What Is Snorkeling?
Snorkeling (Spelt Snorkelling in the UK) simply put, is swimming with a mask, also sometimes called goggles, to keep water out of your eyes and ensure you can see clearly and breathing through a snorkel, a pipe coming from your mouth.
Snorkeling is incredibly fun, relaxing and a wonderful way to explore the ocean without having to worry about carrying loads of scuba gear and technical issues (as with scuba) - you can just drift through the water, relax and enjoy an ocean wonderland. We have literally taken hundreds of people snorkeling for their first time and the results are the same each time, they are addicted. If you get a chance to go snorkeling, take it. But first, lets explain what snorkeling is, what you need to know to keep safe and how to enjoy your snorkeling adventure.
History of snorkeling
Snorkeling, according to Wikipedia is the practice of swimming on or through a body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped tube called a snorkel, and usually fins. In cooler waters, a wetsuit may also be worn. Use of this equipment allows the snorkeler to observe underwater attractions for extended periods of time with relatively little effort.
Why People Go Snorkeling?
For most people, snorkeling represents a very easy, safe and cost effective way of exploring the ocean and life in the ocean. The cost for snorkeling equipment is normally quite low and it is easy, if you can swim, you can snorkel. Some people snorkel for the pleasure of just being free in the ocean, others snorkel to see and photograph specific marine life, others snorkel for sport such as spear fishing or free-diving. Compared to Scuba Diving, snorkeling is very inexpensive and very simple. Scuba Divers generally need a license and training to dive to certain depths, diving requires you to be accompanied by a certified Dive Master and inevitably means purchasing or hiring of expensive equipment. Many Scuba Divers begun Scuba Diving after learning to snorkel, snorkeling provides that little taste of the ocean that will have you wanting more. For some people, snorkeling also offers many health benefits from the mental / meditation benefits of the slow rhythmic breathing to the physical benefits from the impact cardio exercise snorkeling provides.
What Do You See When You Go Snorkeling?
Different snorkeling sites have vastly different marine life to see and experience. Some shallow intertidal rock pools can be filled with incredible life forms, sponges, corals and fish. Other snorkeling spots are more open and limited to seeing fish or specific animals (such as snorkeling tours specifically to see dolphins or whale sharks) - No two snorkeling spots are the same. Snorkeling spots on Coral Reefs can be very rich in sea life but also difficult to get to (if you are a typical city dweller) - the point is, no matter where you go along the coast, there will be a spot to go for a snorkel, the safety of that site and what you will see varies dramatically from sit to site and from day to day. Because the ocean is such a dynamic place, even a snorkeling spot that you visit every day can be different each time you go there. A good rule though, like most wildlife, time of day and how quiet you are makes a huge difference, we really recommenced being slow, quiet and calm when you go snorkeling and you will see a lot more marine life. Have a look at these useful tips for getting the best marine life viewing experience when snorkeling.
What are the rules of snorkeling?
That is just the great thing about snorkeling, there are no real rules, although there are some important etiquette and snorkeling safety concerns to remember.
- Never go snorkeling alone, especially if you do not know the area well. Always have a "buddy with you" and get advice from people who know the snorkeling spot
- Do not go snorkeling in areas where you may feel unsafe or "out of your depth" in terms of your swimming ability, get local knowledge first if you are uncertain, the sea is an unpredictable place and currents can be deadly.
- Never touch, damage, harm or remove any marine life.
- Beware of your fins and where you stand, snorkelers are often criticized for damaging reefs and harming marine life without even knowing it. Be slow, gentle and careful.
- Be courteous, if there are other people around snorkeling, don't just swim in or make a huge noise, it will definitely scare off a lot of fish and ruin the moment for other people.
- The slower you go, the more you will see, it's as simple as that.
- Breathe slowly and gently, remain calm at all times, this makes a significant difference to your entire experience. Just cross your arms across your chest as RELAX