The coasts and islands of Spain are great places to learn how to snorkel, particularly sheltered rocky coves teeming with first and other marine life. Before you take the plunge, however, follow these simple steps to happy, safe and leakproof snorkeling.
1. Get gear that fits
Hold the mask up to your face and breathe in through your nose. If it sticks to your face when you take your hands away, it fits. Choose a snorkel with a mouthpiece that isn’t so big it hurts your gums. Fins should be snug, not tight.
2. A bit of spit
To stop the inside of your mask misting over, rub a little spit, a dab of toothpaste or a drop of baby shampoo over the glass, then rinse thoroughly.
3. Practice in the bath
Much more fun than plastic ducks or bubble mixture, a snorkel lesson in the bath will help you get used to breathing through a snorkel. Make sure the mask strap is high on the back of your head and not too tight. Put the snorkel mouthpiece all the way in your mouth and close your lips around it.
4. Ready for the sea
Start in a calm, shallow area. Lie face down and relax. For extra buoyancy wear a lifejacket or wetsuit. Make sure you’re happy with everything before you swim out of your depth.
5. Clearing water
If water seeps into your mask, tread water and pull the lower edge of the mask away from your face to allow It to drain out. A burst of air should shoot any water out of your snorkel.
6. Fin like a mermaid
Use a relaxed ‘fluttering’ kick with your flippers. If you’re doing it right, there should not be too much splashing.
7. Don’t overdo it
Every few minutes lift your head above the surface to check. that currents haven’t taken you too far from the shore.
Always be aware of boats in the area and stay well clear of breaking waves. Remember, It’s far more rewarding to fin gently over one small area, observing the life below you, than to fin madly, see nothing and risk leg cramps.
8. Be sun smart
Wear a surf vest with built-in sun protection, smother the back of your neck and legs with waterproof sunblock and avoid snorkeling during the middle of the day.