I came across this fine post by the Constance folks – “7 ways to get the most from diving and snorkelling” (it would be be a “Best of the Maldives” candidate for blogs, but it is not just focused on the Maldives as it includes all their properties). The top points are…
- Scan the area
- Use your peripheral vision
- Weird behaviours
- Don’t forget to look behind you
- Focus in close
- Pick one thing to look at
- Stop and listenIt’s a fine list, but I would add a couple more…
- Use a Flotation Aid – Especially if you are a weaker swimmer (either in technique, experience or fitness), consider one of the range of floatation devices available. Everything from a proper lifejacket to a simple float like a foam noodle. By providing extra buoyancy, the aid can reduce the effort in floating. However, don’t let the device seduce you into undertaking more than you are capable of even with the aid and always snorkel within your limits.
- Use a Snorkeling Guide – Nearly all resorts and dive centres will provide a personal guide for you. If you go on a snorkel safari, then they are almost always included as part of the excursion. But you can request someone to join you for your foray onto the house reef too. Not only will this provide an accomplished snorkeler to accompany you and make it safer for you (again, if you are a ‘weaker’ snorkeler, I recommended an accompanying guide even more emphatically), but also the guide will help you spot the good stuff. They will know where critters tend to frequent and will have trained eyes for spotting many things you will likely overlook.
- Don’t Touch – Don’t touch anything. This is for your own safety as otherwise innocuous marine life can hurt you with a bite or a sting if you reach out to touch it. Also, be extra careful of what your fins touch. Being an extension of your body that you are not used to and having no sensation, people very often kick coral inadvertently and cause massive damage over time.
Given the focus I have on snorkelling at Maldives Complete, I’ve upgraded “Snorkeling” to its very own main category on the blog.