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10 Tips for a Better Snorkeling experience

What are the important things to remember while Snorkeling? What should you not do while snorkeling? See below some important tips and tricks to enjoy a day of some amazing snorkeling.

Snorkeling around Racha Yai
 
1. Get the right equipment

Check and try on your mask. The mask should create a good seal around your eyes and nose without using the strap. Fins coming in variety of design, from full foot to open heel. If you get your private fins, I recommend fins you can warn with neoprene booties, this allows you to safely walk in and out of the water from the sea.  Most of the time you can get snorkel Equipment on your trip as rental, just make sure you try them out before you get on the boat and jumping in the water. The last item you need is of course a good snorkel. Most newer snorkels are equipped with a purge valve near the mouthpiece. This valve only allows water to exit the snorkel and can be used by exhaling a puff of air while keeping your face in the water. This is an easier and less disruptive method of clearing your snorkel, as snorkels without purge valves require a more aggressive exhalation and tossing your head back to get the water out. A purge valve allows you to stay relaxed and makes for a more enjoyable snorkel.

2. Stretch

A cramp in the water is twice as painful and 10 times as dangerous as the same cramp on land. You're about to repeatedly use your leg muscles in a way you don't normally. Those muscles may get fatigued and start to cramp. Take a few minutes to stretch out your calf and hamstring muscles before you start.

Lionfish

3. De-Fog

A foggy mask takes the fun out of it. After all, we came here to look underwater, not at clouds. You should defog your mask before every snorkel session. Toothpaste or dish liquid or better yet a travel sized bottle of Johnson's Baby Shampoo is all you need. Just a drop on the inside of the lens, then smoosh it around with your finger to cover the entire lens. (It's best to do this when the mask is dry) When the entire lens has been covered, fill the inside with water (salt or fresh) and quickly go over the entire lens with your finger. Then empty the water and you're good to go.

4. Sunscreen

You know, the kind that stays on in the water. Use it. Not only are you taking sun on your entire back side, but the amount of sun is magnified. Think of the water around you as a giant reflector. Now think of those beads of water on your skin as little magnifying glasses. The intensity of the sun you're getting is much higher than just the sun by itself. And you'll start to burn a lot faster than if you were out of the water. Protect yourself or you won't be snorkeling tomorrow.

Coralfish around Anemone

5. Splash Your Face

Splash water on your face before putting your mask on. If you've followed the advice of number 3, you should have sunscreen on your face. Splashing it with water will remove the excess that could drip down into your eyes as you snorkel. It happens more than you'd think and depending on the brand of sunscreen, it can really sting when it does.

6. Position Mask Strap

One of the most common reasons a mask leaks water is that its strap is in the wrong position. Too far down on the neck and water will leak in. Too far up on the head and water will leak in. When putting the strap on, keep it around the round part of your head—not too low where it will scrunch onto your ears, and not too high where it will slip off your head. Most mask straps split into two pieces in the back. You've just found out where the lower part goes. The upper part should be 1 to 2 inches higher and untwisted. Twisted, bad. Untwisted, good.

Snorkeling adventure

7. Try out the snorkel with some breathing

It is not soo easy for the first time to remember to breath in and out only from your mouth. So before you jump into the water, practice your breathing. Jump in the water and stay on the surface. Practice breathing through your snorkel with your face in the water before you start swimming. You also be able to check if your mask is fitting and sealing correctly.   

8. Buddy Up

You do not have to but there are many safety reasons to have a partner. Touching on this briefly. Two people in the water are more likely to be seen by passing boats than one person alone. Also, if you do happen to get that cramp, a second person is good to have close by to help stretch it out.

Need more reasons? Two sets of eyes see more things than one set alone, so you're seeing more cool things. And maybe the most important reason of all is having a witness. No one is going to believe you saw the elusive Hunky Funky Coconut Fish unless you have a witness to back you up.

Snorkeling adventure around the Andaman Sea

9. Current Check

If you are going to return to the point you started from, then start your snorkeling into the current if any exists. This way, if you do run out of steam, you'll get an extra little push to help bring you back instead having to fight the current on the return trip

10. Slow Down, Cowboy

The goal here is to observe underwater activity. Slow down and take it easy. Don't scare the fish! The faster you approach something the faster it will swim away because it feels threatened. But if you calmly drift-kick-drift into its area, you'll have a much better chance of getting in close for a good look. Move slow. Approach slowly.

Don't use your arms to propel yourself through the water. They are inefficient compared to your flippers and using them will just make you tired. With flippers on, you have all you need to smoothly move yourself through the water. Keep your legs straight with a slight bend in the knee and slowly scissor them together and apart, as if you were walking in slow motion. The fins shouldn't come out of the water very much if at all. If you're splashing, you are wasting energy (because kicking the air won't move you forward) and you're also scaring the fish.

amazing snorkeling

Now get out there and find me a Hunky Funky Coconut Fish! And have fun!

Check out our amazing snorkeling package around the Andaman Sea in Thailand or the still unspoilt Mergui Archipelago.

 

When was your last snorkeling adventure and where? Please let us a comment below :)

 

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