Snorkeling has become increasingly popular in the United States, especially in the Florida Keys along vast underwater coral reefs. Although snorkeling is a reasonably priced, easy to learn hobby for all ages, there are many tips to remember for a fun and safe aquatic experience.
First of all, when traveling with a snorkeling charter, a friendly crew will usually provide you with all of the proper gear. A mask should fit tightly around your head with the strap connected to the snorkel, so that the mouthpiece fits comfortably in your mouth. All of your hair should be swept or pulled back so that it does not obstruct your sight. Women or men with long hair should pull it back into a pony tail.
Fins should also fit snugly on you feet so that you are unable to kick them off and lose them in the water. A wet suit may be provided during cooler months and also protects against scratches and cuts from sharp coral.
Finally, a lightweight life jacket will be provided. You can slightly inflate or deflate your flotation device via a small connected tube. Also attached to your jacket is a safety feature that when pulled, will fully inflate the jacket in case of drowning. Speaking of drowning, if you do run into trouble, the universal snorkeling sign for “help” is waving both of your arms over your head. So while snorkeling, refrain from waving to your friends or you may falsely alarm the crew.
Upon entering the water, remember to breath. It sounds crazy, but your first inclination, especially as a beginner, is to hold your breath. It’s best to just focus on breathing in and out through your snorkel, listen to your breaths and relax. Soon everything will feel natural. If you do take in water, resurface, regroup and blow through your snorkel to shoot out any additional water. Your mask may also fog up at times. You can usually clear it with a few fingers or borrow a fog prevention product from your crew.
Snorkeling is no child’s play and not many people find it welcoming despite showing interest in it in the initial stages and end up biting off more than they can chew. Even expert swimmers would never recommend this sport to the faint hearted as it requires a man of steel to go through the obstacles that come his way and face it with a smile. Whereas people that do have it what it takes for snorkeling, need to get some of the best snorkel sets & brands of 2020 and take the plunge.
Now that you are lightly floating atop an authentic aquarium, enjoy the miraculous marine life beneath you. It’s always a good idea to purchase an underwater disposable camera to capture the colorful creatures that surround you as well as the delicately formed coral and underwater plants that wave to you from the ocean floor.
Speaking of coral, rock reefs have taken thousands of years to cultivate and develop. They provide food and shelter to important marine life and their affect on our underwater ecosystem is priceless. When visiting the reefs, never step on, hit or touch the precious coral. One swift kick of the flipper and 4,000 years of work goes up in dust. It is also illegal to remove anything from a reef. Remember, coral reefs are living organisms. If you try to remove a piece for a souvenir you are actually killing an irreplaceable piece of nature.
Be aware that coral is extremely sharp and potentially dangerous. When floating above a reef, it is important to leave ample room between your underside and the top of the coral. If coral scratches your skin, it’s very painful and can lead to infection. So, if you’re not an excellent swimmer, try to peruse the reef from the outskirts to avoid injury.
In addition, always cover up with ample sunscreen especially on your back, since your backside will be facing the sun possibly for several hours. And always utilize the “buddy system” for safety reasons. Be alert of your partner’s whereabouts as much as possible and never swim off alone or outside of marked boundaries.
If you follow these basic steps, you will have a safe and fascinating aquatic journey filled with brilliant colors and tropical marine life welcoming you into their peaceful underwater world and providing you with memories and images that will last a lifetime.