Scuba - Snorkeling 101  

by Pool Builders on 10-30-2009 in Articles

Snorkeling can be a great alternative to scuba diving. Sometimes you don't yet have the training or equipment to scuba dive. Sometimes you'd like to ease into the sport slowly. And sometimes, even skilled scuba divers just want to enjoy swimming and looking around without the extra equipment, preparation and precautions that come with scuba diving. Snorkeling is a great option.

But even with snorkeling, unless you restrict yourself to the family swimming pool, you need to acquire a little bit of knowledge and take some elementary precautions. That way you can enjoy your snorkeling experience to the maximum while staying safe.

Here are some elementary tips for getting started.

First, check your equipment. Look at both ends for any blockage or even just loose material stuck in the tube. Dry breathe in air through the snorkel to ensure it's working properly. If you've used it before, you also want to make sure it's been properly cleaned. Though not common, mold and other muck can grow on a snorkeling tube. When you breath that in you're increasing your odds of infection.

You'll probably have a mask as well, so prepare it too. Make sure it's clean and fits well. Then prepare the faceplate with a commercial spray that will keep it clear. Or, you can use some raw potatoes. Rub a little of the starch onto the glass and rub it around.

Stand in an area of the water where you can stand up and breathe air. Then slowly bend your knees and take a deep breath slowly through your snorkel just before your nose goes under. Lower your face into the water until your head is just submerged. Make sure you can breathe normally through the mouth and out the nose. Breathe in again, then exhale forcefully through the mouthpiece. This should ensure that your tube is clear.

Now become horizontal in the water and keep your head slightly back, eyes forward. Your snorkel tube is designed to prevent water from splashing into the top, but some small amount may make its way in. Blow it out with a good blast of air, then breathe in slowly, keeping the tube as vertical as possible.

Swim slowly, keeping your head near the surface until you get the hang of it. Then you can relax and look at the scenery around and below you. Try to direct your eyes down, but keep the tube upright as you move forward.

If you feel yourself starting to panic, just raise your head above water, remove the mouthpiece and breathe normally. Then try again. It will take a few practice swims before you fully get the hang of it. Once you do, you'll be free to enjoy all the awesome sights in coral reefs and shallows.

Off to the adventure!

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