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!
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!
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!