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Are you tired of just being lumped in with the scuba divers? This page is for snorkelers who want information geared only for snorkelers. Snorkelers who don’t want to be tied down by a ‘guide’ or tour operator on a boat which drags you out to open sea to see fish and coral. Snorkelers who would rather go underwater right from the shore. Snorkelers who like to float effortlessly, then drop down quickly to get a closer look.

Snorkeling is great entertainment for all member of the family no matter what the age. Tourist guide books almost invariably list snorkeling and diving (or scuba diving) in the same section and then proceed to describe dive sites that would be of interest, but these dive sites are not really proper for snorkeling. There may be fascinating reefs and sunken ships that display colorful fish, but most of these are at depths too great for snorkelers to see, enjoy, or photograph. There is nothing more exciting than to see a pair of angelfish swim by, but not if all you can see is the very tops of the fish 30 feet away.

If you have handy tips on snorkeling and especially snorkeling only trips or tour operators, please leave a comment.

Snorkeling Tips

The entire family can participate at the same time, regardless of age, skill and physical fitness. In fact, snorkeling is one of the easiest, most fun and most popular ways for you and your family to enjoy the underwater world. And if you’re planning a trip south this year with your family, now is the perfect time to learn or refine your snorkeling skills. But there’s nothing to it, we’ve heard often. The truth is, there are a number of skills to learn which will make snorkeling easier and more enjoyable. And having the right equipment makes a great difference.

Clean your new mask. The inside glass of all new masks should be cleaned to remove any oily film left behind from the manufacturing process. Oddly tooth paste will work very well.

Defog your mask. Although saliva works well, it is not very hygienic and usually washes out very quickly. Two or three drops of anti-fog made specifically for diving masks will usually work best and may last all day.

Wear your mask strap high on the back of your head. If you find that your hair tangles in the strap, replacing it with a padded neoprene strap will help.

Attach your snorkel on the left side of your mask. Snorkels with drain valves are designed to work best if worn on the left.

Clearing a snorkel is easy. Blow forcefully into the snorkel, take a shallow breath, and blow again to remove any remaining water. A self drain snorkel will make it even easier.

Avoid walking with fins on. If you must walk, shuffle your feet sideways or backwards only.

Snorkel with a buddy and use the “One up, and one down rule.” This means one stays on the surface while the other one dives down.

Use a snorkel vest if you are not a good swimmer or if swimming far off shore.

Avoid getting burned. Wear a Lycra dive skin or a t-shirt with a good waterproof sun block. A bad sun burn could ruin a great trip.

Respect the reef. Avoid touching and bumping into coral. A healthy reef is a pretty reef.

Equipment Care

Clean your equipment with fresh water each day. This will remove salt and sand that can cause problems, especially with purge valves. Washing or dunking it while in a mesh bag can make the task fast and easy. Avoid excessive heat. Temperatures above 170°F can damage your equipment. Soak your equipment when you return home from your trip. This will help remove sand and salt that a quick rinse didn’t get. Store your gear in a cool dry place.

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