How far you can go underwater when you’re snorkelling depends on a few factors. The first of these factors is how long you can hold your breath for. The longer you can hold your breath, the deeper you can go. The second factor governing how deep you can go underwater when you’re snorkelling is your ears. As you dive down below the surface the water pressure increases. As a result of this increased water pressure, your ears will need to be equalised. If you’re not able to equalise the pressure in your ears as you dive down, this will limit how far underwater you can go. A third factor about how far underwater you can go is your mindset. Not everyone has the confidence to dive down deep and it can take time to master this and to build up the necessary confidence.
Whether or not it’s better to snorkel at high tide or low tide is debatable. There are pros vs cons for both. At high tide the water visibility tends to be better, but the water may be too deep to see the bottom. But at low tide the visibility may be worse, but the water is shallower and shallow pools are uncovered This makes it easier to look for sea creatures on the bottom. However, there will be an opportunity to see different sea creatures at high tide vs low tide, as each tidal range is suitable for different fish and other creatures.
There are three types of snorkel: These include the wet snorkel. With this snorkel, water can easily enter the top of the snorkel tube if submerged underwater either accidentally at the surface or when diving down. The Semi-Dry snorkel has a splash guard to help prevent water entering accidentally at the surface. But the tube on this type of snorkel will still fill with water when you dive down; Then there’s the dry snorkel. The Dry Snorkel is designed with a float valve. It is this valve that prevents water from entering either accidentally at the surface or when you dive down. Also, it is the seal of your lips around the mouthpiece on all these snorkel types that keeps the water out when snorkeling.
If you’re asking the question ‘Is swimming required for snorkelling?‘ Whilst the answer is potentially a ‘NO,’ in my opinion the answer should be an emphatic ‘YES,’ you should be able to swim before you go snorkelling. I say this for safety reasons, if you are a non-swimmer, you should learn to swim before you go into the water. I’m not talking about being a strong swimmer (you’re not going to be entering into the Olympics). Basic swimming competency is all that’s necessary.
The essential scuba diving equipment you need to start diving includes the following: diver’s watch; mask, snorkel and fins; and exposure suit or body insulation like a wetsuit or dry suit; a set of scuba diving regulators; a buoyancy control device or BCD; a dive computer (but this can be a combined diver’s watch-come dive computer). For diving in your own country near to wear you live, you need to also add a weight system and air tanks or diving cylinders too. There’s then other scuba gear to add to your kit as you progress or if you have the money at the outset.
Full face snorkel masks are dangerous because of the “dead Space” and the potential for the build-up of CO2 inside the mask. Deaths of snorkelers have been linked to full face snorkel masks, which is more likely to happen if you buy a cheap, poorly made mask or if these masks are used under duress.