A Beginner’s Guide For Snorkeling

Snorkeling is great adventure for those who do not choose to sink to the ocean depths in some form of diving gear. Since human bodies float on salt water, very little help is needed to keep you on the surface as you gaze through your mask into the water below. A minimum of training is needed if you plan to snorkel near land in shallow water or go on a guided tour to snorkel at a more remote location. 

If you are on a tour, your guides will acquaint you with what to expect in the way of currents in the area where you will be snorkeling. Normally, they will tell you not to fight the currents, but just let them carry you along. It is common for a snorkeling crew to drop you off and circle away and wait for you at the point where the current will take you naturally. 

Without a crew, do a little research about the local currents if you will be more than one hundred feet from shore. Learn the ropes about how to respond should you get caught in a rip tide, also. While this is rare, being prepared is extremely important. 

Keep in mind that having a couple of experts with you is extremely important when you are on an excursion of snorkeling, especially if you’re a beginner otherwise one small mistake can have disastrous consequences. At least make sure that you have the best full-face snorkeling masks from top brands otherwise any local material can give way and you can even drown without even realizing it.  

When snorkeling alone or with a very small group, wear a flotation device. This can seem like a nuisance. If you end up heading out to sea, it could save your life. Now, you are ready to work on learning about your equipment. 

Start by learning how the adjustments work on your mask. It is important that your mask fit tightly enough to prevent water from leaking into it. If water gets inside your mask, you risk inhaling it. While it is unlikely to cause you to drown, sucking this salt water into your nose can be a painful experience. The water will also keep you from getting a clear view of the sea life that you came to see. 

Once the mask fits tightly, you need to learn to take one partial breath in through your nose to seal the mask to your face. Having done this, all future breathing needs to be done by mouth through the snorkel. You can practice this for as long as needed while sitting in a nice dry place. Work on breathing through your mouth until you are reasonably certain that you will not be tempted to try to breathe through your nose. 

After you have at least somewhat mastered the skill of not breathing through your nose, you are ready to go in the water. I personally like to wear fins when I snorkel, but not everyone does. Put on your flotation device and note that snorkels are not very long. If much more than the back of your head goes under water, you will not be able to breathe. So, do not get too carried away trying to dive. 

When you are in the water, lay on your stomach with your face in the water. In this position, you should have a good view of things below and in front of you. Your snorkel should stay above water. If this is true, you will have a nice easy time breathing. If your snorkel dips below the surface, there is a ball mechanism in most snorkels to keep you from breathing water. 

However, if you do dip your snorkel, you will probably have to surface to blow out the water so that you can start breathing again. Some snorkels are designed so that you can just blow really hard, and it will clear the water without having to raise your face out of the water. After about five minutes, you will begin to feel like an old pro at this. It is always a good time. Try to find areas where there are lots of formations and brightly colored fish. This will enhance your snorkeling experience.