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A family of four snorkel near a catamaran in Nassau Paradise Island.

Snorkeling 101

Posted by: Nassau Paradise Island on February 25, 2015

Have you ever tried snorkeling? If not, don’t worry – as experienced snorkelers will tell you, there’s nothing to it and it can introduce you to a stunning underwater world! With minimal equipment and no skills required other than being able to swim, most people are able to enjoy snorkeling very quickly.

Snorkeling is a perfect water activity to try during your vacation in The Bahamas if you’re looking for something fun, exciting, and easy to learn. Because of Nassau Paradise Island’s location on the Tongue of the Ocean and adjacent to the Great Bahama Bank, you can see coral reefs, tropical fish, marine animals, and even legendary shipwrecks!

Ready to don a mask and give it a try? Here’s what to do and what to expect during your first snorkeling adventure.

1. CHOOSE A GOOD LOCATION.Ideally you’ll want to try snorkeling in a place that has shallow, calm water and a mix of colorful fish, reefs, and marine life. The Bahamas is full of great snorkeling locations – just ask at your hotel or resort about recommended places.

2. GO ON A SUNNY DAY. (With an average of 300 days of sun each year in The Bahamas, that shouldn’t be too hard!) Bright sunshine makes it easier to see underwater.

3. GET A COMFORTABLE SNORKEL AND MASK. Before you head out, try them on and adjust the straps for a snug, comfortable fit. To help you swim more quickly, you may also want to grab a pair of fins for your feet, too.

4. BITE DOWN GENTLY ON THE SNORKEL’S MOUTHPIECE. Your lips will form a seal around it to help hold it in place.

5. FLOAT ON YOUR STOMACH IN THE WATER, with your face submerged at about a 45-degree angle.

6. TAKE SLOW, REGULAR BREATHS THROUGH THE TUBE. Get comfortable with breathing through the tube.

7. HOLD YOUR ARMS BY YOUR SIDES AND KICK SLOWLY WITH THE FINS. Keep your kicks smooth, slow, and relaxed to help propel you along with minimal effort, and kick from the hip rather than from the knee to avoid wasting energy. Keep your fins below the water, since too much splashing will scare away fish.

8. IF YOU GET WATER IN YOUR SNORKEL TUBE, DON’T PANIC! You can simply stand up in shallow water, remove the mouthpiece, and shake out the tube. More experienced snorkelers may wish to submerge their tube so it fills with water, then rise to the surface and use a quick, forceful exhale to blow it out.

Nassau Paradise Island offers plenty of snorkeling and diving excursions if you’d like to explore the seas with a professional. Most snorkel and dive operators offer a convenient pickup and drop-off at your hotel included in the cost of your trip. For the adventurous, Stuart’s Cove Snorkel Bahamas has been billed as the world’s most exciting snorkeling adventure, where you may even catch a glimpse of feeding sharks!

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