It has been said that once you catch the snorkelling bug, you will become smitten and plan all your future holiday destinations on the availability of good snorkelling spots.
Not only does snorkelling give you the opportunity to see marine life from up close but as you become more experienced, you might be able to explore shipwrecks too. One of the reasons why people choose a boat charter holiday with a company like Nautal is that it gives them the chance to indulge their passion for snorkelling.
If you have never been snorkelling before, what are the 5 things you should remember?
Whether you’re buying or renting equipment, take time to make sure that the mask and fins fit well. If necessary, ask for advice. Remember that your feet will shrink slightly when in water and allow for this when picking the right size. Experts advise that beginners should go for a dry snorkel as it doesn’t allow water in at the top.
When buying, remember that cheap doesn’t guarantee top quality.
Harmful UV rays can travel through water so always make sure you’re protected. Although a wet-suit might be necessary in colder waters, you can wear a lightweight stretchy skin-suit in tropical waters to prevent sunburn. If you opt for sunscreen instead, reapply frequently and choose one which is waterproof and biodegradable so you don’t inadvertently damage fragile coral reefs.
For some first-time divers, snorkelling off a boat directly into deep water can be a traumatic experience. Therefore, for your first time, you should go snorkelling in a swimming pool or off a beach and always go with someone else. When on a beach, check the sea isn’t too choppy to avoid large waves undermining your confidence.
When entering the water, you should check that all the equipment is in the correct position and feels comfortable. Start slowly by immersing your head for a few minutes until you feel more confident. You might find that your reflex is to hold your breath so wait until you’re breathing calmly again.
Practise propelling yourself with the movement coming from the tops of your legs and keeping your legs straight to avoid causing too much turbulence.
The oceans are full of changing currents, riptides and unpredictable weather patterns so always check with locals before trying a new snorkelling spot.
It’s easy to become distracted by underwater sights when snorkelling. Therefore, come to the surface sporadically so you always have a mental picture of your position in relation to the boat or coast. This distraction can also lead to first-time snorkellers not giving themselves the time nor energy to return to their starting point.
Although the underwater world will captivate you, remember to respect marine life. Although looking and photography are permitted, you should never touch coral, fish or other marine creatures.
Snorkelling is one of the best ways to savour the majesty and beauty of the seas. Once you have tried it, swimming will seem tame in comparison.