3 Important Tips for Your Next Snorkeling Trip

Snorkeling is the favorite pastime of many scuba divers. A more relaxing, laid back experience, this fun water sport allows you to experience the ocean without the restrictions of depth and time that comes with diving on compressed air. Being able to lazily explore the reef at your own pace means this is a great full day activity for ocean enthusiasts of all levels, or families looking for a great educational adventure. Just grab your snorkel mask and fins, and start exploring! Below you will find 3 awesome tips that can help take your next snorkeling trip or vacation to the next level. Enjoy!

fun snorkel trip

When Snorkeling, Go Slow!

When you first hop overboard, most people have the urge to start kicking as fast as possible, and zooming around the reef or dive site. This is pretty counter-intuitive to the whole experience. Not only will it leave you huffing and puffing and quickly getting exhausted, but chances are your rapid movements will also scare away the fish! I don’t know about you but when I am on a snorkel trip I like to see as many different species of fish as possible.

By moving in a slow controlled manner, you will not only conserve energy but you will move far smoother through the water. This means less startled fish and wildlife, and a more enjoyable experience for everyone. If you stop swimming completely and simply allow yourself to float, you will soon find yourself surrounded by large schools of curious fish, trying to figure out what the strange new visitor to their reef is. It is quite an interesting feeling! So slow down and soak in the underwater sites to enjoy your sunny day snorkeling.

Always Leave The Reef In Better Condition Than You Found It.

It is unfortunate that due to the growing popularity of scuba diving and snorkeling, this means more and more visitors to some of the most pristine reefs in the world. Some sites like Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have suffered quite an alarming environmental impact over the last few years, thanks to the increase in adventure tourism. While most divers and snorkeling enthusiasts are great about protecting the environment, it only takes a few uneducated people to quickly ruin a beautiful reef by throwing trash overboard, or breaking corals for souvenirs to take home. Always make sure to use high quality snorkel gear that is not going to break and become more garbage on the reef. We found Diver World to be a great resource for snorkeling equipment recommendations.

Always be aware of where your fins are kicking, corals can take years to grow, and are fragile. A single misplaces kick can snap off a coral spire or fan and it will take years to regrow. If you see any trash lodged into the reef or floating on the surface, pick it up and bring it back on board. If every visitor picks up a few pieces of trash each trip, it can greatly impact the overall health of the ocean. If you are picking up cans or containers just be sure to check that no little hermit crabs or fish have made a home out of the discarded rubbish!


Practice Snorkeling In Both Fresh And Salt Water To Improve Buoyancy Control!

Snorkeling can actually help you fine tune your buoyancy when diving as well. Using your breathing to freedive below the waves will make you far more aware of how having a lungful of air can really change your buoyancy as you dive deeper and the air compresses. Swimming in both freshwater and salty ocean conditions, you will really feel the difference between the 2, something most people forget if they only dive and snorkel in the ocean or lakes exclusively.

By changing your conditions it is almost like a hard reset for your mind that will really help highlight any bad habits and make you aware of any weaknesses in your skill set. While snorkeling is far less technical than diving you will still quickly improve your skills as an ocean explorer by choosing different locations and conditions to visit. So take this advice to heart!

freediving with snorkel gear

We hope these 3 quick tips have given you some inspiration for your next snorkel trip, and some skills to practice! Leave a comment below to let us know what your favorite snorkeling spots around the world are!

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The sunken wreck diving sites of Pulau

The hull of the ship emerged out of the deep, like a giant underwater spire, my heart rate increased and I was instantly in love with wreck diving. The crystal blue water was calm and fish swam about, doing whatever it is that fish do all day.

scuba diving in pulau
one of our dive sites

Pulau offers some amazing scuba diving and is one of the more remote places in the world to take a vacation. It is almost like stepping back in time and visiting a primordial island. The people there are friendly and the roads are in terrible condition. life moves slow but the locals don’t seem to mind. The lush jungle covered hills are only outdone by the azure blue ocean waters surrounding the islands that make up the local archipelago.

under the water, dolphins swim and turtles lazily coast around the gorgeous corals. We brought our own scuba diving equipment on this trip, unsure if the local dive centers would have enough gear for the 5 of us at once. When we say it is a laid back small town vibe, we mean it! Luckily the dive shops in the area are still extremely professional and offered up a couple of experienced dive masters to show us the local waters.

paradise scuba diving location
pure paradise for snorkeling too!

