Snorkeling is a great adventure that can be quite relaxing, enjoyable, and fun for all ages. Many diverse sea creatures can be seen and enjoyed while you respectfully float and swim through their world. There are a few tips and tricks that can make this activity even more enjoyable and may save you some frustration as you try to explore this underwater ambiance. Please remember to be respectful of this underwater ecosystem. Watch your flippers to ensure you are not damaging any coral and do not touch as this can cause damages to the delicate coral and marine wildlife. Here I will share with you a few tricks I have picked up along the way.
1. Stash Seep
Have you ever been trying to enjoy a group of fish effortlessly making their way around the coral and somehow you mask just keeps slowly filling up? For us furry flipper-ed folk that want to enjoy a snorkeling trip but still want to sport the stash I have a solution. Next time before strapping on that mask and fins and waddling like a penguin to the back of the boat grab a small amount of petroleum jelly. Now you have two choices at this point. You can apply while on deck but as you head to the back of the boat past those two hotties you may look like you have just sneezed all over your stash and didn't bother grabbing a tissue. So grab a small amount put it in your hand. Grab your mask and fins. Walk past the two ladies with your natural prowess and then when either safely out of range of onlookers or in the water apply some to your manly mane and then put your mask on. This should make your snorkeling a much more enjoyable and relaxing experience.
2. Pre-Surface Purge
There are all sorts of ways people tend to attempt to use the snorkeling equipment. Some use this large straw to suck as much seawater in as possible. Some use these tubes as a source of communication. I believe for whales as this is what your conversation ends up sounding like. Snorkels have come a long way from just being a "J" tube. With the advances in check-valves and floats that close when you dive down there are many different ways in which to remove the water from your snorkel before taking that breath. A method I tend to use quite often even though I do own a snorkel with a check valve is using the pre-surface purge. Give this a try next time you are chasing a fish to grab that underwater picture you so desperately want. On your way back up to that stuff called air which by now you are almost desperately out of, tilt your head towards the surface and right before you are about to break out of the water give that snorkel a steady stream of whatever air you have left. As you hit the surface you are still blowing out and then bring your head and body back into floating face-down position. If done correctly you should be water free and do not have the need for that big blowout. This little trick will really make it seem like you know what your doing and provide you a better transition between diving down and re-surfacing.
3. Strap the Straps
If you are using your own mask on your underwater explorations a little tip would be to purchasing a mask strap cover. These neoprene covers are found in many different colors and options. For the women out there with long hair these can be a lifesaver. If you have ever had a mask strap get tangled in your hair it isn't all that comfortable to extract it. I just find that this makes my mask tremendously more comfortable to wear overall and makes slipping it on and off easier.
I hope that these quick tips and tricks can help improve your snorkeling adventures in the future. Please remember to be safe and respectful of the marine habitat and enjoy yourself. What kind of marine life have you been able to see on your underwater adventures?