Perhaps you long to dive into the warm seas on holiday and take an underwater tour extraordinaire – but you do not have the money to pay for a scuba diving session, or the budget to buy the diving kit, or the confidence to go so deep in the water. So, you should try snorkelling instead!
The benefits of snorkelling
Snorkelling doesn’t require expensive equipment, or training. You can swim at your leisure observing underwater flora and fauna without having to deal with lots of kit. And so long as you’re a strong swimmer, snorkelling is a stress-free activity for all ages.
What equipment do you need for snorkelling?
A mask, snorkel and fins. And that’s about it. If you’re snorkelling somewhere warm you can simply wear your ordinary swimming costume. If it’s a bit chilly you might like to invest in a wet suit.
Tips for staying safe while snorkelling
Avoid high tides. Not only will you not see any underwater creatures but it can be dangerous because you have a much greater chance of being rolled and pushed by waves are much higher.
Snorkel with a partner or friend so that you can keep an eye on each other in case something goes wrong.
Ask for local advice about where is safe to snorkel, and where might be dangerous.
The basic technique for snorkelling
You need to learn to breath while using a snorkel. The best place to try this is in the safety of a swimming pool. You should aim to breathe slowly and deliberately. Hyperventilating into your snorkel is most definitely a no-no! And because most snorkels are manufactured to have the swimmer's head facing the sea floor, it's a good idea to keep your head positioned in this way, too.
Some snorkels have the advantage of a valve at the top to allow you to dive into the water. Then, as you go back up the surface, you exhale to expel water out of the snorkel.
The fins are meant to help you to propel yourself smoothly though the water. Try not to fight the movement but go with it, giving you strong legs and long, slow kicks.
Where will you see underwater creatures?
The best beaches for snorkelling are rocky beaches, because sea creatures like to lurk in cool, darker places. Go for quieter beaches, too, away from swimmers and surfers. Too much activity will scare away fish and creatures. Ask locals for advice on the best places to snorkel. Snorkelling is free to do once you have the equipment and such a joy, so it's likely that local people will be enthusiastic about telling you the best spots.