My wrist dive computer beeped a warning and I realized I was lost in thought and starting to descend too deep, another reason why I always bring it with me on every dive! with a few kicks of my fins I was back in the safe level and staring head on at the broken ship, scattered about the bottom in front of me. WOW, time had taken it’s toll and the once mighty old warship was slowly becoming part of the reef itself. fish and small sharks darted in and out of the various holes in the side of the ship and I looked around for my fellow scuba divers. They were having just as much of a blast as I was!

I peeked my head inside the larger hole near the aft of the ship and came face to face with a huge grouper who was chilling in the safety of the steel hull. He looked at me and I looked back, both caught up in an interesting experience. I love that about scuba diving and snorkeling, interacting with the marine life and becoming aware that there is more to the planet than just yourself. It makes you feel humbled and small, but at the same time part of a larger whole, and I love it.

We spent the next 3 days diving on various wrecks around the islands, some crashed WW2 fighter planes and battle ships, along with some old ruined galleons from an age long forgotten. It was a fantastic trip and one of the best scuba diving sites in the world. The waters are not too deep, and perfectly warm. We would recommend this to anyone who enjoys tropical scuba diving and traveling to spots that are more off the beaten path. Somtimes it is nice to get away from the typical tourist trail and experience something wild!

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Dive spot: Cuba!

Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and the westernmost island of the Greater Antilles. Cuba offers some of the best diving packages to divers of all levels of expertise and is definitely one of the  best places to go scuba diving in the world.

Cuba’s spectacular insular platform, of around 26,190 square miles , has excellent scuba-diving spots throughout all the island archipelago.

Cuba’s warm 25 degree Celsius  waters are crystal clear and extremely pristine. Barely any coral destruction or pollution has taken place, making it ideal for a diving holiday on this island paradise. The visibility is usually 30 to 40 meters, and Cuba’s scuba diving holiday makers will delight in the underwater sights unveiled before their eyes. Home to 75 species of coral and 200 species of sponges!

Scuba diving in Cuba has been developed on the basis of conservation and preservation of the underwater ecosystems. Modern dive equipment is readily available for divers of all skill level, and sites are located in the most gorgeous natural areas of the insular shelf, many of which have been declared protected marine conservation areas.

Cuba is a wonderful destination for scuba divers of all skill and experience levels. You can visit all of Cuba’s great dive sites including the famous bay of pigs, not to be missed!

If you have never tried scuba diving before, or if it’s been a while since your last dive trip, many Cuban diving centers offer instructors that can help you quickly brush up on all the basic techniques. Usually, after orientation and education sessions, you can start small, doing a couple relaxing dives in shallow waters before going on more demanding dives. At Cuban dive shops, beginners can often qualify to get in the water by combining a couple hours of class with sessions in a pool and soon be on their way to being certified scuba divers.

Diving resorts that Cuba offers are getting more and more abundant with each year, and with facilities that meet all the modern  technical demands, you can bet that safety and fun are the two top priorities. Both novice and experienced divers will find scuba diving in Cuba to be highly rewarding and very exciting. We even got to try out this very cool looking full face snorkel mask in between dives!

The Cuban government, which is now supporting the country’s growing tourism industry more than ever, has declared a number of the country’s best dive spots as protected areas. This means you can enjoy an environment that is most definitely well-suited for the cause without worrying about a negative ecological impact.

Scuba diving in Cuba can be enjoyed year round, as the water temperatures vary little from month to month. Due to the economic situation in cuba, dive excursions can be found for a decent price and for the sheer quality of the various dive sites, this is one of the best bang for your buck scuba diving locations in the world.

amazing corals while scuba diving in cuba
amazing corals to be seen while scuba diving

Diving is available all around the archipelago at an extensive range of dive sites, where you will find some of the richest corals of the Caribbean. There are spots for beginner diver and even a few great technical diving locations to be had for the more experienced in a dive group. This is a very versatile spot for this amazing water sport.

