Every year, tourists from around the world flock to Hawaii for their vacation, eager to bask in its fantastic combination of breathtaking scenery, beautiful beaches and relaxed atmosphere. One of the most popular activities in Hawaii is snorkeling, where visitors can drift effortlessly amongst brightly colored tropical fish in the clear, warm Hawaiian seas. Hawaii is filled with fantastic locations in which to snorkel in, each providing you with the chance to spot a variety of different sea life whilst your swim through different currents and environments. With many fully qualified instructors on the island to help you or simply point out the best spots if you are experienced; you are guaranteed to have a fantastic time, exploring some of the most beautiful sea life in the world.
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Although your instructor will provide you with instructions on how to snorkel safely and effectively, in order to get the most out of your experience, it is recommended that you abide by the following tips wherever possible.
1. Check ocean conditions
One thing all snorkelers must be aware of before they enter the water is that storms and tides can make swimming conditions unpredictable. It is for this reason that the oceans conditions must always be carefully evaluated before entering the water-whether you are an experienced snorkeler or not.
2. Snorkel near others
When snorkeling in Hawaii, always snorkel in areas where there are other swimmers and snorkelers. Not only will this help you to grasp how far away from the land you are, but in the event that you experience an accident, you will be able to call to another swimmer easily for assistance. However, never snorkel near surfers or body surfers as this will increase your chances of experiencing an accident should they knock you with their board or fall, injuring you both.
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3. Look up and check where you are
As stated previously, always investigate the swimming conditions. Never snorkel if the water is unclear, rough or choppy- look to snorkel in clear, calm waters which can usually be found in the morning. These waters will not only be more enjoyable to snorkel in, but will also help to eliminate any chance of you drifting too far out to sea or getting caught in currents. Whilst you are in the water, look up frequently to keep your bearing. It is often beneficial to choose one other sea user who has a distinguishable inflatable for example that can be easily found in the water who can be your guide to how far away from the beach you are.
4. Never feed the fish
Whilst exploring underwater, never feed the fish under any circumstance. Not only does this soil the water, but if this makes the fish ill, this will make them vulnerable to predators. If you are looking to attract fish, bring a clear bag such as a zip lock bag and place a colorful item into it. Fill with water and zip it up, allowing for it to float next to you. This will intrigue the fish, providing you with the perfect opportunity to view some exotic, colorful fish.
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5. Protect Hawaii’s marine life
If you spot any other sea life such as sea turtles, view these from a distance. These species are protected by the Endangered Species Act and it is against the law to harass them. Should you be lucky to spot them, simply enjoy the view from a distance and then swim on. Finally, help to protect Hawaii’s reefs. Although coral reefs can take thousands of years to develop, they are extremely delicate and can be destroyed by sea goers simply walking on them. Wherever possible, swim to a sandy spot to get out of the sea, never walk on shallow reefs in order to preserve them.
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Snorkeling is an activity which all visitors of Hawaii should try to do. Not only is it a great way in which to enjoy the beautiful, clear seas; but it is also a chance to explore and view some of the most beautiful sea creatures in the world. By ensuring that you abide by these tips not only will you have an enjoyable and unforgettable experience, but you will be enabling others to do the same in the future too.