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How to Snorkel or Improve Your Snorkeling Technique
Part II - Getting in the Water

Snorkeling (also known as skin diving) is a tool used to access one of nature's most marvelous realms, and the ocean remains one of the best arenas for exercising our sense of discovery, as well as our bodies. The key to successful snorkeling is relaxation in the water. The tips below assume you already have well fitting equipment. If not see Part I - How to Snorkel.

Before Entering the Water

  • Ensure eco-safe waterproof sunscreen has been applied 30 minutes prior to entering the water, use a t-shirt or rash guard too
  • Test out all your equipment and make sure it fits properly before entering the water, never stand on the reef to adjust gear, seek a sandy area instead.
  • Consider bringing a buoyancy vest or other floatation device even if you are an experienced swimmer
  • Snorkeling is a buddy sport, don't forget yours!

While in the Water

  • Never turn your back on the ocean - it will get you!
  • Choose a sandy area to enter and exit. Never step on hard bottom as there are rocks, corals and sea urchins close to shore which can harm you or you could harm them
  • It is important to be aware and control your fins at all times; avoid kicking up the sand or sediment
  • Scuba divers should practice good buoyancy control and keep all gauges, fins and other accessories from dragging on the bottom.
  • Duck or dive under breaking waves before they reach you. Don't try to jump over of turn your back.
  • Observe animals exhibiting their natural behaviors rather than stimulate them to entertain, never feed or touch marine life, including feeding fish (great video!).
  • Leave coral, sand, shells and rocks where they lay, they provide valuable resources for marine life, never remove anything from except garbage from the marine environment
  • Respect native Hawaiian cultural sites, practices and sacred places (great video!)
  • Obey and read all posted signs
  • Use moorings or anchor in the sand
  • Never swim against a current - swim diagonally through it
  • Knowing your personal limitations is a vital skill often overlooked. Recognize them and remain alert to them. There is no good reason to push your limits. They will change with each snorkeling opportunity presented.
  • Factors to consider are water temperature, surge, currents, and visibility. fish bite oahu snorkeling

No Fish Feeding

chub bite to hand after feeding fish while snorkeling Fish feeding has been shown to change reef systems, and make fish aggressive (see the bite to the right?).

Help the reef and stay safe, please leave the food at home.

A relaxed snorkeler gets more pleasure out of snorkeling and a greater appreciation of the environment. You are also less threatening (and less of a target). When the aquatic wildlife realizes you are not a threat, they resume their normal routine, allowing you to experience their world.

Our wildlife tours focus on education and conservation so that an interactive relationship can be maintained in the best interest of both humans and dolphins. We teach admiration and deep respect for these wonderful mammals.

Guided Snorkeling Tour, Oahu | Hawaii

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