No beach vacation would be complete without some snorkeling. There is nothing quite like seeing a coral reef and marine life up close and personal. Snorkeling is the perfect avenue for that. Get your confidence up with these tips for how to snorkel like a pro.
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The ocean is a scary place. Currents, waves, and tides are constantly changing. Some marine life is dangerous and coral can cause very bad cuts. Make sure you and your party are fit enough to handle the current water conditions.
Always pay attention to the water and have a good idea of where you will enter the water, where you will swim, and where you will exit the water. Swimming is tiring so it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings and how far you are from the shoreline.
If this is your first time snorkeling, you might want to consider taking an excursion. Some excursions will take you out into the water to a more secluded or remote reef and many excursions also offer a guide that will show you around and point out unique marine life. Excursions are nice if you don’t have your own gear or know where to rent it from because everything you need is usually provided for you and included in your excursion price.
If you’ve snorkeled before or you are very confident you can also venture out on your own. Many beaches have snorkel shacks where you can rent gear and head out to the reef that is (hopefully) right on or near the beach.
What to Bring
If you plan on snorkeling often or you want the best fit and experience possible considering buying your own snorkel gear from a professional dive shop. You will need a snorkel, mask, good fins, and a life vest for safety. Make sure what you are buying fits and fits well. It should be comfortable and need to constantly be adjusted.
Besides your snorkel gear, you should also have a good sun shirt or biodegradable sunscreen, an underwater camera and a towel of course. When you’re using sunscreen make sure it is biodegradable. Many sunscreen ingredients can kill reefs and harm the underwater ecosystem.
If you don’t want to invest in an underwater camera, try an underwater phone case. You can take your phone with you and get some great shots without the investment of a special camera.
Practice Makes Perfect
Once you get in the water, you should practice in shallow water. breathing through a snorkel can be uncomfortable and will sometimes feel unatural. Practicing in shallow water will help you get the hang of it.
After you’ve mastered breathing through a snorkel practice swimming with the fins. Fins also feel somewhat uncomfortable in the water but they help tremendously with swimming. So swim around a little in shallow, calm waters until you’re comfortable with it.
Diving down under the surface of the water should only be done if you are completely comfortable with snorkeling and the water. When you dive down you can see some of the corals and fish a little closer. You can blow really hard into your snorkel to get all of the water out.
Learn Something New
Whenever you are scuba diving or snorkeling you’ll need a way to communicate. Lucky for us, there is a list of common diving hand signals that we can also use while scuba diving. The hand signals are easy to use and remember. Learning these will definitely make you look like a pro.
Respect the Environment
Coral reefs may look like rocks but they are actually living things and touching or stepping on them can actually harm them. It’s best to just observe the natural beauty of the reefs and fish. Some fish are poisonous and have defense mechanisms that can be deadly so keep your distance.
Enjoy the Water and Have Fun
In order to really snorkel like a pro you should have fun and just enjoy the water, the reef and the ocean life. The ocean is a beautiful place full of amazing creatures so enjoy it.