A broad definition of snorkeling is the act of swimming on top or through a part of water with a breathing tube and mask. Sometimes, a wetsuit and or flippers may be used in the process.
Snorkeling is a very fun and relaxing way to see another part of the world that is not lived in by humans.
Basics of Snorkeling
Snorkeling, for the most part, is done in shallow, warm and calmer waters. There does not have to be a lot of exertion with snorkeling.
It is more of a hobby rather than sport. The point is to be able to see underwater life and enjoy the scenery that is not available on land.
Benefits of Snorkeling Compared to Scuba Diving
Snorkeling is meant to be more of a fun and exciting past time, therefore, scuba diving is seen as the “big brother.”
However, there are quite a few advantages that snorkeling has over scuba diving. There is no need for any oxygen tanks, so this can take the apprehensiveness out of a snorkeler.
With scuba diving, people must be certified and when they do go on dives there are strict rules that must be followed as safety precautions.
Scuba diving is much more expensive since it is usually done in deeper waters which might mean taking a water vessel to get to the location and it takes more equipment.
Finally, scuba diving is not for all ages and walks of life, unlike snorkeling.
Practicing how to Snorkel
Learning how to snorkel is very simple and easy. Snorkelers need to know how to swim and how to breathe through a tube.
There are certain exercises to practice if it is someone’s first time. Practice breathing through the tube with the mask on out of the water first to make sure they are getting a good feel for it.
Properly fitting the mask is another step to develop good snorkeling skills. If water happens to get inside the mask, then the snorkeler needs to learn how to raise their head out the water and let the water come out of the mask.
When the new snorkeler is ready to try it out in the water, allow the snorkeler’s body to float in a horizontal position.
Let them still be near the ocean floor so they can stand up if they feel uncomfortable or nervous.
Allow them time to adjust since this is still new for them. Once they are more confident and comfortable, arms should be by their side and be kicking a few times can let the snorkeler move about in the water.
What types of places to Snorkel?
There are numerous amounts of bodies of water to go snorkeling. Lagoons, reefs, and atolls are just a few examples.
There may be different types of ocean floors that the snorkelers will see such as sand, grass, and rocks.
There is also the possibility of chartering a boat to go out further in deeper water and see shipwrecks and artificial reefs that have been made for conservation efforts.
What part of the world to Snorkel?
The world has an abundance of waters to explore and go snorkeling. Some of the most popular destinations are in the Caribbean, Australia’s famous Great Barrier Reef and in parts of the Pacific Ocean including Hawaii has countless places to go snorkeling, there even maybe something like a lake or spring that is closer than you know.
One of the best attributes a great snorkeler is one that is mindful and careful of what they are viewing and understanding how fragile it really is.
A few tips to make sure that there is little to no disruption in snorkeling trip are to do things such as: not feeding the animals, do not try to pet or ride the animals, do not break off or try and collect the coral and if there is any trash in the water collect it and then dispose on land.
These are just a few basic friendly things to do for the ocean and all the marine life it holds.
Being Safe in the Water
Most importantly, is to be safe in the water. There are plenty of things to be aware of before snorkeling or while you are snorkeling.
First, swim and snorkel within your capability. Currents are real and they have swept people out before. Don’t venture far away from a group if you happen to be in one and keep a “buddy” with you.
Secondly, don’t snorkel at dawn or dusk since those are times when certain sharks go out to feed. Respect the orders that the local community and or lifeguards have to keep all water bound people safe.
Lastly, understand that as beautiful as the sea and water are, it is still very much wild and untamed. There are species of animals that are the top predator and or animals that are poisonous or could sting you.
Ready for Snorkeling
Now, someone is ready to go snorkeling. The basics of the equipment needed are a face mask, snorkel and fins if one chooses.
Make sure that a face mask that protects the nose is attached. Snorkeling is only for mouth breathing, there is no need to try and breathe water in through the nose.
Also, the snorkel that is chosen needs to be long enough to stick out of the water and has a comfortable valve for the mouth.
Fins are a suggestion since this will allow the snorkeler to go much further is they wish. A few more items might include underwater cameras, wetsuit and even a watertight and sealed bag.
For many, the opportunity to go snorkeling is a fun and easy way to float by a new world that has not been seen before.
An open mind and fun are waiting for those that seek it under the water. Head out to a new place and be ready to take in the beauty of everything that it has to offer.
If a beginner needs to see more, check out this YouTube video.