Dive or Snorkel

Apr 3rd, 2002, 11:13 AM
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Dive or Snorkel

Is it a lot better to scuba dive in the gbr, probably from around Port Douglas, rather than snorkel. If there is a great difference I want to get certified so I can truly experience the reef.
Apr 4th, 2002, 09:39 AM
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While snorkeling can be fun, I would recommend diving to get up close and personal with the reefs and their denizens. If you don't want to go through the full open-water diver certification (about 5 days), you can take a, "resort dive", which only requires an hour-long orientation, but limits your depth and bottom time. Many GBR operators offer resort dives.
Apr 4th, 2002, 02:25 PM
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I would highly recommend getting certified. I was petrified to dive, but I got certifed because I thought going out to the GBR and not diving it would be a "waste". While there are plenty of things to see snorkeling (in fact the reef is more colorful on top due to the sunlight), there are so many cool things to see (like sharks!) down below. Many people took the "intro dive", but if it were me, I'd be too nervous diving for the first time to enjoy the reef fully. Since I was certified, our group was smaller, and I felt very comfortable "playing" underwater. Get certified...it's worth every penny and every hour that you put in.
Apr 5th, 2002, 03:49 PM
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I'm in the process of getting certified right now. I have done a few resort dives before, but I'm really happy that I'm finally taking the time to get certified. Plus, there are some skills you learn getting certified that they kind of "brush over" in the resort dive class. These are things that could save your life (not to get dramatic), and you should really know what you're doing down there! If you've never been scuba diving, you will not believe the difference from snorkeling!
Apr 9th, 2002, 08:58 PM
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Unless you are likely to do it often, I'd vote for snorkel. I dove after getting certified, but here was a lot to remember (especially on depth and slow assent and descent to avoid the bends). Also can affect flying shortly after diving. If it's a one-time thing, I vote for snorkeling. I've done both. I can hold my breath fairly long and go down to a nice depth and see pretty much the same thing a scuba diver can see. If you are timid, you can stay on the surface and just look down. If you think you'll keep it up, by all means do the scuba.
Apr 13th, 2002, 06:14 PM
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My husband dives and I snorkel. I saw the sharks and he didn't. I vote for snorkeling unless you're really going to use the diving a lot after this trip. Snorkeling on the reef, especially on the little day trips from Port Douglas is every bit as rewarding as diving - more so, since there's less to fuss with. Unless you are on a dive exclusive holiday, on a live aboard or something of that nature, I wouldn't invest in the time or expense of learning to dive. My husband finally left his dive gear behind and snorkeled.
Apr 14th, 2002, 12:37 AM
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since the last two votes were for snorkeling, I'm gonna butt back in here.

TC makes a very good point...when you dive, it's more of a hassle. On the boats, you have to get your gear, then they tell you when you have to suit up (to take advantage of every minute they're at a site, they want you ready to go as soon as the boat stops!), and I would imagine it's more tiring than snorkeling, because you have to go at it for about 40 minutes at a time (and I did the max 3 dives a day.)

As TC also points out, it's a crapshoot on what you see...she saw the sharks, her husband didn't. You will see more things than you ever dreamed, just by snorkeling. BUT...

If you love the feeling of being weightless...of flying....you simply can't compare. Imagine this: I was "sitting", legs tucked a bit under me, in the water with my arms crossed in front of me. There was a light current, so I just "sat" there and let the water give me a gentle ride around a reef wall while I watched an amazing world go by. It was a sublime experience.

It was also fun to look at things upside down, peak in and out of caves, and just float around!

And I'll tell you one thing that a diver can see that a snorkeler can't see: Snorkelers can't kick back on the ocean floor, look up 60 feet to a surreal surface, and see other snorkelers who keep diving down to see things closer then go shooting back up to the surface to get air.

I love diving, not only for the things I see, but for how it feels...and baby, it feels sooooo good. =P
Apr 21st, 2002, 04:47 PM
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Hi there! I am a certified diver as well as an avid snorkeller. I also live in Port Douglas and I have been to the reef with every single tour operator.
Diving is vastly different to snorkelling.
Both are amazing.
For the first time experience I would recommend snorkelling with snorkelling specialists like Wavelength. (www.wavelength-reef.com.au)
Remember, 90% of the reef creatures live in the top 4 metres of water...so you will see a lot of aquatic life snorkelling.
If you wish to experience diving, then on another day do an introductory dive.
The reef will not appear as colorful because at depth you lose the reds and oranges from the color spectrum...so you can bring a torch if you like.. but generally the less gear you have to muck around with when doing a first time dive, the better.
If you really want to relax I would suggest the snorkelling option. Dive boats run a tight schedule and take the passengers to deeper sites for diving.
By all means try an intro dive at some stage, and if you like it then do your open water course.
You will love Port Douglas and the reef is mindblowing. I have been to the reef hundreds of times and it still blows me away!
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