The reefs form fissures, chimneys walls and canyons and are filled with over seventy species of coral and over two hundred species of sponge including rope, tube, vase and ear sponges. In August, September and November you may be lucky enough to see whale sharks. The wildlife is abundant thanks to the marine conservation efforts and it is common to see sharks, rays and eels during a dive. Along with thousands of fish of course!

whale shark and scuba diver
gentle giants of the sea!

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Why you should always bring your own scuba gear

Sometimes you just have those scuba diving trips where everything seems to want to go wrong. We nearly had one of those ourselves recently, but thankfully we came fully equipped with all of our own scuba gear. The best advantage you can get is not having to rely on dive shops to supply scuba equipment and we were thanking our lucky stars we thought to bring our own.

99% of the time a scuba diving shop has plenty of gear go around, and this is the one instance where they didn’t. It was a small local dive shop on caye caulker, a small island spit off the coast of Belize. All the charm of a tiny south american rasta town and gorgeous reefs to explore and plenty of nurse sharks to swim with on every dive.  After 5 days of exploring the mainland and the surrounding cayes, we landed on caulker and couldn’t wait to start scuba diving.

belize scuba diving location
beautiful diving to be had at caye caulker.

When we arrived at the dive shop they informed us that all their available scuba gear had been suddenly booked by a large private charter. Normally we would have had to postpone our dive but thankfully this trip we had decided to bring all of our own scuba equipment 🙂 We informed the dive company that we would be fine with our own scuba gear and all we needed was a ride on the boat out to the dive site, and a local divemaster to show us around the reef for the first few days.

Needless to say they were very happy we had our own gear, everything from fins and BCD, to a recently purchased Suunto dive computer. SO the following morning when it was time to push off (bright and early) we simply carted it all down onto the boat and took off for 5 more days of gorgeous scuba diving with out own equipment. The sights we saw were magnificent and we will certainly be recommending anyone thinking of going to dive in Belize to spring to action and do it!

From now on we will always bring our own scuba diving equipment wherever we go on vacation, just to avoid any unpleasant complications that could arise. We were so lucky this time!

scuba diving with nurse sharks
nurse sharks and sea stars! awesome scuba diving

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Scuba diving in Greece!

The present economic situation in Greece can seem intimidating, but as outsiders on vacation there, it did not really seem to effect us in a major negative way. we were there to go scuba diving and even with lugging our heavy scuba gear across the Mediterranean, we could not be happier. The sea was a deep, awe inspiring blue and we could tell right off the bat the scuba diving conditions were going to be amazing.

greece scuba diving ocean view
such a gorgeous sea to dive into!

My wife Jill and I had booked 6 days on the coast before heading to the Greek islands for more scuba adventure. On top of the amazing under sea life, the nightlife and food were fantastic. Everything seemed reasonably priced and even the dive tours were fairly in expensive, the one major cost of any dive trip.

So for the last 3 days of our scuba diving trip we spent it on a fantastic liveaboard boat. 2 dives a day for 3 days was a great way to experience the Greek islands and the wildlife did not disappoint. the corals and large variety of fish and smaller sharks, alongside majestic rays.

Thankfully the dive boat team had a fantastic handle on all our scuba gear and made getting ready for each dive a quick and easy process. Fins were always properly stored and they never lost a dive mask. We brought our own gear including some brand new dive computers we recently purchased via www.ScubaDivingDreams.com and couldn’t be happier with the results.

mykonos scuba diving adventure
scuba diving off the coast of mykonos in full scuba gear

The ocean was so crystal clear that many people spent a lot of their time between dives freediving off the side of the boat, a very fun and splashy time. The group we were diving with was fairly small, 3 other couples and 2 solo travelers so whenever we were under the waves we tended to stick in groups of 4 with a dive master which meant a far more intimate scuba diving experience. Overall our time scuba diving in Greece was thoroughly enjoyable, and we will be coming back next year!

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