Snorkeling Basics

If you've never tried snorkeling before, be prepared to have the time of your life! Key West snorkeling is like nothing you could ever imagine. If it's your first time in the water with a pair of fins on, you need to know a few basics so you will feel prepared.

Practice in Shallow water if Possible

If possible, try out your snorkel mask and snorkel in shallow water first. If you are going out on a Key West snorkeling trip, this may not be an option for you, and that's OK; your snorkel instructor will go over this with you on the boat.

If you are able to try out your mask in shallow water, enter the water and put your mask on. Tighten the straps on the sides of the mask sufficiently to create a waterproof seal around your face. Place the mouth section of the snorkel in your mouth and gently lower yourself underneath the surface of the water. Practice breathing through the snorkel until you get used to the idea.

Here are three more techniques you can practice there in the shallows or in the open water on your snorkel trip:

Clearing a snorkel

Once you are out in open water, there will be numerous opportunities for water to suddenly be forced down the snorkel tube. If this happens, don't panic, there's an easy fix for this. Make sure the end of your snorkel is above water and then exhale through the snorkel in a quick burst. This will force all of the extra water out of your tube, effectively andlsquo;clearing' it.

Clearing your mask

Another problem that may occur is your mask suddenly filling with water. This is not unusual, and there's an easy fix for this, too. Lift your head above the water line and then pull the mask straight out, away from your face. This will break the vacuum and the water will immediately purge out of your mask.

If your mask has a built-in purge, you can remove the water while you are still underneath the surface, by exhaling through your nose. The purge will remove the water from your mask.

Dealing with a Fogged-Up Mask

After you've been snorkeling awhile, you may find that your mask is fogging up. This happens due to the condensation from your own breath that accumulates on the mask. You have a couple of options here. First, you can remove the mask and rinse it underwater to remove the condensation.

Second, an option used by seasoned divers is to remove the mask, then spit a couple of times into the mask, rubbing the spit into the glass and the silicone. Yes, spit. Spit actually gets in between water molecules, preventing them from linking up to form condensation. Quickly rinse the mask out with sea water.

If you think about it before you begin diving, go ahead and andlsquo;prep' your facemask by spitting into it and rubbing it around the inside glass and silicone. Then lightly rinse it with sea water.

Snorkeling Fins

Now that you can breathe through the snorkel and purge your mask and snorkel, it's time to try out those fins. Move into deeper water, where you won't touch the bottom. Flip over so you are face down in the water. Breathe through your snorkel, using your fins to propel you through the water, using a gentle flutter stroke. Once you are comfortable with this technique, you can keep your fins underwater, where they will be much more effective and won't disturb other snorkelers. Leave your arms down by your side, unless you're taking a photo with an underwater camera!

Snorkel with Friends

When you are out snorkeling, it is essential that you have a snorkel buddy with you. The two of you need to stay in close contact with each other. Make sure you know where your buddy is at all times, and vice versa. This way you can help each other if there's an emergency.

Key West Snorkeling Advantages

Key West offers some of the most beautiful scenic underwater beauty of any place in the world. With over 500 species of tropical fish inhabiting the coral reef, as well as numerous sea creatures and wildlife like the entertaining sea horses, endangered green sea turtles and eerie nursing sharks, you will find an incredible variety of life to witness. Aren't you ready to try a snorkel adventure?

A Key West snorkel will open up a whole new world to you.