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Beluga snorkelling

Co. Durham
Level Contributor
26 posts
34 reviews
Beluga snorkelling

I am looking forward to a 5 day cruise on the beluga in july. I can swim but am nervous about snorkelling. Any advice from those who have been and are not natural water babies would be reassuring. Thank you.

13 replies to this topic
Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
Level Contributor
3,560 posts
19 reviews
1. Re: Beluga snorkelling

Dear MCD,

I'm sure that you will not be the first person in that situation aboard the Beluga and that the crew / guide will know what to do to make things easier for you. In the meantime, get yourself into the water now with mask, snorkel and fins and practice as much as possible BEFORE you go to Galapagos, so that you won't waste any time once you're there. Underwater Galapagos is AMAZING! Practice at your local pool - 5 times a week if you have to. Develop your level of comfort now, and don't waste any time doing so during the few minutes you'll have in the Pacific around the Galapagos islands.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

Co. Durham
Level Contributor
26 posts
34 reviews
2. Re: Beluga snorkelling

Thank you Heather. Much appreciated advice. Will need to get my own mask but have been thinking about that anyway.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
779 posts
15 reviews
3. Re: Beluga snorkelling

Can you identify what you are nervous about? For many people it's the idea of breathing through the mouthpiece, and the feeling that you won't get enough air. If that's it, practicing even in a bathtub can help. If it's the swimming part itself, and the fear that you will sink, remember that if you wear a wetsuit it has strong buoyancy characteristics, and will keep you afloat even if you do nothing. Most ships also have small personal flotation devices you can wear. For me the difficult part was keeping water out of the mask, and keeping it from clouding over, and the guides on the ship were great at helping me fit it properly and providing goo to smear on the inside (I actually think it was baby shampoo) to stop fogging. As Heather has said, a bit of practice ahead of time can help reassure you, so you don't feel reluctant to do one of the most amazing things there is to do in the Galapagos!

Co. Durham
Level Contributor
26 posts
34 reviews
4. Re: Beluga snorkelling

Thanks. Yes it is really the fear of sinking whilst looking at things. I have done some in Maldives and Egypt and am most nervous when the seabed falls away quickly. This is when I panic a bit and tend to gulp air and if I get water in the snorkel then I don't cope well. I am sure practice is the key.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
779 posts
15 reviews
5. Re: Beluga snorkelling

My husband had the exact same fear, except he is not a good swimmer. If it's any comfort, at least with our ship, the snorkeling wasn't in terribly deep water (you could easily see the bottom), and the zodiac was always very close. All you had to do was raise your hand, and they came right over to help. I imagine that might be SOP for all the ships. If you can get hold of a mask, you could also practice getting some water in it (maybe in a bathtub so no fear of sinking?) and then lifting your head, dumping the water out, and putting it on again. That way, if it happens you might feel more used to it and better able to cope. Hopefully the totally amazing sights under the water will compensate for the fear until you feel more comfortable....

Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
813 posts
52 reviews
6. Re: Beluga snorkelling

You might also want to look at buying a dry or semi-dry snorkel before your trip.

Co. Durham
Level Contributor
26 posts
34 reviews
7. Re: Beluga snorkelling

That is really helpful thank you and goodbye to know that someone else felt the same way. It's one of those things that you always feel you should be able to do but without the confidence gained through experience and preferably as a child it is difficult to overcome.

Co. Durham
Level Contributor
26 posts
34 reviews
8. Re: Beluga snorkelling

Thank you. Not sure what a dry or semi dry snorkel is but will look up.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
779 posts
15 reviews
9. Re: Beluga snorkelling

I think it's the full face kind, where you don't have to keep a mouthpiece in your teeth but rather just breathe normally. I haven't tried one but some people swear by them. Amazon sells them, so you could read about them there.

Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
813 posts
52 reviews
10. Re: Beluga snorkelling

Dry and semi-dry have valves or specially designed openings to stop the water getting in. If you want to combine it with a full face mask, so you don't need a mouthpiece, you could look at something like WildHorn Outfitter's Seaview 180. They aren't a good choice if you want to dive with it on, but you can surface snorkel comfortably in something like that. It feels incredibly natural in comparison to an old-style snorkel and mask. There are other similar brands and styles available as well.

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