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Snorkeling in the Caribbean

Aug 17, 2007
Caribbean, Hawaii, and Galapagos islands are all ideal places for snorkeling because of their calm waters and diverse sea life. Clear waters are another requirement for good snorkeling because some marine life can be viewed only at night. Night snorkeling is typically conducted with the aid of a chemical light that is tied around the waist of the diver to warn approaching boats of divers while an underwater torch is used to spot the marine life. Caribbean snorkeling is nothing new but the underwater seeing trend is catching fire all over the world and so there is a renewed interest in this activity.

Caribbean snorkeling needs gear that is quite similar to scuba diving gear and includes mask, finds, and a short tube known as snorkel (from which comes the name snorkeling). Caribbean snorkeling takes place in still water and just below the surface. These areas are typically lagoons so that moving water does not enter the snorkel to inconvenience the diver.

The renewed interest in Caribbean snorkeling is a result of the clear waters in the Caribbean that offer many good opportunities for underwater sightseeing. This is also helped by the varied marine life in the Caribbean that includes fish, mollusk, kelps, jellyfish, ray, seaweed and algae, all of which may be experienced at close range. The marine life in the Caribbean is far varied and denser than the land life, making it a good sightseeing location for nature lovers.

Unlike rafting or bungee jumping, Caribbean snorkeling is not exactly an adventure sport because there is hardly any risk involved in the activity. However, the lack of risk should not be taken to mean a lack of thrills. Since Caribbean snorkeling is done in relatively shallow and still waters, the equipment is minimal and very light, thereby making the whole experience very comfortable. Due to all these reasons, even young children can enjoy snorkeling as long as they know how to swim.

Though the amount of risk involved in Caribbean snorkeling is quite negligible, there are still some dangers that you ought to be mindful of. The most common problem faced is mask flooding, when water enters the mask that is worn underwater, diving too deep can cause high pressure build-up in the ears, and water visibility is not always reliable. Due to the varied water life in the Caribbean, corals are quite a common feature. Some of these underwater formations are quite sharp and people tend to cut themselves on their limbs, so avoid direct contact with corals. Some species of sea urchins are also poisonous and certain eels tend to bite. On the positive side, with a little prudence these dangers are easily avoided.

There are many shops that sell diving gear along with snorkeling equipment. They also provide guides for Caribbean snorkeling.
About the Author
James Penn runs a highly informative Caribbean website which details exactly how to find Caribbean beach resorts and also the ten best activities in the Caribbean for families and couples alike.
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