I am not an “outdoorsy” person. Give me a laptop in an air-conditioned room and I’m happy. But because life is not about staying in your comfort zone, I push myself to try new things and step into the sunshine once in a while.
The quest to embrace new experiences, resulted in me journeying to a paradise island called Desroches Island, in Seychelles. I had been sent to experience the island and write about it. Desroches has incredible water sports and activities on offer so I was in a position to actually, well, do stuff.
Enjoying this incredible opportunity, I didn’t just sit in isolation contemplating the effects of the island on my psyche (well of course I did that too…) but I wanted to get physical…
It was time to snorkel.
And where better than in one of the best snorkeling destinations the world has to offer.
I was nervous. I had tried snorkeling once before in Hawaii – but the crowds of tourists in the rock pool and the fish brushing past me, totally freaked me out and I was out of there almost as quickly as I got in. This previous failed attempt played on my mind as I gathered by snorkeling gear and waded across the shallow water into the speedboat.
There were three guides with us. Two, to snorkel with us and point out the various fish, turtle and sea life, and one to guide the boat so that we had a safe place to return to.
Everything was explained simply and clearly and soon we were in the middle of a magnificent ocean ready to embark on a sea adventure.
These are my 8 tips for 1st time snorkelers
1.) Go slowly.
Take all the time you need. There is no rush. Let the gentle water sooth you and tread water on the surface until you are ready to dip your head in.
2.) Breathe deeply.
With your head out of the water and once your mask is on. I suggest taking a deep breath in, then putting the snorkel into your mouth and blowing out once your head is underneath the water. Take a few moments of testing your new deep breathing in one spot and when you feel ready, start to move around.
3. Adjust to the Flippers
They may feel heavy at first. It’s ok. They help you swim and just take some time to adjust to.
4. If you still feel nervous, ask for a life jacket
(I did!) It helps you float. It can feel constrictive around your neck but again, keep calm and let it support you.
The moment you do, you’ll start to enjoy yourself and have fun. There is so much to see under the sea. It truly is a whole other world and you’ll be amazed at the colors and creatures.
Incredibly, I started to enjoy myself and saw fish that I had only ever seen on printed catalogues. It was an inspiring experience and I’m glad I did it.
6. Lay down afterwards
Snorkeling can be tiring. Although the swimming is gentle, there is so much visual stimulation that your mind may need a time out. So give yourself time afterwards for leisurely lay down.
7. Wear sunscreen.
And if possible – put a long t-shirt over your costume. Your back is facing up into the sun and the water reflection increases the burn.
8. Take breaks.
If you need to take a break, hop onto the boat and when you are ready, jump back in. You can enjoy the experience at your own pace.
Above are some snap shots from my experience.
For more information or too book a snorkeling experience at Desroches, click here.