The 1950s were the heyday of older-generation snorkel-masks, first for the pioneers of underwater hunting and then for the general public who swam in their wake. One even-minded authority of the time declared that "the advantage of this kind of mask is mainly from the comfort point of view. It fits snugly to one's face, there is no mouthpiece to bite on, and one can breathe through either nose or mouth". Another concluded with absolute conviction that "built-in snorkel masks are the best" and "a must for those who have sinus trouble." Yet others, including a co-founder of the British Sub-Aqua Club, deemed masks with integrated snorkels to be complicated and unreliable: "Many have the breathing tube built in as an integral part of the mask. I have never seen the advantage of this, and this is the opinion shared by most experienced underwater swimmers I know". Six decades on, a new generation of snorkel-masks has come to the marketplace (see Figure 3).
Glad to see you mentioned the Cook Islands – my husband and I went to Rarotonga for a week in 2008 and fell in love with it – can’t wait to someday bring our kids back there – they would love it, too! Very few people have actually heard of the Cooks, or know where they are, and while I like the “secrecy” of it, I wish more people would visit! Currently there are only 1-2 flights/week from the US – makes planning trips there a bit tougher!We only took a day trip to Aitutaki because of time, but it was probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. Glad to see you agree!
Sounds like you’ve had some interesting adventures! If you’re looking for a mindful community, I would recommend somewhere away from the tourist hot spots in Bali or if you want to get away from the drunken backpackers and one week tourist hordes entirely, the nearby island of Lombok is absolutely surreal in it’s beauty but you might find getting reliable Internet difficult there.
Fins- We always recommend renting fins, especially when swimming long distances. I used to be a huge cheapskate when it came to renting fins but trust me, they do make a difference. Rent fins that are not too tight but also not too loose. When swimming with fins, be mindful that you don’t kick and knock over any corals. Check if your fins fit properly- ill fitting fins can make or break your snorkeling experience.
People head out to OB for the nice, wide, swath of sand. There's also the Ocean Beach pier—the longest pier on the West Coast—where you can try your hand at pier fishing. If you have a four-legged friend, go to Dog Beach, just north of the main beach, and unleash your pup to romp in the sand and surf. Or, stroll along Newport Avenue, the main drag in OB's business district, and take in the small-town feel.
Our women's bikini swimsuits are perfect for swimming or just catching some rays, but you'll need a few other things to complete your look. Grab a trendy tote to hold essentials like sunblock and a good beach read. Protect your eyes from UV rays with some new sunglasses, and make sure that your face stays free from sunspots with a wide-brimmed hat. The right accessories can upgrade your bikini from cute to must-have status.