If you like to swim leisurely in the ocean while discovering beautiful marine life, snorkeling may be just what you are looking for. Some spots are better for snorkeling than others but you’ll learn those along the way. For now, here are some snorkeling tips for beginners from William Schoellkopf:
Know The Ocean, Your Gear, And Yourself:
Never underestimate the ocean, even if you are an experienced swimmer. Get to know your snorkel gear and its limitations. Above all, make sure you understand your limitations. If you are just starting out, try on your equipment, see if it fits right, and then spend as much time as you need in a shallow, calm area of water. You have to practice, get used to your equipment, and determine your limitations.
When you touch the coral, you are actually killing it. That’s just touching it! Imagine the damage you will cause if you actually stand, sit or break pieces of coral and rock off for “souvenirs”. The marine eco-system is a delicate, complex interweave. Don’t disturb it if you want it to last.
Also, don’t touch the fish and turtles. They don’t like to be harassed and the less you do that the more apt they will be to swim among you and carry on their business. This allows for great experiences, pictures and videos. Don’t forget to not stick your fingers in holes and crevices as some underwater animals, like the moray eel, tend to snap at a hand and you may pull back with a finger or two less.
Stay Calm; Avoid Panic:
Things can always go wrong. Even in the relaxed atmosphere of a snorkeling location, staying calm is paramount to survival. Know how to clear your mask and snorkel tube of water. If you are in a current, the best thing to do is to not struggle against it as you lose vital energy and could become exhausted and drown. Instead, swim diagonally with the current and towards the shore.
These are just a few tips to make your snorkeling adventure a safe and wonderful experience.