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Ocean Beach is one of the most inexpensive places to visit in San Francisco! There's plenty of parking and most of what you can do is free! I was fortunate enough to have time to chase sunsets recently. Admittedly, the sunset took place behind some clouds but I'm familiar with the scene. It's been ages since I've hung out here and it was interesting to be surrounded by several cars from Sacramento. Must've been the long weekend! It was a windy day so actually getting out of the car was impossible. Well, unless you're ok collecting sand in your hair (and ears and nose)!! Ha! Growing up, I was spoiled with Ocean Beach being so close. Many nights and mornings were spent here working on my list of lofty goals, being a rebel with a 40 oz and J (ok, much hasn't changed), jogging the trail, kissing the cool mist, bond fires during the summer... You won't find a ferris wheel, amusement park, or row of palm trees but nearby is the San Francisco Zoo (for all you animals!!) and a lot of restaurants. Bring a jacket!
A swimmers’ snorkel is a tube typically about 30 centimeters long and with an inside diameter of between 1.5 and 2.5 centimeters, usually L- or J-shaped and fitted with a mouthpiece at the lower end; constructed of rubber and plastic. It is used for breathing air from above the water surface when the wearer's mouth and nose are submerged. The snorkel usually has a piece of rubber that attaches the snorkel to the outside of the strap of the diving mask.
Choose a beach spot that is alive, meaning it has lots of fish and corals to see. If you pick a dead or boring spot for your first time, you likely will not understand why people like doing this. And the most popular spots that everyone goes to, are most likely not the best spots (because all the traffic has killed the reef). Still, don't go out alone (always have a partner no matter what). When you are new, it is comforting to see other snorkelers on the water before you get in so you can get a sense of what the conditions might be like.
Rent equipment before you go to the beach, and give yourself time to adjust it and get used to it. Practice putting on your mask. Adjust the strap so it is lightly snug, but not tight. With a light inhale, your mask should suction to your face. That is what mostly holds it to your face. Now the snorkel. How does it feel in your mouth? Is it pulling awkwardly? Normally you can adjust the angle and height of your snorkel. You can adjust where it attaches to your face mask strap. And on some models you can rotate the soft silicone bottom for a better angle to your mouth. Practice putting on your fins.
Another safety concern is interaction and contact with the marine life during encounters. While seals and sea turtles can seem harmless and docile, they can become alarmed if approached or feel threatened. Some creatures, like moray eels, can hide in coral crevices and holes and will bite fingers when there is too much prodding going on. For these reasons, snorkeling websites often recommend an "observe but don't touch" etiquette when snorkeling.