For so many holiday makers the water’s edge or the water’s surface is the limit of their activity. For the snorkel enthusiast however, it is just the beginning. He or she knows that under the water’s surface lies a complete, serene new world waiting to be explored: the underwater world.
Snorkelling is an activity that is within easy reach of everyone; all you really need are fins, a mask and a snorkel. It is for all age groups and the basics are easy to learn. A reasonable level of fitness is preferable, depending on how active you want to be.
With water temperatures that hover around a comfortable 22 – 27°C in summertime and with an average visibility of 30m or more, you can see numerous smaller fish in the shallow depths along with brightly coloured starfish, crabs, octopus, squid and cuttlefish, sponges and now and then a murena in the rocks. Also sea urchins are frequent.
The key to successful snorkelling is relaxation in the water; don’t swim, just float and let the water carry you. Move slowly and limit your noise to a minimum not to startle sea life. Notice a fish hiding? Hold still and wait; the fish, as curious as you are, will come out of his hiding place eventually to have a closer look at you!
To see more of sea life, go early in the morning or late in the afternoon when fish activity is at its peak. Move away from the crowds; fish sense their noise and avoid them. Protect yourself from the sun, preferably by wearing a T-shirt after you’ve applied sun protection cream, as this may wear off. Avoid at all times areas with boating activity or jet skiing and water skiing.
Even if you spend just a few hours snorkelling, it will be a rewarding experience. You’ll have discovered a whole new world under the water surface that you didn’t even imagine existed!
- Sea urchins in the rock
- Scorpion fish that live on rocky sea bottoms and weever fish that live on sandy sea bottoms; they have poisonous spines that cause a lot of pain and severe swelling
- Murray eels; if you challenge them, they may attack and bite you.
- Objects under water look 25 per cent larger and closer than they really are which enables you to see them with a different perception.