Snorkeling is a wonderful way to get a glimpse under the sea. Even those who do not swim can enjoy this sport. By simply strapping on a life preserver and floating, people of all ages and abilities can enjoy looking at the treasures beneath the surface of the water. Family groups can take a snorkeling tour to enjoy quality vacation time together. Those who enjoy coral reefs, multi-colored fish and skittering crabs can see all of these and more while resting peacefully on the ocean's surface. Snorkeling is also an excellent way for those studying marine life to get an up close look at diversity around old docks and shipwrecks. The added bonus is that snorkeling does not require any certification like scuba diving does. In just a few simple steps people can be prepared to snorkel.
What Can You See?
People go to many destinations to see specific things while snorkeling. Those heading to the Caribbean have an excellent chance to see shell beds, star fish, and volcanic rock in the shallowest waters. A little further out and blue striped fish in great groups can be seen along with corals of all kinds. People snorkeling around Florida will see great coral swatches filled with colorful fish, sharks and even barracuda. In the shallow waters off the coast of North Carolina snorkelers can explore and enjoy multiple shipwrecks teeming with abundant fish, eels, and other marine life. In the clear waters around Bora Bora you can see sharks, abundant fish, starfish and conch. Some people even snorkel in lakes where the water is clear. Mountain lakes may not provide as much to look at, but people can still find interesting fish and freshwater clams.
Equipment Needed For Snorkeling
Since very little equipment is needed for snorkeling, this sport is very easy on the wallet. In the simplest form, snorkeling requires a diving mask and a tube to breath through, called a snorkel. Some people purchase swim fins to help them through the waters. Others swim barefooted. The snorkels can go up in price depending on the options they offer. Some snorkels have purge valves. When water gets in, it is easily purged back out through this valve. Other snorkels are 'dry snorkels'. These have a float valve mechanism that prevents water from going down into the snorkel tube. These are a favorite with people who are a little skittish in water. People who prefer not to have a snorkel mouthpiece and tube to hold on to can also get a full face mask snorkel. These have a breathing tube designed into the top of the full face mask. These masks offer higher visibility and an ease of use that make them very popular with first-time snorkelers and professionals alike.
Popular Snorkeling Destinations
People enjoy snorkeling where the water is calm. It is hard to keep steady on top of choppy, rough waters. Many people put the Great Barrier Reef on their bucket list of places to snorkel. Over a thousand types of fish, huge sea turtles, and abundant coral species make this a snorkeling paradise. The Crystal River in Florida is a fantastic place to view manatees and their calves as they slowly float along. Hawaii is one of the top snorkeling destinations in the world. The waters are protected and crystal clear. The temperatures are always warm. Snorkelers in Hawaii can see humpback whales, spinner dolphins, sea turtles, many types of corals, and even Hawaiian monk seals.