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Beneath the Surface: Robalo's Guide to Snorkeling

Beneath the Surface: Robalo's Guide to Snorkeling

As you cast your line on a bright, sunny day, you watch your lure plop into the water and wait. And then you wonder—what’s the view like beneath the surface?

There are many ways to find out, but our very favorite has to be the simple sport of snorkeling! There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the lively, colorful and ever-changing world of an underwater habitat. Plus, the shift in perspective might be just what you need to shake things up in your on-the-water routine.

Wondering how to start snorkeling? Just read on for a few of our top tips, as well as some of the ways your Robalo boat can make the excursion even better!

Grab the right gear

Unlike scuba diving, snorkeling is all about exploring the world just beneath the surface—so the gear you need to get started is pretty simple, and easily accessible!

Every great snorkeling trip starts with the right mask. If possible, try on a variety of masks to see which one fits you best—with different types and, of course, sizes for kids and adults, you should be able to find one that works well for you. You can also choose a mono-glass mask, which features one large lens instead of two separate ones separated in between.

The snorkel itself is often sold with a mask. While all you will likely need is a basic tube, you can also decide to pick one out with special features (such as a piece that helps keep out water, for example). If you’re heading a few feet below the surface while holding your breath, you won’t use a snorkel, but it’s great to have on hand for those times when you simply want to peek beneath the surface. Even while sticking close to the top of the water, there’s a lot to see!

Finally, the snorkeling fins. In warm, shallower water, where most recreational snorkeling takes place, you likely won’t be wearing a wetsuit. For this reason, you’ll want to opt for closed-heel fins. Open-heeled fins are better for scuba divers who need to be able to slip into their gear while already wearing a layer of dive booties.

You should also bring a red and white dive flag that lets other boaters and personal watercraft users know where you are, and a blue-and-white Alpha flag that affixes to your boat that communicates your intention to snorkel or dive.

Additional gear you’ll want to bring on board with you includes the basics: waterproof sunscreen, plenty of towels, drinking water and perhaps even an underwater camera that lets you document the experience first-hand.

Practice makes perfect

Snorkelers should, of course, know how to swim well before heading out. They should also be comfortable holding their breath for small periods of time. Families can practice the actual use of the snorkeling gear (fins, mask, tube and all) at a pool or in extra-shallow water before heading out to the snorkeling spot. It’s an intuitive sport, but it might still take some getting-used-to, and that’s okay! By practicing ahead of time, you can enjoy your adventure with confidence and peace of mind.

What makes a great snorkel spot?

Now that you’re ready to go, you may be wondering: where do I go?

While there is an abundance of beautiful snorkeling spots to experience around the world, the best sites tend to share a few things in common. Here’s what you should look for…

  • Lack of heavy traffic and marked channels. Not only is snorkeling in a quieter, more secluded spot more fun for your crew—it keeps you safe from boat traffic as well. Only enter those channels when you’re traveling to and from destinations, but not to swim or snorkel.
  • Clearwater. The clearer and more pristine the water, the better, as you’ll be able to see plants and animals with great clarity.
  • Shallow water. Whether you’re using a snorkel or simply holding your breath, you can’t travel too deep into the water, so opt for locations that provide lots to see within a few meters of the surface. These are often near the shoreline, small islands and sandbars. (Because these are shallower spaces, remember not to dive or jump into the water—instead, gradually enter it to get a feel for your surroundings.)
  • Local hotspots. Once you know the basics to look for, you’re ready to go! Your local beach or dive shop will often be able to point you in the direction of especially popular spots nearby.

Turn your engine off

 

When you’re ready to go snorkeling from your Robalo, be sure to turn your engine off before anyone gets in the water.

Use your Robalo as a convenient snorkeling station

Now, it’s time to explore!

Once you’ve learned the ins and outs of snorkeling—how to do it safely, and where you plan to go—you can turn your Robalo into the ultimate snorkeling station.

Many on-board features already make it a convenient place to snorkel from. Every Robalo model is built with your comfort and activities in mind, so you’ll always have built-in storage to help stow away extra towels and gear for when you’re in-between snorkeling trips. Stow your on-board cooler or ice box with cool drinks and snacks for the snorkeling crew—even though you’re underwater in a cool environment, your snorkeling adventure can still be quite the workout!

Passengers who choose to stick on board (or who want to re-fuel before heading back in) can lounge around by the bow. Those getting in and out of the water can do so by the transom. Certain models, such as our R317 or R272, come equipped with side doors that are also perfect for getting in and out of the boat on snorkeling trips.

Ready to explore the underwater expanse? By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a memorable snorkeling adventure with the family—the perfect way to explore the water on your winter getaway and beyond.


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