Contributed to Fair Dinkum Traveller
Whether you are snorkelling on holiday, at your local beach at home or anywhere in between, you will want to make the most of your time in the water. Let’s assume that you have covered yourself in sunblock or gotten into a nice warm wetsuit, depending on the weather and are ready to dive into snorkelling. So, without further ado here are some tips for snorkelling like a pro.
Image Credit: Pixabay
Pick A Quiet Area
What you don’t want when you decide to go snorkelling is a lot of people. They will scare away the fish, get in your way and splashing will cause water to go down your breathing tube. Instead, pick a place where there aren’t too many people and try not to make too many movements yourself for the best snorkelling results. Patience is key in snorkelling, and sometime you might have more success than others, but this is completely normal. If you are struggling to find somewhere quiet, then consider doing something else for a bit until there are fewer people around.
Get The Right Gear
This is where you snorkelling experience is going to begin. You want to make sure that you have high-quality gear so that you can enjoy snorkelling to its fullest. This means that when choosing a mask you want to get one that fits comfortably, and that is the correct size. If you don’t, then you are going to suffer from leaks, or it will start hurt when wearing. Visiting a specialized store such as Ninja Shark snorkelling will provide the best results. As well as for as a mask and breathing tub, you will need to buy some fins. These too should fit comfortably, and you need to make sure that you wash away any sand before wearing them as this will cause painful blisters otherwise. Closed heel fins are the best kind as they stick to your feet better, so you will need to get one in your specific size.
Defog Your Mask
One of the most annoying thing about wear a mask is having to keep taking it off to wipe away the fogging. One tactic is to wet your face and hair before putting the mask on. This makes your face closer to the same temperature as the sea water before placing the mask on, and this will reduce the risk of fogging. Make sure you don’t get any hair caught in the mask as this will cause leakage, though. Another thing you can do to defog your mask might sound a little strange. If you apply some toothpaste to the inside of your new mask and rub it all over the lenses before giving it a good rinse, this will help to stop the fogging. Spit can also work, but toothpaste works best. Just make sure to rinse it fully as you don’t want any of it to get into your eyes.
It might sound odd telling a person to practice breathing as you do it all day everything day without a thought, but when it comes to snorkelling, it is really important. You should get used to breathing through the snorkel before trying it in the water. This allows you to get a feeling for the small bit of air flow resistance created by using a snorkel. When you are in the water practicing shooting water out the end of the snorkel with a large puff of air will help you be prepared when it happens unexpectedly. Some snorkels have a purge valve or other way remove the water, so see your specific instructions for what to do with these. You should also be aware that at certain times water will entirely cover your snorkel causing you to need to push it all out. Breaking slowly when this happens stops you inhaling water and lets you know when you have water in your mouth and when the snorkel needs clearing.
The best way to snorkel is to have your hands cross over your chest and to gentle kick with your fins. Crossing your arms is also great for keeping you warm if the temperature starts to dip, too. Make sure that when kicking you don’t use your knees and instead move from your ankles. This will produce a far small splash and prevent any fish from being startled. You will naturally float across the surface of the water if you calm and breath regularly, so you shouldn’t need to worry about sinking. Snorkelling takes patience, so you need to be ready to just relax in your arms crossed position for a while and enjoy the experience of snorkelling. If your arms start to feel stiff, then you could always try laying them out in front of you or leaving them by your side. Feel free to experiment and find a comfortable position for you.
Image Credit: Pixabay
Know Your Limits
This is one of the best tips you can be given. This applies to knowing when you are getting tired and your personal ability to swim back to shore. You don’t want to get stranded or let yourself float out to sea, so you need to be aware of your position in the water relative to the beach. There is no point pushing yourself too far and for a relaxing snorkelling session to turn into something dangerous.
Knowing your limits also applies to understanding places you might not be allowed to go or things you can’t do. For example, your beach might have an area where swimmers cannot enter for one reason or another. Another example could be around touching the coral. Firstly, you don’t want to damage the natural habitat here (as a snorkeler you only there to observe), but you also don’t want to get yourself stabbed by a sea urchin as this can be extremely painful. Other than that, just relax and enjoy yourself.
Snorkelling is a lot of fun, and you can see different things depending on the beach, country and time of day, so keep your eyes peeled.