As we sail south to the coral reef, the crew will conduct Snorkel School. They’ll brief you on what you’ll see at the reef, how to use your gear, and how to maneuver in and out of the water safely. Many of our passengers are trying Key West Snorkeling for the first time. For some, it’s even their first time swimming in the ocean. Here are a few tips that we always give beginner snorkelers to ensure an enjoyable, stress-free experience while swimming at the reef. And remember, if you have any concerns while you’re on board, that’s what our friendly crewmembers are there for.
- Relax. The first thing you should do once you’re in the water is relax and go with the flow—literally. Notice how easily you’re floating. After all, you’re swimming where the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean meets, and this body of water is extremely salt dense, which means you’re naturally buoyant. It takes little effort to float along with the ocean’s mild swell and current, so there’s no need to panic or tense up.
- Your Fins Are Your Propellers. All right, you’re in the water and you’re floating. Now what? It’s time to put your fins to work. Your crewmembers provided you with a pair of fins when you boarded, and these are the propellers you need to get around the reef with ease. All of the work of snorkeling is in your legs, so don’t waste too much energy with your arms. The best way to use your fins is to push your legs behind you, making long, smooth scissor kicks, digging your fins under the water. You can relax your arms at your sides and keep on kicking as you discover the wonders of the coral reef.
- Breathe Through Your Mouth. When you’re snorkeling in Key West, your nose is inside your mask, so you can only breathe through your mouth. Some beginner snorkelers aren’t used to this and they get panicky and claustrophobic when trying to breathe through the snorkel. If you’re having trouble, don’t use the snorkel at first. Begin by getting accustomed to breathing through your mouth and just hold your breath when you look into the water. Once that’s comfortable, give the snorkel a try. Remember, the snorkel only works if one end is out of the water. You want to avoid breathing in a mouthful of our extra salty water. The best way to do this is by keeping your gaze forward, instead of down while you swim. This will ensure that the snorkel is out of the water.
At Fury we always have two lifeguards in the water to assist you with your gear and help you feel comfortable. If you’re still having trouble, we can also provide you with extra flotation and hands on assistance. See you on the water soon!