What is snorkeling? If you ask yourself this question, you probably have yet to try this wonderful underwater adventure.
In our humble opinion snorkeling is one of the best ways of enjoying the ocean. In the water, with your full face mask or snorkeling gear on, you feel disconnected from the mundane and connected with nature instead. This is an experience that can completely redefine the way you spend a perfect day at the beach.
But enough of the deep stuff, simply put, snorkeling is swimming with a snorkel mask so you can enjoy the underwater views comfortably.
Snorkeling is an incredibly fun activity and one of the best ways to explore underwater without worrying you will run out of air. You can simply drift through the water, let yourself relax and enjoy the mysterious beauties of the ocean.
Why do people snorkel?
The simple answer to this is: because it’s incredibly fun. What’s more, we tried to ask as many nature lovers as we could, and everyone had their own answer. There are probably thousands of reasons why people choose to snorkel – from keeping fit to simply relaxing snorkeling is a great sport for all ages. It’s really easy to get started, safe and simply fascinating as you can explore a world you have never seen before.
Also, the costs can be a big plus. The price of a complete snorkel set is usually quite low. You don’t even need to know how to swim in order to be able to snorkel.
Most people snorkel for pleasure and relaxation, and the beauties of the underwater world. With such beauties to behold, it’s no wonder this activity is becoming more and more popular all over the world. There is a certain kind of freedom you can only find in the water, that can’t compare to any other activity.
When compared to scuba snorkeling is much more simple and far less expensive. In order to dive you need a license, special training, and equipment. Many experienced divers learned how to dive only after practicing snorkeling.
Besides relaxation and the freedom of the ocean snorkeling offers many health benefits improving both your mental health.
First, let’s explain what is snorkeling
Snorkeling is basically swimming with a snorkeling equipment which consists of a snorkel mask, snorkel tube, and fins. Additionally, to these items, some swimmers can also use snorkel bests for less experienced snorkelers and special wetsuits in cooler waters. Snorkeling is a recreational activity that offers the chance of observing marine life in a natural setting.
It is appealing for all ages and both to swimmers and nonswimmers.
There is evidence suggesting that snorkeling was practiced in Crete about 5000 years ago. Sea sponge farmers used carved reeds to dive underwater and pick natural sponge for commerce.
According to Wikipedia snorkeling is even mentioned by Aristotle as he describes divers using “instruments for respiration” that resemble an elephant’s trunk.
As technology advances snorkeling equipment became more and more complex allowing divers to explore the ocean’s depths without worries. The material was developed to make perfect fitting snorkel masks and goggles possible. These new designs endure the eroding ocean atmosphere.
What are the basic rules of snorkeling?
The great thing about snorkeling is that the rules are incredibly simple and easy to follow. Basically, as long as you respect the environment and underwater life around you, you should be just fine. Here is a short list of basic guidelines you should always follow:
1. Always know how to prevent and eventually treat snorkeling injuries
You never know what can go wrong underwater so it is best to be well prepared for every scenario. Get well informed about the dangers that you might encounter while snorkeling and make sure you always a first aid kit close by.
Keep in mind that the best way to treat snorkeling injuries is to never let them happen in the first place. With snorkeling, a lot of prevention techniques are simply based on common sense. As long as you always keep your safety in mind as a top priority you shouldn’t have any trouble.
Statistically speaking, snorkeling accidents are very low on the list of accidents happening at the beach.
2. Do not touch, harass, harm or damage any marine life
Always keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings. Keep in mind that the smallest touch can damage fragile marine life permanently. Also, there is a large number of things are dangerous to touch and can cause serious injuries.
The rule of thumb with snorkeling is to look but don’t touch. Think of yourself as a spectator to the breathtaking spectacle. You get a wide view angle with a full face snorkel mask instead of a screen and there are plenty things happening for your sensory pleasure.
3. Never snorkel in places where you don’t feel safe
Before choosing your snorkeling spot, get very well informed. Learn about the depth of the water and the surroundings. Keep in mind that water can be deceiving and currents can be deadly.
Be very careful around rocky shores and minimize contact with the reef as much as possible. Also, make sure you always have a buddy by your side and never snorkel alone.
It’s always a good idea to take things slowly, get used to your new hobby before you try more challenging snorkeling spots.
4. Keep calm
Stay calm at all times and be aware of your breathing. Before snorkeling it is best to learn a few breathing exercises in order to make your experience much more pleasurable. These exercises make a significant difference as they gradually enhance the capacity of your lungs and help you stay underwater for a longer period of time.
Try to stay relaxed and swim slowly. Underwater life feels less threatened by a relaxed snorkeler and they won’t see you as posing a threat. They won’t run out of your way and you will be able to enjoy and observe marine life in its natural habitat.
5. Choose the right snorkeling equipment for you
When it comes to the right snorkeling equipment you will find a great number of opinions reviews and articles. The best choice is the choice you feel most comfortable with. It is very important to feel completely comfortable while snorkeling.
Make sure your snorkel mask or goggles fit just right and the tube doesn’t bother you in any way.
What kind of equipment do you use when snorkeling?
The basic snorkeling equipment includes a mask or goggles, snorkel tube, and fins.
- A mask covers your eyes and nose keeping the water away and protecting you from any leakage. This is basically your underwater window.
- A snorkel tube is a hollow pipe attached to your mask. It sticks out of the water and allows you to breathe.
- Diving fins give you more control and extra propulsion underwater.They will help you swim better and faster.
Optional snorkeling equipment:
- diving socks if you can’t find diving fins that fit
- Snorkeling vest essential for beginners.
- Swim cap
- Underwater whistle
What you can expect to see while snorkeling
Depending on the snorkeling spot you choose you can experience a different number of sites and marine species. You can admire incredible life forms, corals, fish and in some places even shipwrecks. Depending on the snorkeling spot the area you can explore is more open or more limited. There are certain school that offer snorkeling tours so visitors can see dolphins, seals , whales and even sharks.
The better you get at snorkeling, the more opportunities to explore you will have. But don’t be impatient, take your time and enjoy every experience as it comes. When out there, it’s really important to always put your safety first.
Keep in mind that no two snorkeling spots are the same so every experience is different. Take advice from more experienced friends and instructors in order to plan your vacations around the perfect snorkeling spot for your experience level.
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