An Introductory Guide to Snorkeling
Snorkeling is an adventurous activity in which one can explore the beauty and life under the surface of lakes, rivers or sea. The basic equipments needed for Snorkeling are a snorkel (used for breathing under water), a diving maskand fins. These equipments facilitate observation of underwater world without much effort on the part of the snorkeler.
If you are a non-swimmer and feel that any activity related to water is just not your cup of tea, rather it’s a life threatening hazard then read the following- “A non-swimmer can do Snorkeling.” But yes there are certain dos and don’ts for you. You will need some basic lessons in floating which is comparatively easier than swimming. Alternatively, you may also take help of inflatable tubes to make you float over water. And with the help of your hands and legs you can move around the surface, or you can let yourself float along the flow of the river or the sea.
There are certain other points to follow, which are important for both swimmers and non-swimmers, before embarking on the Snorkeling adventure:
- Diving/Snorkel Mask – Make sure that the mask fits your face. A leaking and awkward mask can ruin your experience by diverting your attention from time to time. Thus it will be a good thing to invest in buying a perfect match for your face at a scuba or diving equipment store.Masks also tend to become foggy while Snorkeling is underway. The most probable reason for fogging of a mask is dirt. Moisture is formed inside the mask when our breath condenses on the glass surface which is cold. And it has a tendency to stick with dirt and oil. So you need to keep the mask clean with commercially manufactured defogging agents or soap and water.Snorkel – Snorkel is a device which helps you to breathe while you are floating, with your face submerged in water. It is a flexible tube, with length varying from 12 to 18 inches, and is usually made of plastic or rubber. The diameter or bore of the tube should not be too small or too big. Too small a bore will not let enough air to pass through, making it difficult for you to breathe and with a bore too large it will become difficult to get the water out, if it accidently enters at the time of the Snorkeling activity.There are various kinds of snorkels which can be used. Dry snorkel is a very good option. It has a valve at the top which completely prevents the water along with the air from entering, when you approach a wave or when you dive underwater. Thus if you are using a dry snorkel you won’t need to forcefully exhale or to come out on the surface to get the water out.
- Fins – Fins are very essential to your Snorkeling Endeavor. They will save a lot of your energy while swimming, making it a lot easier. They will guard your feet from any damage caused due to a collision with rocks and coral.
The fins should be carefully chosen as they can fall off if they are too loose and hurt you if they are too tight. Also, do remember that skin shrinks a little in cold water, so a little initial tightness won’t harm. Therefore a pair of fins which comfortably tugs your feet and is neither very tight nor too loose should be chosen.
- Practice – Put on the Snorkeling gear to get used to it. Breathing through the snorkel in a nearby swimming pool or a calm and shallow sea will give you a feel of being underwater. Breathing through mouth and being inside of cool water can make you anxious. Therefore, through this practice you can teach yourself to relax under such circumstances, so that when you hit deep waters you are in a better position to enjoy without much inconvenience.
To guard against sun burns, especially on your back, you can apply a biodegradable sunscreen lotion or wear a tea-shirt, rash guard or a wetsuit.
Be properly hydrated if you plan to have a long session of Snorkeling. It will help to prevent cramps from occurring.
Try to avoid any contact with coral reefs. Firstly, the corals that inhabit them are poisonous, secondly, the coral reefs are very delicate and may get damaged; coral reefs take hundreds and even thousands of years to build, hence the responsibility of their safety attains more significance.
Don’t disrupt the life underneath the water in any way. Do not touch any corals, turtles or fish.
Always try to go on a Snorkeling adventure with an expert. It will help in reducing the extent of problems which / that might occur, as your experienced accomplice will be able to tackle them easily.