A snorkel can be useful when scuba diving as it is a safe way of swimming face down at the surface for extended periods to conserve the bottled air supply, or in an emergency situation when there is a problem with either air supply or regulator. Many dives do not require the use of a snorkel at all, and some scuba divers do not consider a snorkel a necessary or even useful piece of equipment, but the usefulness of a snorkel depends on the dive plan and the dive site. If there is no requirement to swim face down and see what is happening underwater, then a snorkel is not useful. If it is necessary to swim over heavy seaweed which can entangle the pillar valve and regulator if the diver swims face upward to get to and from the dive site, then a snorkel is useful to save breathing gas.
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Snorkels come in two orientations: Front-mounted (see Figure 4) and side-mounted (see Figure 5). The first snorkel to be patented in 1938 was front-mounted, worn with the tube over the front of the face and secured with a bracket to the diving mask. Front-mounted snorkels proved popular in European snorkeling until the late 1950s, when side-mounted snorkels came into the ascendancy. Front-mounted snorkels experienced a comeback a decade later as a piece of competitive swimming equipment to be used in pool workouts and in finswimming races, where they outperform side-mounted snorkels in streamlining. Front-mounted snorkels are attached to the head with a special head bracket fitted with straps to be adjusted and buckled around the temples (see Figure 4).
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Some commercial snorkeling organizations require snorkelers at their venue to wear an inflatable vest, similar to a personal flotation device. They are usually bright yellow or orange and have a device that allows users to inflate or deflate the device to adjust their buoyancy. However, these devices hinder and prevent a snorkeler from free diving to any depth. Especially in cooler water, a wetsuit of appropriate thickness and coverage may be worn; wetsuits do provide some buoyancy without as much resistance to submersion. In the tropics, snorkelers (especially those with pale skin) often wear a rashguard or a shirt and/or board shorts in order to help protect the skin of the back and upper legs against sunburn.
Snorkeling Report Int. gives the most detailed advice possible on the spots and potential dangers, but each individual is responsible for his or her own personal safety when snorkeling. For more information, please visit the snorkeling safety page. If you would like to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.
Snorkeling is a very popular sport for the young and old alike. Masks, snorkels, and fins provide comfort and freedom to swim and dive like a fish. But you must learn the use of each to achieve full enjoyment. Each item has an important function of its own. It should be emphasized that in any sport, the broader your knowledge and understanding, the better. It is strongly advised that you practice first in shallow water or a pool to get used to the equipment and gain confidence. Snorkeling is a wonderful activity that can be enjoyed by almost anyone. Basic snorkeling gear, along with a body of water and an hour of time is all that anyone needs to become a snorkeler. If you haven't already, give it a try - you'll love the new world beneath the water!
Ilha Grande, almost exactly midway between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, is heaven on earth—somewhat untouched, still, with deeply green jungle, turquoise water, and a totally laid-back vibe. Snorkeling here might include exploring colonial-era ship-wrecks, but take a dip in the Lagoa Azul first (think Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon) with delicious water temperatures in the mid- to upper-70s providing the perfect habitat for seahorses.
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