Feb 12, 2013

Posted by in Beach Activities

An Introduction to Snorkeling

couple snorkeling

What is snorkeling?

It is the practice of swimming on or through water. Usually ‘J’ shaped snorkel to wear. That is why it is called snorkeling. Most occasionally a mask and swim fins are to wear and in cooler water a wet suit may be preferred. Using is this equipment allows swimmers to watch and observe underwater life and environment. It is a popular recreation today. Tropical countries and their scuba locations are famous destinations to snorkelers. Anyone can snorkel with a little effort and few equipments, even teens are welcome. The primary object of snorkeling is to observe natural setting as it is and the rehabilitation of body and mind comes next. It is also an underwater sport like underwater hockey, underwater ice hockey, underwater rugby and spear-fishing.

A snorkel is a small equipment of 30 centimeters long between 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters in diameter and constructed of rubber or plastic with lesser weight. When the user in submerged underwater it is used to breath air from above the water surface. It is an efficient tool that allows swimmer to breathe fresh air while exhaling carbonated air outside the snorkel. Most brands are come with colored tube and it is seeable by other swimmers and boatman as well. Fins are used to accelerate one’s swimming function and even in underwater it assists the swimmer to have more energy.

Benefits of Snorkeling

To gather food and other valuables such as pearls, people have practiced free diving for centuries. Lakes, rivers and oceans are among their popular destinations. One of the oldest free diving traditions is practiced in Korea and Japan. For more than a thousand years, young girls called ‘ama’ have been trained to free dive to collect shellfish and seaweed. In modern times, people continue to dive for food and valued objects, but competitive free diving has also become popular. In 1940s athletes from Mediterranean countries used to practice free diving to dive deepest and stay underwater longer period of time.

Snorkeling increases one’s maximal oxygen uptake. It is good indicator of aerobic fitness. Swim coaches like to use snorkeling as a means to increase and improve lung capacity of competitive swimmers and triathletes. Compare to free breathing, breathing through a tube involves some resistance and it requires greater exertion.  Using a snorkel while practicing, allows the swimmer get dramatic improvement in a shorter time. Snorkeling perfects one’s swimming and keep the body balanced through water. Front-mounted snorkels allow a swimmer to practice body position and arm pulls through the water without bothering about turning or raising the head to breathe.  This lets the novice learn correct form most quickly and helps to drill to finest points of propulsion. Practicing snorkeling has no limits in joint diseases and other motion restrictive disabilities. Water eases joint pains and stiffness facilitating workouts to improve flexibility and endurance.

Worlds’ best snorkeling spots

Australia’s northeast coast comprises many islands. Among them Uepi is a tiny barrier reef. It is covered in rainforest. A number of precious scenes are waiting for your visit and you will have much recreation there through seeing whales, sharks, sea turtles and schools of small colorful fish. The coral reef is everlasting and full of living creatures such as crabs, prawns and sea anemone. Jelly fishes are welcoming that are waiting for your eyes.

I would like to introduce Corn Islands of Nicaragua. The big and little Corn Islands are located east of the Nicaragua mainland, are home to barracudas, nurse sharks, sea turtles and spotted eagle rays. Snorkelers are attracted by little Corn Island as it has warmth water and sandy continental stage to snorkel for whole day with full range of biodiversity.

Australia offers another prestigious location to snorkel. That is Norman Reef. When we come to the Great Barrier Reef which is 1580 miles along northeast coast of Australia, a well reputed tourist destination is available to serve us. Once we get a small swim out for the reef lot of sea episodes to become alive on our eyesight. A great array of reef building creatures with many colorful flags is waving its glory. It is a ceremony at underwater.

Seychelles Islands are swimming pools made by nature for snorkelers as well as free divers. Eastern coast of Kenya is the location for hundreds of Seychelles islands and Indian Ocean filled with tropical water helps much your recreation with many unspoiled beaches. There you are to see a book of nature’s advertisements and to learn much on how our life works.

Bonaire is the smallest of the so-called ABC islands in the Dutch Antilles, which include Aruba and Curacao. It is one of worlds’ best diving spots with a marine park underwater. It is filled with a magnificent coral gardens and abundant sea life. There your sight will focus on sea cucumber with many variant designs and Annelida beings will give you a new life of stress free mind. It is a place created by nature for freeing one’s mind from any kind of anxiety. With the reef on our left and deep water on the right, we floated along, amazed at the rainbow array of staghorn, elkhorn and brain coral and the iridescent sparkle of the fish who swim among it.

San Blas is an archipelago consisting of 365 islands that belongs to Panama. Many of them are very small. Acreage is about a square mile or not more than that. It is filled with many types of coastal live. Many varieties of indigenous tribes are near to your locations and you will experience old age days. But they are very rich places to snorkelers to swim and dive whole the mornings and evenings. Pleasant breezes will temper the mid-day heat.

