Our contributor Yasemin Dalkilic is a 9-time Freediving World Champion, and the first woman to ever break the 400 ft depth mark on one breath of air. An environmentalist, a boater with hundreds of hours at the helm, and a famous diving and water safety instructor, she tells us everything we need to know about snorkeling the safe way.
Just like Formula One legend Michael Schumacher would answer when asked for the single most important advice he could give that keeping the tires properly inflated was it, I tell those who ask me what the best deep diving tip is, to make sure they first learn to snorkel safely before even thinking of going deep. Snorkeling, or the art of swimming on the surface perusing the bottom and its inhabitants while wearing fins, mask and a snorkel to breathe, is the foundation of all diving. It is also one of the most fun things to do in the water, especially as a group with family and friends, and a source of ever lasting memories. Provided there is something to see underwater, and there always is, snorkeling can be done virtually anywhere, anytime. And like all pastimes that are practiced so frequently, we tend to overlook its safety aspects. So, how should we approach snorkeling? Well, first, here are some general safety practices to observe:
Now that we have covered some common sense practices, let's start with equipment, how to choose it, and how to use it. There are two types of equipment in snorkeling, personal gear and safety gear. Let's tackle them in that order.