Snorkeling and Magnificent Underwater Sights
By Susan M. Keenan ©2007
Underwater exploration provides the perfect opportunity for an exciting adventure as well as colorful, exciting photographic opportunities. In fact, snorkeling provides an experience quite unrivaled by almost any other activity. The ocean is full of delightful treasures including colorful schools of fish, odd-looking sea creatures, interesting rock formations, and a vast supply of other fascinating entities.
Recreational snorkeling requires only a bare minimum of equipment to start- a mask, fins, and a snorkel. Granted, you also need to know how to swim underwater in order to enjoy this activity. Novice snorkelers who are capable of relaxing while under the water will learn more quickly and have a better time.
It is essential to have a mask that fits well so spend quite a bit of time ensuring that you get the proper fit. The mask needs to fit your face shape. This is easy to check with a simple test. Place the mask up to your face, taking care to keep all hair and the mask strap away from the mask. Breathe in through your nose. If the fit is good, the snorkel mask will seal around your face so that it stays on even if you let go of it. This is a perfect fit, which ensures that water will not leak in while you are wearing the mask underwater.
The mask strap needs to fit snugly at the back of the head. It should sit near the top or widest part of your head for the best results. This is to keep the mask securely fixed upon your face so that it prevents water from seeping in. Be careful not to tighten the strap too much as it will eventually lead to a broken seal and seeping of water.
Your fins should fit you in much the same manner as a pair of shoes- snug but not tight. The fins should not be loose at the heels or they will fall off. In fact, your toes should have a bit of wiggle room so that they do not feel squished or crunched. This is important if you are to avoid cramping in your feet while underwater.
The mask will often fog as you descend into the water, due to the difference in temperature between your body and the water. Defog your mask with one of the defogging products sold at most snorkel shops, a few drops of spit, or a bit of baby shampoo and some water.
Since this is an unnatural process that might take some getting used to, practice breathing with the mask on before you go into the water. The mouthpiece needs to fit all of the way into your mouth with your lips closed around it. Practice breathing through the tube.
Practice breathing through the tube as you float in the water. Remember that the calmer and more relaxed that you stay, the easier it will be.
Donít panic if your mask fills with water. Lift your head up, lift the lower edge of the mask, and allow the water to clear from the mask. If the snorkel has also filled with water, it will be necessary for you to send a burst of air through it with your mouth to clear the water.
Fins are always kept below the water line and moved in a flutter kick.
Always remain aware of your exiting location. Snorkeling equipment can block your peripheral view and so it is important to know where to go when you are ready to surface.
Know your limitations and do not push yourself beyond your physical capability. Realize that the water currents, temperature, and visibility will all have an impact on your energy level.
Also see: Scuba Diving