Wondering what is snorkeling? Snorkeling is a fun activity that can be enjoyed by both adults and children. Snorkeling is similar to scuba diving, but you don’t need an expensive license to do it.
The word “snorkel” comes from the German word Schnorchel which means “snout”. It was invented during WWII when the German navy needed something that would allow its soldiers to breathe beneath the surface of the water. After WWII, Dutch manufacturers started selling it to civilians and had more success than they did with soldiers.
Are Snorkeling & Scuba Diving the Same?
Today, snorkeling is often mistaken for scuba diving because both are worn on the head, have a mouthpiece on one end, and require the person to breathe through their mouth. But there are many differences between snorkeling and scuba diving:
– Snorkelers stay on the surface of the water while scuba divers go underwater.
– People who snorkel can still talk because they don’t need air tanks like those worn by scuba divers. Scuba divers, on the other hand, are unable to talk while wearing their tanks.
– Snorkeling masks do not go over the eyes like scuba diving masks; scuba divers often view underwater images through their masks while snorkelers look straight ahead without any special lenses.
– A tube runs from the top of a snorkeler’s head, delivering air from a tank to the mouthpiece. Scuba divers use a regulator they carry on their backs to supply them with oxygen from an underwater tank.
– Snorkeling is often done close to shore or in shallow water while scuba diving is usually done far from land in deep ocean water.
Types of Snorkeling
According to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), about 15 million Americans go snorkeling or diving each year. There are three primary types:
- Scuba Diving
Snorkeling is done in shallow water and is usually close to shore. Participants breathe through a tube that delivers air from a tank; the tube has a mouthpiece to keep it sealed.
Free-diving is done in deeper water and requires holding one’s breath until resurfacing; there is no breathing equipment like snorkeling. Breathing rhythmically underwater can increase calm and relaxation, and free divers often hold their breath for up to five minutes.
Scuba Diving is done for many purposes, including using re-breather equipment or diving with tanks to carry oxygen supplies. There are three types of scuba divers: Recreational, Advanced Open Water, and Professional.
When people go snorkeling they usually use a thin mask, a thin tube on the top of their head, and swim fins. Some snorkeling masks come with cameras attached to them for people to take pictures underwater.
Snorkelers can also wear diving goggles that fit over the mask. Scuba divers may use a thicker face mask with an extended lip around their mouthpiece or attach additional items to the tank they wear on their back.
Why Do People Do Snorkeling?
You might have many questions that carry in your mind like what is snorkeling or why people do this type of activity? The answer to these questions is that people enjoy snorkeling because it is an inexpensive way to explore the beauty of the underwater environment. It allows participants to swim beside sea life without causing any harm to the creatures.
Health Benefits of Snorkeling:
There are several health benefits associated with frequent snorkeling including increased lung capacity due to exercise, lower blood pressure levels because of the relaxing nature of swimming, and better overall respiratory function.
How Long Does Snorkeling Last?
Snorkeling can last between 20 minutes and several hours depending on the diver’s level of endurance. According to PADI, it is more physically demanding than scuba diving because divers must be able to hold their breath for long periods of time.
Is Snorkeling Safe?
Wondering what is snorkeling and if it is a safe activity for you? While snorkeling can be fun and exciting, it is important to use caution when exploring the underwater world. Snorkelers should never snorkel by themselves. Divers also need to be aware of natural dangers like venomous sea creatures or waves that can knock them off their feet.
Snorkeling requires good physical condition since divers must be able to hold their breath and keep their mouths shut. Snorkeling is often done close to the resting spot of the snorkeled, but scuba divers must carry equipment and gear which can be heavy and cumbersome.
Precautions to be Taken While Snorkeling?
If you are thinking about what is snorkeling and what precautionary measures should you take while doing it then follow these guidelines:
1) Snorkelers should never snorkel by themselves or in areas with strong currents.
2) To avoid damaging reefs and sea life, it is crucial to use caution when exploring the underwater world. Some of the most dangerous creatures in the ocean include
- Sea snakes
- Spiny fish like lionfish
- and stonefish
- Box jellyfish
3) Scuba divers should use caution when exploring deeper waters, especially in areas with poor visibility. Many scuba divers carry emergency equipment like a safety sausage and a whistle to signal for help if they become lost or trapped underwater.
4) Always check the weather carefully before snorkeling.
5) Snorkeling should never be used as a form of exercise, and it should only be done in shallow water where risks are lower and visibility is good.
6) Divers need to leave plenty of time for decompression stops after diving down, and they must always monitor their depth and duration.
7) Divers need to practice breathing regularly while underwater, and they should always resurface slowly in order to give the body time to adjust.
8) Scuba divers should never dive alone or without a buddy nearby, and snorkelers should avoid swimming with sharks and other aggressive fish.
9) It is crucial to use a snorkeling float if the water is too deep, and it is important for divers to stay within their limits.
10) Water temperatures can vary greatly between seasons, so the diver should always have proper clothing on hand. A full wet suit keeps divers warm in cold water, while a rash guard protects against sunburn in warmer water.
11) Snorkelers should always check for discomfort or pain that could signal an injury or illness, and divers should seek medical attention immediately if health problems occur.
What Is The Proper Technique For Snorkeling?
Snorkeling requires a diver to swim with the aid of fins while using diving gear like goggles, a snorkel, and a diving mask. For beginners, it is best to start out close to shore in shallow water where currents are more manageable.
Conclusion: What is Snorkeling?
So, now you are aware of what is snorkeling and what precautionary measures should you follow while doing this adventure in the water. This activity is a fun, low impact way to get in shape while enjoying the beauty of nature. Divers and snorkelers need to be aware of natural dangers like sea creatures and currents in order to stay safe when exploring underwater worlds.