Scuba Diving And Snorkeling: Serene Sports

Of all the water sports in the world, none put you as close to marine life as much as Scuba diving and snorkeling can. While there are key differences in equipment and depth of water where the two are involved, both typically involve underwater exploration. For nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, and even the mildly marine-curious, these are wonderful pastimes that can keep you occupied for hours on end.

Scuba Diving: Profession And Passion

SCUBA is an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus – clever, isn't it? It explains the whole thing in a few words. While it is possible that the person who coined that term spent so much time with a scribbling pad and pencil that he never actually got to do any diving, thousands of people do every day. In fact, it is one of the most useful talents in the maritime world. Navy frogmen, cave divers, Police divers, rescue divers, salvage specialists, under-ice divers, deep-sea explorers, marine biologists, and even recreational divers – they are all inextricably linked to it.

Overview Of Scuba Diving

Scuba diving essentially involves the donning of equipment that allows a person to stay submerged in water or a liquid medium for prolonged periods without the need for an external source of air. The time period is dependent on the type and volume of the compressed gas in a tank strapped on the back, and will also vary with the lung capacity and physical health of the diver.

Types Of Scuba Diving And Equipment

The air in a scuba system is typically delivered through a single-hose two-stage pressure step-down system, pardon the over-hyphenation. The pressure delivered to the lungs need to match the ambient pressure of the surrounding water, or else it makes it very hard to expand the lungs on the intake. The exhaled air is eliminated directly in to the water, a telltale sign on the surface, which is why covert divers use another type of system called the re-breather, which takes the exhaled air, removes the carbon dioxide and recycles the oxygen back to the tank for another round. Because of this, these tanks can support the diver for much longer periods of time.

Snorkeling: More Fun To The Gallon

Snorkeling is a much more casual sport and is mostly used for shallow water exploration just beneath the surface. The equipment is basic, and when used in tropical waters, doesn't even require a wet suit to keep out the cold. Snorkeling doesn't require the extensive training and experience that scuba diving calls for, which makes it a favorite of kids, who love exploring the seabed along the beach. Obviously this requires close watching because strong tides can pull even the most powerful swimmer into the depths.

Snorkeling Equipment And Buying Tips

Snorkeling isn't a very expensive sport either. A basic set can be bought for about $50 or so, but there are a few purchasing tips that will help give you pleasurable hours under the water instead of uneasy ones. The first is the mask – it needs to fit snugly enough, while being easy to purge water, and giving you clear vision. It also needs to be of the shatter-proof variety in case of accidents. The snorkel is probably easier to choose, as it only requires that the hose be of the right length and bore-size, and the mouthpiece be a good fit. The fins are the easiest to pick, but be sure that you have something that fits well.

Scuba Diving And Snorkeling: By The Book

Underwater exploration can be fun, and one of the most rewarding experiences of your vacation, but you need to observe some simple precautions that could end up saving your life. First, always follow the dive team leader's instructions. Blind faith would be a good thing in this case. Second, observe any local rules about dive times and locations. Third, ALWAYS dive in pairs. James Bond might be able to get away lurking near the mooring hawser with his bone-dry Tuxedo under his wetsuit, but that's not what you want to do. If there's an accident or you get cramps, you'll need someone to help you out of the jam. Don't let the dangers get you down though; diving is actually safer than walking down a street in the daytime.