Lesson 1: For the love of God, wear a wetsuit. If you’re in some balmy tropical waters, I’m sure you’ll be fine, but in the freezing Goat Island water you won’t last long. Flippers are also your friend. For those scared shitless of going over their heads, who freak out when they can’t touch the bottom – well, fins paired with suits are floaty, powerful LIFESAVERS.
Lesson 2: Put your wetsuit on BEFORE you get anywhere near the beach. You know how sand starts to stick to you the minute you even get within eyesight of it? Try putting on a wetsuit when you’re covered in sand. Not recommended: rashes suck. As does material chafing on eczema, but it’s worth it.
Lesson 3: Wear the most robust swimsuit you own. I’m, shall we say, prone to bikini exposal accidents. This time, I managed to almost entirely lose my top under the wetsuit.
Lesson 4: Breathe slowly. NOT like you’re gasping for your last breath.
Lesson 5: Vision corrected masks are the shiz.
Lesson 6: Before bringing younger brothers along, find out if they’re afraid of fish. That being said, T was incredibly patient and did his best to coax him out. In fact, once he got geared up and started paddling along, he was fine – until the first fish sighting.
Lesson 7: Other than that, there is nothing cooler than seeing rocks, plants and fish up close underwater. It was by far one of the freaking coolest things I’ve ever done.
PS: No, snorkelling was not an experience on my travel list, and yes, I added it merely to cross it off again.
I snorkelled a little bit in Cuba but stopped when I started to freak out a bit because a) it made me feel claustrophobic (weird, I know – I think it’s because your peripheral vision is a little restricted) and b) I’m sacred of ocean creatures (not fish generally and we saw a lot of those – but then I started thinking about other things with lots of legs and suckers and I got out of there).
I wear a light, full body skin even when I’m in 80F water. It protects from the sun on my back and by keeping the core temperature up.
Between 4 and a variation of 7, I may never snorkel again. I’m both nervous in the water and hate hate hate snakes which *surprise* eels look a WHOLE lot like. Underwater where I can’t get away from them fast enough? Yes well. Dignity comes after mental safety.
P.S. I totally forgot floaties. I should have gotten floaties.