Hawaii’s Kealakekua Bay is another destination which won the hearts of snorkelers. There is the resting place to famous British explorer Captain Cook. There are only limited ways to access there. At the base of lava cliffs the waters are normally clear and calm. Snorkelers in every age see there multitude of fish living on the coral and exploring the underwater lava caves. Eels and green sea turtles bring the beauty to the coral reef and spinner dolphins are almost daily visitors to the bay.

Western part of Bali National Park, Mengangam is an uninhabited island which is surrounded by coral and filled with tropical fish and sea turtles. Once you came to Indonesia one of your visiting places is Mengangem and you will enjoyed much by snorkeling there for all day since sunlight is a bliss to foreigners and fresh water, clear sandy beaches and humid wind will calm yourself.

The big Plaza Sur of South Plaza Island of Galapagos is a place to snorkelers to see playful sea lions those are inhabit the area and you will also enjoy red-billed tropicbirds and swallow tailed gulls nesting.

For snorkelers and divers, the Red Sea is in the high on the list of places to visit. It belongs to Egypt and on the Sinai Peninsula there is the famous resort city called Sharm el Shelik. There much easier to get out to the reef. Divers, as well as snorkelers, enter the water and immediately are in a wonder world among coral and exotic sea life. Interesting is that a lot of the same species seen in the tropics throughout the world are here but in different colors. As well, we saw species new to us. Amazingly water of Red sea is clear and clown fish abounded and right way you may see bed checked lion fish, a rare sight anywhere.   You may enjoy with crowed also here.

All the Polynesian islands are best for snorkeling. Especially Huahine which is about 200 mile northwest of Tahiti is a place of fame to snorkelers, which brings more money flows to Polynesia. The island consists two volcanic ranges and they are combined with a natural bridge. People who love nature visit there and enjoy themselves with lush green tropical foliage and jungle like sceneries. There are many white sand beaches off which to snorkel. The high point here came, however, when you take a dive boat which dropped off into a slight current at an outer reef.

La Jolla Cove on the Pacific Ocean is one of most renowned place to snorkelers. Warm water and windy beaches will cover your whole days. The cove itself is world famous to its beauty and it is one of mostly photographed locations in Southern California.It is part of the San Diego/ La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve which helps ensure that marine life remains plentiful. Near to surface and close to the shore you will see schools of top smelt with blue and brown stripes cruising along. It is exciting to see scraggly red and yellow giant kelp fish and the shovelnose guitarfish.

The best Costa Rican Companies offering snorkeling packages

Snorkeling packages are offered by companies active in the industry will vary, by cost, contents and features. However there you will see best snorkeling organizers serve you at competitive rates, with utmost satisfaction. One such firm is Rich Coast Diving which is founded in 1993. It offers training programs as well. Aggressor Fleet Limited ( www.aggressor.com ), Diving Safaris De Costa Rica ( www.costaricadiving.net ) and Undersea Hunter ( www.underseahunter.com ) are also in the best companies list who offers most competitive snorkeling packages to locals and foreigners and best in their industry. They offer services all the years disregarding the weather conditions and you may take the advantages and are likely to enjoy different weather. Mostly in Central America there would be a tropical weather such as warm water, breezing air and humid wind all the year. High temperature you are likely to enjoy that is good for snorkeling. So it is better to have snorkeling tour to Costa Rica or any other place of Central America at any month of the year. You may enjoy without any major danger which is caused by weather and like that.


The main risk that a snorkeler faces is the condition known as shallow-water black out. In that problem a diver passes and he does not realize that he is running out of breath. In this condition the balance point of both oxygen and carbon dioxide are in upset. When a person snorkeling or diving, carbon dioxide level of blood is increases and a natural urge of breathing may rise. But shallow-water blackout can occur if a diver exhales too much right before a free dive and eliminates the natural levels of carbon dioxide in the respiratory and circulatory systems of the body. During the dive carbon dioxide does not accumulate faster than the body tissues consume oxygen. Without feeling the requirement of breathing he remain underwater and oxygen level depletes faster and this causes to state hypoxia and diver passes out. Sea plants and animals can also pose a risk to snorkelers.The most common forms of injury are stings from jellyfish or jellyfish larvae, called sea lice. Some corals and poisonous fish can cause injury as well. Sometimes shark attacks may possible.

Other main risk is coming from boaters. When boaters do not see snorkelers are swimming underwater they are likely to row their boat and causes injuring snorkelers. So as snorkeler is colored visible to others there may be occasions not seeing them. That causes accidents and whole sufferer is snorkeler. A clear search and understanding before navigate by using snorkeler is wanted. It alone can reduce dangers coming by boats and harmful sea life. Well experienced snorkeler knows how to overcome by emergencies and clear vision on his vision is recommended for beginners. Regular breathing while swimming is also required in order to overcome shallow water black out effects. Lot of training courses is available to beginners. Otherwise self-study is also good for them because snorkeling is not so sophisticated work out. One can do it with a little effort. What is your plan?