Old Oct 9th, 2006, 01:22 AM
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I just have a quick query regarding snorkling. I am not a good swimmer, can only do some paddling in the water . Is it essential that i need to be able to swim in order to snorkle will there be people there to help me along?
saorise is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2006, 08:22 AM
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Many companies that offer snorkeling trips also offer flotation vests for those who are not strong swimmers. In any event, you can just float around, viewing what is beneath you, and not swim much at all.

As to people helping, I don't know where "there" is. Certainly many tour operators that offer snorkeling outings include an in-the-water guide.
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Old Oct 9th, 2006, 08:45 AM
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The best way to snorkle is to lie flat in the water and only move your legs a little so you do not disturb the water. Try not to move your arms at all. Just keep them out in front. If you are barely moving, the fish will come closer to you.

And if you are overweight, the floating should be a little easier. In the States, they require people to wear a life vest which has just a little air in it and helps one float.

The only time you really need to swim is to get closer to the action.
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Old Oct 9th, 2006, 09:06 AM
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Hi, Saorise, did you know that salt water makes you quite buoyant? It is much, much easier to float in the ocean than in a pool. As ALF said, there isn't always much swimming per se in snorkeling, just paddling around, especially if you go out with a boat tour. Just float comfortably (my arms are usually in by my sides), and kick when you want to go somewhere. I like swim fins, we ordered the split fins from the internet for around $30 USD and they give me a lot of confidence if there is any distance to swim. As ALF said, you can buy thin vests that you fill with just a little air if you want to. Snorkeling is so much fun--the underwater life is so amazing, that it is worth any effort it takes. I was afraid of deep water before I went snorkeling. Once you can see what's "down there", it's not scary at all but quite addictive--so beware!!
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Old Oct 9th, 2006, 11:04 AM
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I always rent a wetsuit when I go snorkeling even if I don't think I will need it to keep me warm. The wetsuit provides extra floatation and I find it easy just to float on top of the water and watch the fish when I'm wearing one. All the boats I have taken have them on board and rent them for around A$5. You might want to check this out with any tour you are considering taking.
Also, if you are going to be in Port Douglas, look at Wavelength. They are a small, snorkel-only boat (max 30 passengers) and are used to having first-time snorkelers on board. They are really good with making the first-timers very comfortable with the equipment and with tips to help them have a great snorkeling experience.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 06:25 AM
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short snorkelling lesson which any reef operator will give, not just Wavelength, they're all used to first time snorkellers. Make sure you get the nearest fit for fins and mask, they're set up in boxes by size, then spit into inside front of mask. Wipe the spit about a bit and rinse with seawater. Adjust mask so its comfortable but not so tight it leaves a ring around your head. Put your fins on just before you enter water, its almost impossible to walk any distance in them without tripping and falling over. If you have a moustache or beard you may find there's water leakage into mask, a bit of Vaseline works wonders. Put snorkel in mouth, get into water and remember to breathe through mouth. You really can't do anything else. To move in water use your thighs, don't flap about with ankle. Fins will keep you remarkably buoyant, a wet suit more so and you're virtually unsinkable with a life jacket, always provided if you feel you need it. You don't need to use your arms, by your side is fine.

You don't say where you'll be snorkelling from but if around Cairns visit Reef Teach, its extremely worthwhile for anyone contemplating a reef trip.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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Pat gave some great detailed advise.

I will only add - GET A VEST. This will only add to your experience -- it's like a security blanket and you won't have to worry about anything!

While I can swim, I have some "issues" with water but I don't let that stop me from snorkelling, which is wonderful. I wouldn't dream of going in without a vest, makes all the difference in the world!



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