What does the Fox say about Snorkeling
15 Facts about snorkeling.
Contrary to one of my previous blogs, it's quite easy to snorkel. However, I'm no expert. These are my tips and suggestions but if you want expert advice, please do look elsewhere.
The underwater world is a magical place. Snorkeling is a great way to explore parts of the sea below the surface if you’re not a diver. Once you’ve experienced its beauty you’ll want to see more. The coral and reefs closer to the surface are also more colourful than deeper in the ocean. If you keep a few things in mind it will be a pleasurable experience.
Here are a few of my tips:
1. Your mask must be comfortable and fit snugly against your face, causing a vacuum with little to no water leaking through. The strap should be around the most protruded section of your head to fit snugly and comfortably.
2. Although it might not always be necessary to wear fins if the water is calm, it is still a good idea, if there is a chance that the tide will come in or a current will develop. If it is calm water, it might be necessary to wear protective shoes to prevent being stung by little creatures that burrow in the sand.
3. Don't tilt your head too much so that the top end of the tube ends up under water - especially if the sea is a bit choppy.
4. Most of the time a bit of water collects in the tube and one must force it out the top of the tube so exhale sharply with vigour. If you're lucky to have a release valve near the mouth piece the water will escape there as well.
5. Make sure all seals are clean and have no grains of sea sand, seaweed or chips of shells stuck to them. Rinse out your mask, snorkel and fins after each use.
6. Swim and snorkel where you are comfortable. The adage ‘practice makes perfect’ is true. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be in the water.
7. Relax and breathe slowly. It will assist you in enjoying the experience. If possible, float and wait for fish to come towards you or swim slowly. This way you will be able to enjoy the sea life and see things that would not normally approach you.
8. Make sure you are well hydrated. You will be breathing through your mouth, and you will be surprised how quickly your tongue and palate will dry out. Trust me, salty water doesn’t help.
9. Sunscreen is essential, especially on your back, neck and the back of your legs. You will get burnt quickly, especially if you're like us and spend hours snorkeling. I’ve even had booty tans, because we use our diving booties and fins.
10. Invest in a rash vest made from sun protective textiles. It’s worth spending money on them.
11. Always have a snorkel buddy or at least snorkel where someone can keep an eye on you.
12. Don’t let calm, clear waters deceive you. Often there is a strong current not visible to you and you can easily be dragged away by it.
13. Currents can be deceptive when you are looking at clear and calm water, especially as tides change. If you’re not sure, ask the local people who know the area.
14. If your snorkeling area is tide dependent, take note of the best time to snorkel and be aware of when you need to leave the area. Give yourself enough time to get out of the water. You don’t want to get yourself into a tricky situation or one that is dangerous.
15. Above all, use common sense.
If you don't know how to snorkel, I would suggest asking some experts to help you. They will give you even better tips than me and with some tips on techniques your experience will be an even better one.