Here at the beautiful beachfront property of the classic vacation hideaway, the Sea Oats Motel in sunny Destin Florida, we love getting out for a day of snorkeling with our friends and family, around all the awesome, off the beach dive spots or pristine, shallow grass flats of the bay.
Snorkeling is a super fun underwater activity which needs fairly minimal gear and training and unlike other types of diving, snorkeling can be undertaken by someone without a lot of experience. It is a popular activity in the northern Gulf, where we have lots of reefs or limestone outcroppings, as well as other numerous interesting things to see underwater, which is home to a plethora of sea life.
Picking out gear for snorkeling is pretty easy and many people choose to rent snorkeling gear after their arrival to avoid having to carry it in their luggage. Destin is loaded with dive shops, department stores and even snorkeling tours that will provide your family with all the gear they need to have a unforgettable day!
The basic components of gear for snorkeling are a snorkel, mask, and fins. In cold climates, snorkelers usually wear wet suits, but around here our water is usually very warm, so some people choose to only wear a lightweight rash guards to avoid sunburn and injuries from coral. A rash guard is a lightweight garment designed to fit under a wetsuit to prevent chafing, but it can also be worn alone as a protective garment. Otherwise, a bathing suit is perfectly fine.
The most important part of gear for snorkeling is the mask. If the mask does not fit properly, it will make the experience very unpleasant. Fortunately, it is easy to check a mask for fit. Start by pulling the strap out of the way, and then placing the mask over your face so that it covers your eyes and nose. If it does not fit comfortably, pick another mask until you find one that does. Next, breath in through your nose to create a vacuum, and pull your hand away. The mask should remain on your face, and if it does not, it is not a good fit. You may have to try on several masks before you find one that works. People with visual impairments may want to consider a prescription snorkeling mask, which will be more expensive, but worth it.
The snorkel typically attaches to the side of the mask. You may want to check the fit of the mouthpiece, or consider purchasing a snorkel that drains excess water off through a sump.
Be aware that learning to use a snorkel takes time, and you may want to practice in shallow water before moving out into deeper water.
The final aspect of gear for snorkeling is the fins. Fins should be lightweight and flexible, and they come in two basic designs. One fin design slips over the foot like a shoe, while the other has a strap. Fins which strapon are useful, because they can be worn over booties, which will protect the feet from sharp coral and rocks.
When snorkeling, make sure to pay attention to weather warnings and cautions from life guards. You should also be aware of where the shore or boat is at all times, and you should try to snorkel with a companion whenever possible for extra safety.
So, grab your gear or sign up for a guided snorkeling outfit, and head for the beautiful, white sand beaches and turquoise waters of the Emerald Coast combined with a stay at the lovely seaside Sea Oats Motel!
Call for more information or to book your fall visit! 833-803-3320