Known for the warm, clear waters and colorful marine life, it would be a shame if you missed the unique opportunity of snorkeling in Maui. Enjoyable for all ages, snorkeling offers the chance to glimpse at a whole other world built just under the water’s surface! Whether you are snorkeling just off the shore of one of Maui’s white sand beaches or on one of our snorkel boat tours, we wanted to pass on some ‘ike (knowledge) when it comes to snorkeling safety!
1. Buddy System
It should come as no surprise that when it comes to any outdoor activity, the buddy system is key. Two pairs of eyes are truly better than one and it is definitely helpful to have more than one person check the surroundings (tip #2).
2. Keep an Eye on Your Surroundings
The ocean can be, at times, unpredictable which is why it is important to be aware of what is around you. With that in mind, while snorkeling it is best to avoid alcohol to keep your senses sharp! If you are swimming close to the beach, keep in mind that you should only be snorkeling in clear water. It not only offers the best underwater sights, but it allows you to keep a watchful eye on what is around you! Weather and surf conditions can affect your overall experience snorkeling, especially if you are trying it for the first time, so it is imperative to avoid large surf and high wind when looking for a spot to snorkel.
It is also essential to avoid ocean currents, but should you get caught in one do not panic! Swimming against it will most likely just tire you out (tip #3) and the best way to get out of it is to swim perpendicular to the current.
3. Avoid Exhaustion
Whether you are an experienced swimmer or a beginning snorkeler, swimming is an activity that can easily tire you out. Sticking relatively close to the shore or boat is the best way to ensure that you only have a short swim back to rest. If you are out in the ocean blue, it might be worthwhile to have a flotation device with you as well as communicating with your snorkel buddy! The coral reefs are fragile microenvironments that are best admired from afar along with other marine animals and organisms. So should you find yourself getting tired on your offshore excursion, head back to where you can stand on the sand and not on the convenient rocky reef.
Hawaii Ocean Project takes safety seriously and while all of these tips are generally common sense, there is worth in repeating before you head out. So rub on some reef-healthy sunscreen, throw on your fins, and get ready to go on a Maui adventure