By Dan Pyemont

What is Snorkelling

Snorkeling is a fun recreational activity searching for marine life utilizing diving goggles, a breathing tube and sometimes swim fins. When snorkeling, a person simply floats on top of the water naturally breathing through their air tube while looking at the ocean floor for marine life.


For snorkelling you only need a mask, snorkel, fins and swimming gear appropriate to the temperature of water you're snorkelling in.

Underwater Science

Equalising - This is how to equalize your ears when snorkelling, pinch your nose closed and gently breath out against your pinched nostrils. You should feel something happen in your ears as they equalize. Ear pressure equalization is usually accompanied by a popping/clicking/“poof” sound and a sensation of fullness in the ears.

Buoyancy - use your lungs and your (BCD) to keep yourself neutrally buoyant (or close to neutrally buoyant) during the entire descent. Weight belts are often used by expeirienced divers to help them swim down and observe coral and other marine life. The purpose of weight belts are to gain extra weight so your bouyancy doesnt keep you afloat, it is essential that you do not have too much weight attached to you as it would be very dangerous.

Diving Skills

Often divers in a smaller boat, with little room to move, sit on the sides to dress in their diving equipment. When instructed by the skipper, it is then an easy motion to roll backwards, placing a hand over the facemask and wrapping the arms over any loose hoses and attachments. An alternate approach, when there is more room to dress and manoeuvre, is to step off the boat with a large stride, again holding the hand over the mask and arms over the loose diving gear.

Finning is the motion of the movement of your fins or flippers when diving.

Dive planning is the process of planning an underwater diving operation.

The purpose of dive planning is to increase the probability that a dive will be completed safely and the goals achieved. Some form of planning is done for most underwater dives, but the complexity and detail considered may vary enormously.

Duckdiving involves bending at the waist and then kicking your legs in the air. This puts you in a vertical position which will take you under. Normally, you would keep the snorkel in your mouth and then blow the water out of the snorkel. Then you can carry on breathing without taking the snorkel out of your mouth.

There are two methods you can use to clear your snorkel - method one is the blast clear method. This involves blowing out through the snorkel to force the water out through the top, the scond method is displacement clear method. The displacement clear begins while you are still underwater. As you begin to surface, look straight up and exhale a small amount of air into the snorkel. As you ascend, the air will expand and displace the water. By the time you reach the surface, most if not all of the water will be cleared from the snorkel.

To clear your mask when snorkeling you follow these easy steps - just exhale through your nose while looking straight ahead (perhaps with a slight up-tilt) and anchoring the top of your mask to your forehead (by exerting pressure with your hand/fingers) - and your mask will be clear in no time.

Basic Snorkeling First-Aid

Basic Snorkeling First Aid consists of standerd water skills and first aid. This means things like CPR will need to be excuted when needed.

Dangers of Snorkeling

Use common sense and a good tour operator and you'll be fine. You shouldn't touch any corals so that's not an issue.The most dangerous creatures in the ocean are the same as the most dangerous creatures on land.