Sometimes, it can feel as though everyone knows how to snorkel—and they all love it. However, snorkeling for the first time can feel a little intimidating. You are wearing an unfamiliar contraption, breathing into a tube you aren’t sure you can trust, and navigating a totally new and possibly hostile environment. But don’t worry! By following a few simple protocols, you will soon join the ranks of people who love to snorkel!
Make Sure Your Equipment Works
The first rule of snorkeling is to test your equipment before heading out. Your snorkel equipment should include a variety of tools like a mask, a mouthpiece, a purge valve, a tube, a semi-dry air valve, a strap, and a snorkel clip. Flippers are also helpful. First, check your mask. You know your mask has a proper seal if you can suction it to your face and it won’t fall off, even without the strap. Adjust the strap ahead of time so that it fits firmly. Test the seal by putting your face in the water. No water should get in. Next, try breathing underwater. If the snorkel clip is holding the tube in the correct position, you should be able to breathe normally. Next, go deep enough to submerge your entire snorkel. If the air valve is working correctly, no water should flow into your mouth. Finally, test the purge valve by pushing a hard, quick breath into the mouthpiece. This should remove any water from the tube.
Watch Out for Dangers
When snorkeling in the ocean, your biggest dangers are riptides and sea life. Choose an area that is calm and free from riptides. You know there is a riptide when a portion of water is flowing in the opposite direction from the breaking waves. The best snorkeling water is free of waves, anyway, because the water will be much clearer. You should also watch out for marine life. Avoid touching animal life in the water. If possible, only snorkel in waters where there is a lifeguard on duty. Finally, stay close to shore or your boat.
Stay With a Buddy
It is always best to snorkel with a buddy. You can watch out for each other and come to one another’s aid if necessary. If one of you gets into serious trouble, the other can call for help, as well. Plus, snorkeling with a buddy is more fun! You will see some amazing things, and it is natural to want to share the experience with a friend.
Snorkeling can introduce you to a beautiful underwater world filled with magical sights. It can open your eyes to so many new discoveries. Be prepared, exercise caution, and have an amazing time!
Check out this article on how to enjoy a vacation on a lake!