Snorkeling is one of the many water sports you and your family can do while vacationing in the Bahamas. Snorkeling is easy for everyone in family to enjoy. Beginners and experts can snorkel along the shoreline or take a snorkeling excursion to deeper water. Spend the day floating above the reef or dive into the crystal clear water to get a closer look at the coral and tropical fish. If you are vacationing on the Grand Bahamas Island, be sure check out Port Lucaya for snorkeling cruises on catamarans and see the most stunning reefs.
Snorkeling requires minimal training, but it is recommended that you be a strong swimmer. For those who are not strong swimmers, it is recommended that you snorkel near the shore. There is still plenty to see without going into deep waters, but if you chose to take an excursion, you want to let the staff know you swimming ability. If you take a snorkeling tour, the dive staff usually offers instructions to learn the basics of how to use the snorkel. It is helpful to know how to expel water that may get into the snorkel.
If you should get to the reefs be careful not to touch anything; this is recommend for your safety and for the safety of the coral. The Bahamas spreads over 100,000 square miles of ocean and includes stretches of underwater reefs.
Snorkeling requires just a few pieces equipment: a mask, a snorkel, fins, a snorkel vest, an underwater camera and of course sunscreen. If you take a snorkeling tour all the equipment will be provided for you, and sometimes the tours will include snacks and beverages, but you will need to confirm this during the booking process. Some all-inclusive resorts (Our Lucaya and Viva Windham) will offer you equipment during your stay, and you are always welcome to bring your own equipment.
The mask is your window to view all the wonders in the Bahamian water, and the fit of your mask can make the difference between a fun experience or a frustrating afternoon. The general rule to a good fitting mask is to place the mask to your face, hold your breath then gently press the mask to your face, a proper fitting mask will create suction. If you plan to snorkel often, you may consider purchasing your own mask and if you wear prescription glasses, you can have a mask made with your prescription.
The snorkel is the tube that attaches to the mask that provides the air while you are submerged. Snorkels come in different colors, choosing a neon color is an added safety bonus. Some snorkels even come with splashguards to help keep the waves from dumping water into the tube. The snorkel should be comfortable in your mouth and hold the amount of air you need. Most divers prefer owning their own snorkel for sanitary reason.
Some divers will say you don’t need fins (sometimes called flippers), but if you are caught in a current or want to dive deeper you will want the power the fins offer. Fins come in sizes like shoes, be sure to pick the rights size and make sure they fit comfortably. There are many styles of fins that suit your body type and leg strength. The more you snorkel the more you might consider purchasing your own pair of fins.
The snorkeling vest usually brings groans from most swimmers, but it can be deflated if you want to. These vests come in varying sizes (youth to adult) with the inflatable side worn in the front and the strap on the back and coming up through the crotch. Most tours will not let your snorkel without a vest, but it is a good practice to wear one when snorkeling far off shore.
No snorkeling excursion would be complete without the pictures of you and your family enjoying themselves in the blue waters, and swimming among the brightly colored fish. Be sure to take pictures of the brightly colored fish, as there will be many to see in the Bahamas.
And don’t forget the sun screen; you will be snorkeling face down in the water exposing your back to the bright sun. It takes minutes to get sunburned in the Caribbean sun, not to mention the silly pattern the straps make on your back.
Snorkeling is a fun way to spend the day exploring the ocean bottom, seeing unique colorful fish or something bigger. Whether you take an organized tour or go off on your own the Bahamian water has a beautiful story to tell you if you are willing to dive in to find it.