The obvious question that comes to mind when you see this title is that can you Snorkel without being able to Swim? Well you can as snorkelling is not a diving sport but a surface sport to start with. You need to be able to float and you can easily do that with a floating device. Being a non-swimmer a few suggestions before you take the next step and explore this fun adventure knowing life underwater.
Snorkeling can be done in open waters or closer to the shore. For non swimmers it is suggested to paddle close to the shore. But you may not get to see the best marine life, so research online and check the sites in Goa that offer shallow water snorkelling. This means that the depth of the water is not too deep and it’s labeled as a site for beginners. Also, check that there are no strong undercurrents in which case you will have to paddle harder. You don’t want to lose all your stamina trying to fight the current. There are many snorkelling packages available in Goa, register with the best and experts as they will give you some training before you venture into the sea. The advantage to register with a guide is that you will be taken care of when in water and in case of emergencies.
Non-swimmers are expected to wear a floatation device. This will ensure that you don’t sink into the water. For expert swimmers, this is not necessary as they will want to swimmer deeper in the water and explore the depths. So put on the floatation device and get comfortable swimming in any water. This could also be if you have signed up for some training then you can float in the pool to get the feel of water. The floatation device is your insurance policy and there is no chance you can drown. Next, you will be given a snorkelling gear which consists of a face mask and a pair of flippers. Choose flippers that are fitting and tight when walking as in water they will tend to slip so don’t go for loose ones just for extra comfort. You need not walk with them instead wear them only when ready to enter the water.
The face mask consists of a snorkel tube which is put in the mouth to breathe. An eye mask will cover your nose as well so no water enters your eyes. Strap this tightly against the skull. You are ready to get into the water. A word of caution here is that you are going to breathe through the mouth and not through the nose so clamp on the snorkel tube lightly and not very hard as it will hurt your jaws later. Being a first-time swimmer you tend to forget this but clenching your jaws too hard won’t allow you to relax.
Don’t forget to breathe through the mouth and not the nose. Since being new to swimming you will be floating the tube will be above the water at all times, so you will have oxygen supply at all times to breathe. If you try to breathe through your nose no harm done but your mask will get misty with all the moisture and you will have to come up in the water many times to clear the mask. So don’t worry about sinking as you are in a floatation device just put your head down in the water and enjoy the marine life
A stiff body makes breathing difficult especially if your head is under water. So try to relax your shoulders and let your hands loose. It’s like a log floating on water. If you are afraid that you will venture into the water then you don’t have to worry as your trainers will be watching you and guiding you along. Don’t try to dive into the water with excitement until you try to float for a long time and learn to enjoy being in the sea. Once you get comfortable you can try to go deeper into the sea.
We are intruders in the underwater life so remember whatever you do as new or experienced divers, be wary of the ocean creatures and the reefs. Avoid stepping on the corals or catching fish by hand or throwing rubbish in the sea. Let the ecosystem thrive and that in turn will boost tourism.