Any one a snorkeling gear expert ??
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Thread: Any one a snorkeling gear expert ??

  1. #1
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    Heretic Any one a snorkeling gear expert ??

    I urgently need guidance on purchase of snorkel gear and fins for a yucatan vacay coming up for teens and seniors who have never snorkeled. Is any one experienced enough to chime in on what kind of masks and breathing devices are best for kids, beginners and Fins. Also do they and we wear neck life vests, waist inflatables, floaties ~~ what kind of preservers? Any and ALL help appreciated before we buy . Sincerely Chou

  2. #2
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    While you may have trouble finding it locally this time of year, inexpensive gear bought from large retailers would serve your purposes. You can get high dollar gear from any dive shop, but for a short vacation, scuba quality gear is way overkill. Virtually any snorkel will suffice, fins must be fitted much like shoes, a mask should be fitted to the individual. To fit a mask, place against the face and reduce pressure in mask by breathing in through your nose (do not use strap to hold mask). Let go of mask, and if it stays in place, it will be waterproof. If it falls off, it will leak water. Do NOT get a mask that only covers the eyes as you will be unable to equalize pressure when diving below surface, thus risking rupturing an eardrum. People with mustaches may have difficulty getting masks to be water tight.

    The human body is buoyant when you do not try to lift you head above water. In fact, I have to wear 6 pounds of lead weights to compensate and be neutrally buoyant, otherwise it is difficult to dive below the surface, weight required varies by individual. People who just want to observe from the surface need no weight belt.

    Since I deep dive, I have never used any type of flotation device, as I said, human body in naturally buoyant. Things like life preservers are totally unacceptable as they are designed to hold the wearer face up. I would be reticent to snorkel with anyone who feels uncomfortable being in water without any gear. In other words, if you can't swim, don't snorkel. Rather than some type of wearable flotation, I would think some type of foam noodle to just hold onto would be suitable. If you wear any flotation, you will be unable to dive beneath the surface. Scuba divers who wear inflatable BC vests also wear weights to compensate.

    The thing about water is that most people drown because they try to hold their whole head above water. Anyone who goes in the water should be familiar with "drownproofing" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drownproofing. This is a simple technique which can be taught in minutes. Be sure everyone knows it! You will be MORE buoyant in salt water than fresh, so it is easier to stay afloat in the ocean. For some reason I have become more buoyant over the years (I never needed weights to dive before), and found this last summer that in salt water, my whole head remained above the surface (somewhat unusual, most people float at about nose level).

    The beauty of snorkeling is its simplicity, the less gear the better. So I suggest just mask, fins and snorkel and maybe just any simple free floating device so the diver can relax a bit more.

    One hot tip for beginners. Masks have a tendency to fog up. To prevent this, you can buy a specially made solution or you can just spit inside the mask, rub it all over the inside of the glass. and rinse before putting mask on.

    ALWAYS be aware of currents. I have saved more than one person who thought it was wonderful to just drift along with no effort and watch the bottom go by. Trouble is, when they wanted to return to the boat, they found it difficult to impossible to swim back against the current. ALWAYS swim up current from the boat, if you get tired, you can just relax and drift back to the boat. This concept is not something that comes to the mind of the inexperienced, so explain it to newbies. When I dive, I always let the boat drift with me rather than anchor it, and always maintain an awareness of where the boat is. Wind can affect the movement of a boat differently than a submerged diver, it is possible to have the boat blown away from you even when both are drifting in a current.

    ALWAYS dive with a partner!

    Hope this helps. any other questions glad to help. Snorkel diving is a passion of mine and I feel as at home on the reefs as I do in the Hogscalds.

  3. #3
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    have you inquired in the area you are going if they rent this equipment. Many destination resort areas have rentals and guided tours as well. It would save you a lot of money.

  4. #4
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    Id give C&J Sports a call. They are on 187 near the dam. They give scuba lessons and do dive trips. They should be able to provide you with expertise and gear.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by June E View Post
    have you inquired in the area you are going if they rent this equipment. Many destination resort areas have rentals and guided tours as well. It would save you a lot of money.
    I would agree with this with one caveat. Take extreme measures to disinfect gear that may have been used by potentially hundreds of other people. This is because of MRSA https://www.healthline.com/health/mrsa a antibiotic resistant staph infection, a pathogen which has a tendency to reside in the nose. When you dive, water pressure puts pressure on the sinuses, and huge amounts of nose phlegm tends to be ejected into ones mask. People with active MRSA infections can pass the infection through contact (see link). I know from personal experience that a MRSA infection is not something you will enjoy. One landed me in the hospital for 5 days, required intravenous specialized antibiotics (and tons of morphine), and fortunately it happened while I was stateside and not out on the ocean somewhere as I was informed that if treatment had been delayed another 48 hours, it would likely have been fatal. This is an extremely virulent bacteria, in my case it spread from one small insect bite to a whole quadrant of my body in less than 72 hours. This infection transmits most easily through breaks in the skin, and coral cuts are common in diving as corals are razor sharp.

    Rehab from this infection took 8 weeks. After returning to Eureka, I asked my doc if I should be follow up tested for MRSA, and was told that it was useless because as many as 50% of people will test positive even though they have no active infection.
    Who am I? Why am I here? -Admiral James Stockdale-

  6. #6
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    Good to hear from you again, Hermit!
    - bikeguy

    DON'T TELL ME TO CALM DOWN !

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeguy View Post
    Good to hear from you again, Hermit!
    Well thanks Bikeguy, nice to be back among my friends in the mountains after 6 wonderful months among friends in the islands. Bahamas was gorgeous (still). Might still be there if I hadn't popped a hernia, but now home for a while for a little repair job, then off again into the wild blue. Only downside was sailing for days through the massive red tide on Florida's west coast, very sad to see the death and suffering it caused to wildlife.

    We had many adventures, it seems like every day something unexpected and wonderful would happen. I was even honored when returning to a remote island I hadn't visited in forty years, I was given the gift of the islands flag when I stopped there to pay my respects to people I knew there who are long dead but still revered by their descendants. Long story.

    I doubt that anywhere in the world are there happier and more congenial people than the Bahamians, I truly love being around them and being a part of their society.

    And theres nothing quite like having a dawn breakfast as the dolphin frolic around your boat and race under the bow.

    Added bonus, you didn't hear the word Trump for weeks on end!
    Who am I? Why am I here? -Admiral James Stockdale-

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