Close your eyes and picture this; a magical world filled with unknown life that blossoms just beneath the gentle swell of the ocean. Now picture yourself there amongst shapes and colors that simply do not exist above the surface. Then take in a deep filling breath of the warm Hawaiian air and take a look around. With a few gentle kicks of your legs, you unfold new discovery of impossibly shaped coral, and hiding behind it, the brightest fish you’ve ever seen. Here there are no bills to pay, projects due, or traffic jams, there is only life to explore.
Here are the top five tips to make your first snorkel adventure perfection:
It’s easy to get lost in the beauty below, but keep in mind that the sun is working overtime with the reflection of the water on your skin.
- Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to entering the water and as soon as you get out. If you don’t give the sunscreen time to dry on your skin, it will just wash off in the water, not offering you any protection.
- Wearing a Rash Guard with 50+ SPF skin protection is an easy way to make sure you haven’t missed a spot!
For both the ladies and gents, simple preparation can lead to hassle free snorkeling.
- Mustache: Put a healthy helping of Vaseline on your mustache to help create a good seal for your snorkel mask.
- Long Hair: Be sure to remove any hair from your forehead while putting your mask on. To get a seal you want to be sure that your bangs or hair is NOT in your mask. Tie back your hair in braids to help avoid getting it caught in your goggle strap. It will also keep it free from your face to get a clean seal with your snorkel mask. Keep in mind the goggle strap will wrap around the center of your head, so any hairstyle above and below that area will work!
The wonderful thing about snorkeling in salt water is that you naturally FLOAT!
- Some folks need some extra help staying horizontal while swimming around, so using a flotation belt can be an easy aid to keeping your snorkeling effortless.
- Long, slow kicks from your hips will keep your energy levels high and will help minimize the disturbance in the water, contributing to better visibility.
Don’t let tunnel vision limit your experience or safety.
- Keep in mind that the ocean current and wave swell are active players in your environment. If the wave swell is high, keep more space between you and the coral to allow for a safe distance as the ocean rises and falls. If the current is strong, make sure to keep an eye on where it is taking you and that you can safely make it back to the shore or boat.
- The general rule of thumb in the ocean is to take only pictures and leave only bubbles. The ocean is a delicate ecosystem that already has everything that it needs. This means no feeding the fish, touching the coral, or walking on the ocean floor.
RELAX and HAVE FUN!
This is the best part, you’re on vacation!
- The most incredible part of snorkeling is that first moment of putting your face into the water. It’s a trust exercise best lived with deep calm breaths and trust that your gear will work.
- Remember that snorkeling is not a race or competition. The slower you move in the ocean, the more opportunity you have to see what lies below. Keep in mind that many of the sea’s creatures are masters of disguise, with only a bat of an eye or flash of a gill to give them away.