Also, test the snorkel and fins, so they are tight and comfortable. Get underwater and see if everything works well. Take gulps of air and go down periodically. Use a life jacket if you struggle with floating as the goal is to be relaxed and not stressed. Once you get used to it, try the ocean.
Choose the location wisely
Snorkeling is all about enjoying the wild marine life. To do that, you must pick the right spot. You should avoid places with strong waves and currents as they reduce visibility and make you worry about staying afloat instead of admiring everything nature has to offer. Reefs are often ideal spots as they harbor several fish species.
Refrain from touching
You might be tempted to touch every reef you might come across but don’t do it. They are sensitive and can die if disturbed. Furthermore, don’t play with any marine creatures you find as they can be dangerous. Certain species, such as the lionfish and stonefish, are poisonous and if one stings you, you will need immediate medical assistance. Remember to keep your distance and admire from afar.
You should always keep in mind that snorkeling is all about having fun. If you are too stressed about it, you won’t enjoy it. Don’t rush the process and take your time to learn the basics. Do your research, follow the simple guidelines and let everything go.