Snorkelling is a truly unique experience and allows us to see amazing marine life up close. Snorkelling often appears effortless – but mastering the right technique for it to become so simple is rather difficult. Having those extra tips and a sound snorkelling technique can transform your underwater experience and make it very special. Below we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you take your snorkeling to the next level.
First things first – you need the right gear. Having fins, a snorkel or a suit that doesn’t fit is not only an inconvenience, it can also cause undue panic and safety issues. No beginner snorkeler needs the unpleasant experience of their mask filling up as soon as they enter the water. Your mask should stick to your face without breathing in or needing the strap to go behind your head. After this check for any damages to mask, then apply baby lotion (or similar) to the mask to prevent fogging. Your fins should be a snug fit, if they’re loose they will be inefficient and cause chafing. Sorted – you’re ready to go.
Float don’t swim
Contrary to popular belief you don’t swim when snorkelling. Snorkelling is all about relaxing and taking in the scenery – the best way to do this is to float and occasionally use your fins to kick. Cross your arms over your chest to resist the temptation of swimming or make a right angle with your arms and hold them out to the side. You can remain buoyant by utilising the air in your lungs through controlled breathing – be sure to swim at a gentle pace to allow for this. Alternatively, use a life jacket – there is no shame in this. It is a great option if you feel tentative snorkelling in a new environment or if the conditions are challenging.
Watching from the surface is great, but to enhance your experience learning to duck dive is a necessity. It involves removing your snorkel and heading down your desired depth to get even closer to the marine life. It is advised to practise the technique in a pool beforehand. To duck dive, breathe in removing all air from your lungs and hold your breath. Stretch your arms and bend your torso forward so your head submerges. Lift your feet in the air and you should begin to vertically descend.
Where to Snorkel
Besides choosing a popular spot where marine life may congregate – you need to ensure conditions are right to enjoy your snorkel and for it to remain safe. Sunny weather, small waves and a weak current make for ideal snorkelling. The light from the sun penetrates the water and increases visibility. The small waves reduce sediment churned up by the ocean floor and the weak current means you won’t be pushed too far out. Conversely strong waves kick up a lot of sand making it tricky to see and it can often dislodge or force water down your snorkel. Novice snorkelers also want to avoid strong currents that could knock them into coral and rocks or push them far away from the group. You can often find great spots online or ask the locals at your location.
Seeing unique marine life for the first time is hugely exciting – but it is vital to keep your distance to protect yourself and them. Some corals are toxic and some marine will attack if they feel threatened. The most popular snorkelling locations contain the most diverse range of marine life and in turn often the deadliest. Recklessness or a lack of respect for the environment could have serious consequences. Though If you keep your distance, move slowly and cautiously, you shouldn’t have any problems and can focus on enjoying your experience.
Snorkelling is a great activity that allows us to be immersed in nature. Many of us go snorkelling without unlocking its true potential and realising the range of benefits it can offer. Next time you snorkel be sure to try out our tips and enhance your enjoyment. Happy Snorkelling!