Snorkeling: A Great Summer Activity
Since years past I have enjoyed snorkeling in different water habitats. While that first snorkeling trip was conducted on a shore reef in Mexico, I found that wide range of underwater worlds fascinating to explore. Snorkeling is relatively easy, especially with some practice. One only needs a good set of fins and snorkel gear and a clear body of water to explore. While one can visit reefs in the Caribbean or other seas of the world, there are also many water habitats to view in the US. During the summer months, there tends to be more life in the water including plants, fish, and other creatures. Although summer can also bring problems such as underwater pests including jellyfish and dead spots, it is often the best time to explore an underwater world.
While exploring underwater reefs in the warmer waters of the Caribbean may be fascinating to many, it is not the only possibility for snorkeling. Believe it or not there are countless wonders to explore in both freshwater and saltwater habitats throughout the US. Finding the best spots can be tricky sometimes. Few sites list spots that are good for snorkeling and most snorkeling websites deal with southern habitats found in the Caribbean or in Florida. While these areas are great for snorkeling, there are other areas that are noteworthy for snorkeling.
My personal snorkeling experience has included snorkeling in rivers, lakes, creeks, bays, and even the ocean. I greatly enjoy visiting underwater habitats that have plant life, fish, and even rock formations. During one trip to the Delaware Water Gap National Park in Pennsylvania, I viewed amazingly large catfish at over fifty feet at the bottom of the river. They were literally over three feet in length to my eyes. In the Chesapeake Bay, I watched crabs crawling over the surface of the muddy bottom. In lakes I have seen schools of different types of fish swimming in clear water. Sometimes even basic swimming beaches found at nearby lakes and rivers can be interesting to explore.
While there are great sights to see underwater, not every body of water is suitable for snorkeling. Many lakes have muddy bottoms that can make the water difficult to view through a mask. Harsh rapids in a river can also be dangerous physically. Some lakes or rivers have speed boats that may speed by uncomfortably close. Then there are jellyfish, snakes, and even parasites. Unlike chlorinated pools, open water environments can hold lots of germs. Sometimes certain bodies of water are closed for any water recreation due to biological germ outbreaks. It is for this reason that is often best to wash after snorkeling, or swimming, in an open body of water.
Exploring underwater habitats can be different from a reef system. Unlike reef systems which are wondrous in their density of life, many water habitats have life spread out over larger distances. One may not find fish or plants for quite a distance. In river habitats, one may see countless of rocks without a sight of life. Snorkeling in these different habitats can require more time to explore and sometimes patience as well. Some bodies of water may very little visible life.
Some of the more interesting scenes found included underwater tree roots that provided havens for schools of fish. In the Chesapeake Bay there are also grass beds that are home to young fish and other life forms. Many types of plants can be interesting as well. In many lakes there are numerous forms of plant life arising from the bottom. Natural rock formations can be fascinating to view from below. Then there is the act of simply watching an underwater habitat underwater over the course of a time period. Many fish may be too shy to swim by when first entering the water but over time they may emerge to be more visible. Often patience and time will reveal very interesting sights below the waterline.
While snorkeling does require some comfort with water and knowledge of swimming, it is surprisingly easy once one gets the hang of it. Exploring the wide range of habitats underwater can open one’s eyes to nature below the water line. For me it is a fascinating way to view a different realm of life rarely seen from above. While not every body of water is as suitable for snorkeling, one can often find interesting sights in lakes and rivers nearby. During the summer months, many bodies of water are warmer and have greater densities of life than in during the colder months. Snorkeling is also a great way to get “away” from it all and conduct a private retreat that is both relaxing and fascinating.
In conclusion, snorkeling is a sport that is one of the best ones to bring out the rebellious side of your personality that has been buried deep within since ages and gives you an adrenaline rush that lifts your mood to a whole new level. But it should be done safely and it is only possible through face masks of snorkeling that do their jobs perfectly. For different brands, you can look up the best snorkel mask at snorkelstore.com to get a general idea about them.