You can hardly come to an island like Maui and not give snorkeling a try. There is a whole other world under the water, just waiting for you to explore. Even if you have never learned how to swim, never been in the ocean, or even in the water,you can still give this activity a try! If you are a newbie or an avid diver, we have plenty of options for you to enjoy!
The alternative snorkel options on the Four Winds II are the glass bottom viewing room and the “see boards”. The glass bottom is a great way to view some of the wild life if you just absolutely do not want to get in the water. The “see boards” are an over-sized boogie board that has a plexi-glass window cut out of it. This way you can get out on the water and not have to put your face in!
If you’ve done the snorkel thing and want to try something new, check out SNUBA. It’s a dive option we available on both the Four Winds II and the Maui Magic. Check out our website for more information!
For both off the boat and off the shore snorkeling, equipment is very important. In fact, it make or break your experience if you have faulty gear. If you are renting gear from a local shop, make sure the mask fits your face properly and the fins are not too tight. We provide the snorkel equipment on both of our boats, the Four Winds II and the Maui Magic, and almost everyday there is someone that chooses to use ours rather then their rentals because their rental just doesn’t fit right! Here are some tips for getting the right equipment:
1. Hold the mask up to your face and suck in with your nose. If you feel the mask suction to your face without any air coming in, you’ve got a good fit.
2. Make sure the straps are easily adjustable and all of the clips are secure/not broken.
3. The bite tabs should be intact and the snorkel should fit comfortably in your mouth.
4. The flippers should fit comfortably. Too tight can cause cramps in your feet and legs, and too loose, well, they might fall off. If they have an opening at the end for your toes, it’s best if your toes just barely peak through. If they stick too far out it can cause blisters.
So now you’ve got your gear and you are ready to go, right? Here are some pointers, just in case:
1. Before you put on your mask, make sure to de-fog the inside of the lenses. We use a solution made up of baby shampoo and water and it works wonderfully. If you don’t have anything available, spit works well too, just not on our boats!
2. Place the mask over your eyes and nose making sure that the mask strap is high up on the back of your head. The straps should go above your ears; you don’t want to crush the poor things! This should make the mask snug. You don’t want it so tight that is creates a red ring on your face!
3. All of your hair should be cleared out of the sides and top of the mask and if you have a mustache, (hopefully just the guys) you will need some Vaseline to wax it down so it doesn’t leak under your nose.
4. The snorkel should come comfortably to your mouth. Put your teeth on the bite tabs, lips over the mouth piece tab, and pucker up your lips around the tube like a straw. When your are breathing through a snorkel you should treat it like a straw. In other words, don’t open the sides of your mouth when you suck in… you will be sucking in salt water and it doesn’t taste very good!
5. Most snorkels have a purge valve. It’s a little valve on either the top, bottom or both ends of the snorkel. This little valve allows water to go out and not in. If you do end up with a little water in your snorkel, just blow out hard while saying TWO! This should clear the water. If it doesn’t, either try it again or take the mouthpiece out of your mouth, dump it, and start over!
6. Use the fins by kicking and an easy going scissor action. The flutter kick with the ankles will make you tired, the bicycle kick will actually make you go backwards, and the frog kick just looks ridiculous. Snorkeling should be an easy-going activity. By using your fins the right way, it will make your experience much more enjoyable.
7. Flotation is always a good idea, in fact being a lazy snorkeler is a beautiful thing!
Other important reminders: Always keep your bearings! Whether you’re on our boat or snorkeling off shore, make sure to glance up every once awhile to make sure you can still get back without getting too tired. Snorkel with a partner. It’s never a good idea to brave the ocean alone! Lastly, keep your distance! Most animals have their unique defense mechanisms so it’s best to not touch anything.
And most of all, Have Fun!!