Bonaire Travel, Hotels & Lodging Guide

Snorkeling Tips

Basic snorkeling skills (reviewed in the islandwide Introduction to Bonaire Guided Snorkeling) are designed to make sure you are comfortable with your equipment and can float around the reef, completely relaxed and enjoying the underwater world. There are easy skills to master, particularly with the help of a guide. As you get more and more accustomed to snorkeling, you will feel an urge to dive down and take a closer look at the marine life. This is called freediving and consists of holding your breath, making surface dive and slowly exploring the reef. While it's not difficult, most people (particularly beginners) are not immediately comfortable doing it and most of the reasons for this are easy to sole!

The first area to consider is your natural buoyancy. Some people are floaters; other are sinkers. This has to do with the relative size of your lungs (in proportion to total body size), percentage of muscle/fat (muscle weight more than fat) and basic physique. In general, there are far more floaters than sinkers. If you are a floater and try to freedive, you will have to constantly kick to keep yourself underwater. This will quickly deplete your air and energy.

Like everything else in the underwater world, relaxation is the key to freediving. You kick only to move from place to place. How do you offset the natural tendency to float? Your guides will show you how to add a couple of pounds (not much is necessary) of lead weight to a weightbelt, which will offset the natural buoyancy. They'll also help you with your surface dive, which, when you get good, can get you 10 or 15 feet underwater with just one kick. Once you are down, you should be able to hover without kicking, a sure sign you are correctly weighted. See your Bonaire Guide for more help in this very exciting area of advanced snorkelling.

In keeping with the conservation philosophy of the island Bonaire, it is recommended that snorkellers never come in contact with the reef. If you dive down and attempt to stay down by holding on the coral, several things may happen. First of all, you might cut yourself because coral is very, very sharp. Two, the coral might accidentally snap off, destroying several hundred years of growth. Either option is not positive; the guides will be happy to work with you and make you an effortless freediver.

As you get better and better, you will also learn something called the finger touch technique. There are parts of the underwater world safe to touch but you need to know exactly which parts. These are noncoral areas and you can closely observe corals and marine life by steadying yourself with just the touch of a finger on these parts of the reef. Again, your guides will help you! Snorkel safely (always with a buddy) and responsibly!



Snorkal & Coral

Turtle


 
How to Select a Snorkel Mask
Fit is the most important criteria in selecting a mask. So how do you buy a mask that fits? It's easy.

Here's How:
  • Fold the strap over the front of the mask so that it is out of the way.
  • Hold the mask against your face.
  • Make sure it fits comfortably around your eyes and nose.
  • Choose another size if necessary.
  • While the mask is against your face, inhale through your nose.
  • The vacuum created in the mask should hold it against your face when you take your hand away.
  • If the mask doesn't stay put, repeat the process until you find one that does.
Tips:
  • Don't settle for an ill-fitting mask.
  • If you find more than one mask that fits, compare the features before making your purchase or rental decision.
 
How to Clear Your Snorkel
There's no doubt about it. Water will get into your snorkel, whether you submerse yourself intentionaly or a wave splashes water into it. It's an important scuba/snorkel skill you need to know.

Here's How:
  • Allow yourself to sink below the water until you face is just under the water.
  • Take a deep breath through your snorkel.
  • Hold your breath.
  • Completeley submerse yourself and your snorkel in the water.
  • Rise to your original position.
  • Blow a sharp blast of air through your snorkel.
  • Slowly inhale to see if there is still water in it.
  • If there is still water in the snorkel, blow another short blast into it.
  • When the snorkel is clear, continue to breath normally through it.
Tips:
  • Try not to exhale all your air on the first blast.
  • When checking to see if the airway is clear don't suck in a huge gulp of air. Do it slowly.
  • Perfect this skill in a swimming pool first.
 
  Snorkel Locations

ShoreShore Access     Boat AccessBoat Access     Advanced DivingAdvanced Diving

  Good SnorkelingGood Snorkeling     Guided Snorkel ProgramGuided Snorkel Program

1. Boca Bartol
  
  
2. Playa Bengi   


3. Playa Funchi

     
4. Bise Morto

  
5. Boca Slagbaai   


6. Nukove

     
7. Karpata

  
8. La Dania's Leap   
     
9. Rappel   
     
10. Bloodlet   
     
11. Ol' Blue

  
12. Country Garden   
     
13. Bon Bini Cas   
     
14. 1000 Steps

  
15. Weber's Joy/Witches Hut

  
16. Jeff Davis Memorial   
  
17. Oil Slick Leap

  
18. Barcadera   
  
19. Andrea II

  
20. Andrea I

  
21. Petries Pillar
        
22. Small Wall (Web Cam)   
  
23. Cliff

  
24. La Machaca
     
25. Reef Scientifico
        
26. Buddy's Reef
        
27. Bari Reef
        
28. Front Porch
        
29. Something Special

  
30. Town Pier*


  
31. Calabas Reef
        
32. Eighteen Palms

  
33. Windsock

  
34. North Belnem

  
35. Bachelor's Beach

     
36. Chez Hines

     
37. Lighthouse Point


  
38. Punt Vierkant

     
39. The Lake

     
40. Hilma Hooker


  
41. Angel City

     
42. Alice In Wonderland

     
43. Aquarius
        
44. Larry's Lair
        
45. Jeannie's Glory

  
46. Salt Pier*
        
47. Salt City

  
48. Invisibles

  
49. Tori's Reef

  
50. Pink Beach

  
51. White Slave
  
  
52. Margate Bay

  
53. Red Beryl
  
  
54. Atlantis
  
  
55. Vista Blue
  
  
56. Sweet Dreams
  
  
57. Red Slave


  
58. Willemstoren Lighthouse
        
59. Blue Hole
        



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