Good-To-Have Snorkel Gear

Snorkel Equipment That Every Snorkeler Should Have On Hand

Snorkelling is fun so long as you have the right gear. It’s hard to relax and focus on the fabulous stuff underwater if your mask leaks, snorkel floods easily and fins blister your feet. Here’s what you need to buy or rent as a snorkeler.

Mask Types

Buy a good-quality, perfect-fitting snorkel mask. Choose silicone over plastic.

Snorkel Options

Snorkels come in different styles and sizes. Buying the right snorkel is important for your preferences and mouth shape.

Fin Choices

Depending on your strength and skill level, pick snorkelling fins with open or closed feet. Split and solid options are available.

Water-Resistant Sunscreen

Use a water-resistant, reef-friendly sunscreen because most sunscreens contain chemicals that kill fish and bleach corals.

Rash Guards

For maximum sun protection, wear a full-body rash guard. A rash guard provides warmth and Jellyfish sting protection.

Buoyancy Vest

This inflatable lifesaver is a must-have tool for novice snorkelers. Use one even if you’re a confident swimmer.

A Snorkel Bag

Get a well-made, good-sized snorkel bag with padded straps to store your gear, keep it organised and allow it to dry. This bag is light to carry around.

Waterproof Bag

What about your wallet and car keys if you’re snorkelling on a public beach? Keep your keys, iPod, wallet and cell phone in a waterproof case so they don’t get stolen.

Snorkelling Belt

A snorkelling belt is used to carry shoes, cameras and other valuables. It’s easy to make your own elastic belt.

Weight Belt

Make diving easy with a weight belt. Used well, this belt allows you to stay underwater.

Snorkelling Shoes

On rocky shores, wear snorkelling shoes. Have a belt to carry the shoes. Another option is wearing boots in open fins if the fins are roomy enough.

Hair and Head Protection

Swim caps are convenient if long hair drives you nuts when snorkelling. To protect your ears from the sun, put on Buff Headwear.

Mask Strap Over

Tight rubber straps tangle long hair and exert pressure on the skull. A neoprene cover prevents such issues and makes taking your mask on-and-off easy.

Mask and Camera Protective Bags

Buy neoprene bags to store your camera or mask while travelling. Avoid using hard plastic bags.

Travel Pack Towels

Pack one or two towels in your gear bag. Towels are for wiping yourself after snorkelling and hanging out at the beach.

Snorkelling Watch

Use a snorkelling watch to keep track of the time you’re spending underwater. Watches are analog or digital and affordable or high-end.

ID Books

After snorkelling, you’ll want to know everything you saw while out and about. A fish, creature and coral ID book comes in handy.

Night Snorkelling Lights

If you like to snorkel at night, get a quality light that’s designed to illuminate the dark waters.

Snorkelling Camera

A waterproof snorkelling camera is fun to have and use to film your underwater experience.

Be well-equipped to enjoy your snorkelling trip to the fullest. Renting is cheaper than buying but rented gear may not be in good condition.

Another option is to do a tour or charter e.g. http://www.australianwildlifejourneys.com/plan-your-trip/special-interest-activities/snorkeling, so you don’t need to worry about supplying all your own equipment.

Beginner’s Guide To Scuba Diving

A beginner’s guide to scuba diving in Australia

Though scuba diving in Australia is a fairly safe sport, there are several safety measures that must be adhered to. Failure to keep an eye on the following precautions may lead to serious medical
issues, injuries, and even death.

1. Don’t attempt a dive you’re not trained for or comfortable with.

2. Be aware of tides and currents.

3. Never hold your breath when ascending. Always ascend slowly while breathing normally.

4. Understand the area you’re going to dive in and any possible dangers. These include any
corals or fish that may cause injury.

5. Plan your dive and follow that plan.

6. Don’t use drugs or drink alcohol before diving.

7. Get clearance from your doctor/physician before diving if you’re on medication or you
suffer from a certain medical issue.

8. Don’t panic underwater. If you’re afraid or confused, stop and relax a bit or get assistance
from a dive buddy or the dive master.

9. If your scheduled dive requires decompression stops, avoid flying on a plane for at least
one day.

10. Don’t try cave diving if you don’t have the proper training and the necessary equipment.

11. Lastly, dive alone – die alone!

Scuba diving preparations

The main reasons scuba divers die or become injured include procedural errors,
environmental problems, equipment problems, and poor health. Before each dive, ensure
you’re fit and healthy and make sure you thoroughly inspect your gear. Also, take safety
seriously. Observe all safety rules, local rules, and safety regulations provided by your dive
guide.

How to scuba dive

Scuba diving requires a dive buddy, the right training, and the proper equipment. On top of
that, you need to:

1. Find scuba diving courses

Attempting a dive on your own can be risky. You need to learn how to dive safely and
efficiently. Diving programs, like Australian Wildlife Journeys, generally include ‘try dives’. These dives allow you to practice scuba diving in a swimming pool. Open water courses and liveaboard courses are often provided after completing some of the basic training.

2. Meet the physical prerequisites

Diving equipment has been improved to accommodate both novice and advanced divers.
However, there are certain physical requirements to keep in mind. A basic level of fitness is
required. You should be comfortable underwater. And it’s a plus if you’re a good swimmer.

3. Get scuba diving gear

Plenty of gear ensures a safe and efficient dive. After receiving proper training, you can
either buy or rent your equipment. You’ll require a snorkel; mask; fins; regulator; dive
computer; tank; dive weights; buoyancy control (BC), and an exposure protection suit.

4. Know the dive theory

Understand how diving and different underwater environments may affect you and your gear.
This will improve safety. Before diving, you may want to understand nitrogen absorption;
safety stops; buoyancy basics; pressure; non-decompression limits, and ear equalization
basics.

5. Get lessons from a dive instructor

Perfect your scuba diving skills by practising with an instructor. You should learn hand
signals and be able to breathe underwater. Also, learn how to descend and ascend, how to
prepare for a dive, and how to maintain your equipment.