Welcome back friends to the Adventure Awaits Travel Blog! Today we are going to be talking about one of our all time favorite activities to do during our charters: Snorkeling. Are you a new at snorkeling? Not sure where to start? We have compiled 10 awesome beginner tips to get you started!
Why You Should Snorkel in the Virgin Islands
Snorkeling is a wonderful hobby in of itself. Combine the enjoyment of swimming with interacting in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean and you have a recipe for an amazing experience.
Many visitors flock to the Virgin Islands every year for the beautiful scenery. Not only does the USVI have Instagram-worthy views, but below water you'll find a whole new amazing world.
The Virgin Islands are protected by a natural reef that supports and abundance of fish and aquatic life. Come see the many varieties of sea life up close while you connect with nature. The clear waters of the islands offer an excellent opportunity to witness the wonders of the ocean first hand.
5 Awesome Tips:
Make Sure Your Gear is in Good Condition
Checking your snorkel gear before you head out to dive is always a good first step. Make sure that your mask is free of tears and that the lens is clear of scratches that may hinder your view. If you are with us on one of our charters, we inspect all of our equipment prior to departure to ensure safety.
Always Snorkel With a Partner
Not only is it more fun to have someone to enjoy the experience of snorkeling with you, it is much safer. Make it a habit to go with a partner or two so that if there is an emergency there will always be someone you know to watch your back. Also, be sure to tell your friends and family who are not coming with you where you will be snorkeling and what time they can expect you back.
Breath Deep, Breath Slow
Snorkeling is an amazing experience. For many though, being under water can cause some anxiety. For those who are new to snorkeling it is always a good idea to remember to return to your breath. Like with meditation, focus on breathing deeply and breathing slowly. Not only is this a good way to calm yourself down, but you are also allowing yourself to relax and feel natural in your new underwater environment.
Always Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Although extremely rare, accidents while snorkeling can happen. One of the most effective ways to avoid these circumstances is to always be aware of your surroundings. This is why it is always good to snorkel with others.. the more people in a group, the easier it will be to notice potential hazards. If you are snorkeling with us at Adventure Awaits, we will always have an experienced captain and crew member around to assist you should you need us.
Look But Don't Touch
It is very difficult at times to not get excited by the wonderful things you encounter while you are snorkeling. Our most instinctive action since we were children is to reach out and touch what we see so that we may understand it better. Unfortunately, this is not a good idea while snorkeling. The coral surrounding the Virgin Islands are fragile and should be protected. Some of the marine life is endangered, while others may harm you when handled. Remember this maxim: Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but memories.
5 More Awesome Tips:
Wear Your Mask Comfortably
It is all too common to see someone remove their snorkel mask and have a solid outline on their face from the impression of the mask. This is often due to wearing the mask improperly. Be sure to position the mask behind your head above your ears on the largest part of your head. Also, do not over tighten the mask. Let the mask rest lightly on your face and press the lens to your nose as you enter the water. Doing this will create a natural suction that will keep the mask secure without your facing being mashed into putty.
Remove Excess Water
Removing excess water from your snorkel mask is an important skill to utilize. Ideally, you should not need to do this too often if you have a proper fit. Removing excess water while surfaced above water is a simple as pulling the mask and tilting down to drain. In order to remove water while submerged, practice peeling the bottom of your mask out while puffing out of your nose at the same time, then press the mask back to your nose to create a new suction. This will allow you to push the excess water out with air and resume your snorkeling adventure.
Know How to Purge Water From Your Snorkel
Unless you are using a Dry Snorkel, you will want to know how to purge water from your snorkel. Even if you are not planning on diving in for a closer look, water can sometimes seep in. This water can build up in your snorkel and restrict breathing if not purged. In order to purge properly, take a slow, deep breath in then shoot a breath out of your snorkel with a fast push of air. The easiest way to do this is to picture a whale's blowhole as it bursts out water. Practice your best whale impersonation in shallow water with a friend first.
Practice Purging Water Before You Dive
Diving down from the surface of the water is an awesome way to get a good view of the ocean's marine life up close. Most beginner snorkelers will want to do this the first time they dive in to get a great view. Be careful though not to dive deep before you have mastered the technique of purging water from your snorkel and know how to properly remove excess water from your mask. It is common for newbies to dive deep to take a closer look only to surface and find themselves in an uncomfortable spot as they try to rip their mask or snorkel out quickly to get some much needed air. By understanding the proper techniques of purging and clearing water, you will be able to dive much more efficiently and safely. Always practice safe dives with a partner.
Relax and Have Fun!
There is always a sense of excitement and possible anxiety when beginning something new. Snorkeling is no exception. Remember that you are snorkeling to have fun. Even if you are not a strong swimmer or unsure about the snorkeling experience remember that it is OK to be a little nervous. The best thing you can do is relax in your snorkel gear and take it slow. There is absolutely no rush for you to become a pro or to even master any of the above techniques if you do not feel ready for them. Simply feel yourself immersed in the water and become comfortable with your surroundings. You will never regret trying something new then deciding its not for you, but you may regret never trying it in the first place.
Snorkeling is just one of our favorite activities to include in our customizable charters at Adventure Awaits. If you would love to go snorkeling with us in the Virgin Islands you can contact us Here for charter options that will best suit your needs.
From Snorkeling to Stand Up Paddle boarding, Cruising in style and exploring the Caribbean waters is always a fun adventure with Adventure Awaits Charters. We look forward to our next adventure with you!