Whether you’re going on vacation to an exotic destination or live near the ocean, exploring the world under water is truly an amazing experience. If you’re swimming with the kids to see the “fishies” or you want to swim with whale sharks off the coast of Mexico, snorkeling allows you to see the under water world come to life, but there are some tips you should always keep in mind before heading out in the water.
If you are planning on going on a trip where you hope to do some snorkeling, you’re making a great choice. Of course, the ocean can be as hazardous as it is beautiful, so to make sure that you have a safe and pleasant experience.
The following are some tips for a safe snorkeling adventure:
- Snorkel with a partner. While you may be heading out in perfectly calm water on a sunny day, it is still always a good idea to snorkel with a partner. If anything happens while you’re out in the ocean alone, you won’t have someone that can call for help for you. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Stay alert. You may be swimming on a very clear day in calm waters and feeling amazing. That’s great and you should keep that feeling but do make sure to stay aware of your surroundings. Ocean conditions, weather, and the marine life around you can all change in an instant, so make sure you keep an eye out for any changes. Investing in a good pair of swim goggles is a great way to help you stay aware of what’s going on around you as you are snorkeling.
- Don’t try to snorkel in rough currents. If you find a great spot to swim but notice that the currents are a bit strong, you may want to avoid swimming there until the conditions aren’t so rough or look elsewhere. The ocean can be merciless with its currents and this is not something that you want to find out firsthand.
- Make sure that you know how to use your snorkeling equipment. Snorkeling gear is quite easy to use but it’s still wise to double check that you are using it properly before you set out.
- If you’re snorkeling with children, keep them close to you. When it comes to snorkeling with the kids, you’re going to want to enhance your alertness. Children can more easily be swept away by strong currents and aren’t typically as good at swimming as adults. You don’t want to ever lose your child in the ocean, so make sure to keep them as close as possible.
- Pay attention to signage that could alert you to possible dangers where you want to go snorkeling. Whether it’s jelly fish season or sharks have recently been sighted where you’re visiting, make sure that you pay close attention to the signs in the areas that you want to snorkel at. If you are being warned of the possible presence of dangerous underwater creatures, don’t ignore them! It could be a matter of life and death.
- If you haven’t been swimming in years, practice in a pool before braving the ocean. If you hope to head out to areas where you’ll be needing to swim for a while, make sure that you’re swimming condition is up for the challenge. If you haven’t been swimming in years, it’s best that you take some time practicing your strokes.
- Make sure to stay hydrated and use environmentally friendly sun protection before you head out. Getting really badly sunburned is a way that snorkeling could be unsafe for you. To avoid this, make sure that you have proper sun protection on your body before you head out. You’ll want to make sure that it’s environmentally friendly, because keeping the ocean life healthy is one part of staying safe.
- Check the weather forecast before heading out. If a thunderstorm is promising to roll in, you may want to postpone your snorkeling trip. From choppy waters to strong currents and waves, storms aren’t the best idea for a snorkeling adventure. Also, snorkeling is best when you swim in clear, calm waters as you can more easily see animals and reefs. Snorkeling in a storm, even with the best swim goggles, is counterproductive.
- Respect the environment. This tip isn’t necessarily about your immediate safety but rather the safety of your future snorkeling adventure and that of your children’s. When we disrupt the environment, we cause a chain reaction in the underwater world and food chain. This can lead to problems like shark attacks, and more. Do your part to keep humans safe but also do your part to keep the creatures of the water safe as well.
If I could think of a time where I was ecstatic in the ocean, it was when I went snorkeling/swimming with whale sharks and gorgeous manta rays near Isla Mujeres in Mexico. It was breathtaking to see these magnificent creatures in the deep blue sea and my top-notch swim goggles helped to make it possible (check out our page to find great choices of goggles).
It was an experience that required me to stay alert to stay safe and was certainly worth my time and investment in learning how to snorkel and stay safe in the ocean. Where will your next snorkeling adventure take place?