This article will guide you to understand how to select and prepare your snorkeling equipment, the basic snorkeling techniques, and how to snorkel safely and successfully.
Snorkeling is a cheap and fun way to discover the wonders of the underwater world. Make sure you’re a fairly confident swimmer before undertaking any water based activity. If you can’t swim, take some basic but formal lessons first.
Step 1 : You will need the following equipment :
- A mask
- A snorkel
- A pair of fins
These three pieces of equipment come in a range of styles sizes and prices, but is vital to have everything fit just right and be perfectly comfortable.
You may also need :
- A wetsuit or dive skin for warmth and/or protection. Again, these come in different styles and sizes, such as a shorty or full length.
- Booties. If wearing adjustable fins.
- Inflatable snorkeling vest for added safety that should inflate and deflate easily.
Step 2 : Select and prepare your mask.
Make sure your mask is comfortable on your face and sit snugly, but not too tight around the eyes and nose. Pull the strap over the back of your head being careful, not to pull out too much hair. Make sure there’s no twists and that the straps it’s comfortably above your ears and not on or over your ears.
You also need to make sure the mask is free of any fringe. There’s nothing more annoying than being in the ocean surrounded by colorful fish and finding your mask completely fogged up.
To ensure optimum visibility defog your mask with a standard D fogging solution or use the more traditional method this means spit into your mask and rub the spit around the lens before rinsing it in the pool or sea water and placing it back on your face.
Step 3 : Select and prepare your snorkel.
Secure your snorkel to the mask strap with a plastic clip or rubber band snorkel keeper, and make sure the position of the snorkel can be adjusted. Now try on the mask and snorkel together, to see if the mouthpiece can be gripped comfortably in the teeth. Your lips should surround the mouthpiece entirely.
Step 4 : Select and prepare your fins.
The right pair of fins will help you swim like a fish choose from either a full foot fin or an adjustable fin. Full foot fins are better if you’re just starting out, because they’re easy to use and are efficient while finning around on the surface. With full foot fins fold the heel inside out and slip your foot into the pocket.
Flip the heel up and test to see that they don’t hurt or pinch your toes or feet and of course that they’re not too loose.
Step 5 : Practice in a swimming pool.
It is of course possible to take your equipment straight to the sea, but it’s better to have your first go in a swimming pool or somewhere with pool light conditions to build up your confidence. If you don’t have easy access to a pool, choose somewhere shallow with calm water, where there’s no current big waves or heavy boat traffic. Make sure it’s easy to get in and out of the water too.
Put your fins on before you get into the water, perhaps sitting on the edge or the steps of the pool or a flat area of a beach near to the water. Then, make your way in and stay in an area where you can stand comfortably. If in a pool, slide yourself slowly into the shallow end. if on a beach do the moonwalk into the sea and wade in carefully until the water is about waist-deep.
Breathing through the snorkel, bend over face forward until your mask is submerged and congratulations you’re taking your first breaths underwater.
Now keep breathing normally, making sure that you can do so easily and comfortably. If not, bring your head out of the water take this time to make sure that everything is okay with your equipment.
You may find that your mask is leaking. remember a little bit of water may seep into the mask now and again, this is a normal factor of snorkelling but too much water could mean either the strap is not tight enough or it’s way too tight.
Once you feel confident to carry on, put your mask and snorkel back on. Float in the face down position and kick your legs, and you’re now snorkeling.
Step 6 : An essential snorkeling skill.
Snorkel flooding can be a normal part of snorkeling. To practice clearing your snorkel first take a deep breath. Holding your breath push your head completely under the water until you’re sure the end of the snorkel is under the water too. Now bring your eyes back up to the surface blow out very sharply with a lot of force from your lungs pushing air right through the snorkel.
Step 7 : Snorkel.
Now transfer your skills to a colorful reef, pick a good spot where there’s likely to be an abundance of marine life. this could mean finding a sheltered Bay or Cove where there’s noticeable rocks underwater or other types of reef.
After a few holidays and more experience as snorkeling, you’ll probably be ready to take your skills to a higher level. Skin diving is where you stay underwater for short periods of time and surface for breath. It guarantees you a closer look at aquatic life.