Brad Climpson is a marine biologist who spent the last 20 years living on the edge of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. His passion for the underwater realm has taken him to Fiji, Indonesia, Bermuda, and the Maldives. An accomplished scuba diver, underwater photographer, and experienced boat handler, Brad has a passion for interacting with nature and sharing his knowledge with travelers.
Many Zegrahm expeditions take us through the warm climes of the tropics, whether it be on a remote island through the South Pacific, the amazing Galápagos archipelago, or a beautiful reef system in the Indian Ocean. It’s these locations that offer some amazing chances to interact with the wonderful marine life the tropics have to offer. Whether you choose to snorkel, or take a deeper plunge through scuba diving, the rewards are fantastic for all! However just like anything in life, it doesn’t hurt to maximize your reward with a little underwater preparation.
All of the ships Zegrahm charters have a wide range of snorkeling equipment for you to use throughout your time on board. This will include masks, snorkels, fins (flippers), weight belts, floatation devices, and of course the assistance of very skilled guides! If you are a scuba diver, you will be required to bring your BCD and regulators plus your dive computer. For the snorkelers it’s a little simpler—you just have to bring you!
Bringing yourself is the easiest thing to do, however let’s talk about a few other things to consider. Not everyone has the same shaped face; while the chances are high that we will have a mask that fits you, it’s still a good idea to head to your local retailer and see some of the choices that are available for your face shape. Having a correct seal from your mask to your face means no water will leak in; it also means the mask won’t be too tight and will prevent discomfort. Note: Some people tend to tighten their mask in the hopes of keeping water out; this often leads to discomfort as the mask will be too tight, and will lead to a less than ideal experience in the water.
To prevent this, you have to spend a little time finding the perfect mask for you. All retailers can help you out with this and if you make a purchase, be sure to keep the receipt as testing it in the water is the only way to know for sure. If you live in a cold climate or without access to an ocean or lake, find a public pool! Bring your mask and snorkel with you and swim around, make sure the mask fits well, doesn’t leak, and isn’t too tight. Also, pay attention to how your eyes feel when you’re looking around; if you find you’re squinting and having difficulty, you may need a prescription mask.
Prescription masks are generally available at professional snorkel and dive retailers, you simply have to find the one that’s right for you. If they don’t have these masks or you have a special prescription, it’s a good idea to have a mask fitted with the correct lenses. This may seem like a lot of effort to go to but remember—it’s the rewards at the end that make it worthwhile. To be able to see clearly in the water and focus on all the marine life around you is reward in itself! Having a mask that keeps water out and is comfortable on your face is such a plus; and, it will be easier to relax and become one with the environment around you, leaving you with all the time in the world to enjoy yourself without having to keep adjusting your equipment.
Fins are another important aspect to a snorkel or dive adventure. The main consideration here is how much room they take up in your luggage. All of the snorkeling adventures we undertake with Zegrahm are designed for maximum reward with minimum effort; therefore, I would suggest leaving your fins at home, for more room in your suitcase, and borrowing those on the ship. If you happen have any problems with your feet, or you usually need to have particular types of shoes, then head to your local snorkel and dive retailer and find the right fins for you.
Some people think it is far easier to not use fins, but I’m a firm believer they’re just as important as your mask and snorkel. Your fins allow the bottom half of your body to stay horizontal in the water, keeping you from sinking. Staying flat on the water’s surface keeps your legs from banging into the reef below, and it also prevents you from using excess energy by having to tread water. The fins, when used correctly, will propel you through the water with great ease, once again conserving your energy and keeping you comfortable.
If you are diving, it’s a good idea to bring all of your equipment as you’ll most likely have a separate bag for dive gear. Having the equipment you use regularly will mean you can jump straight into the water without too much effort. Again, even though we’re on an expedition we still want you to be as relaxed as possible. I tend to think of the classic idiom, “Work smarter, not harder.”
If you haven’t spent a lot of time snorkeling and want to give it a try on our expeditions, please be assured we want you in the fold with us! But a little practice beforehand will be priceless. Fit yourself with the correct equipment and then head to your local pool. Spend time in the shallow areas where it is easy to stand up if you have any concerns; this way you can adjust your equipment at will and when you are fully comfortable, you can start swimming around. A good idea is to get used to the mask and snorkel first before putting your fins on. This way, you’re only getting used to one new facet at a time. Once you’re happy with the mask and snorkel, pop your fins on and get used to the feeling of them on your feet.
Once you’ve committed to one of our amazing expeditions, practice a bit on your own. Whether you determine it’s better for you to bring your own mask and snorkel or you’re happy to borrow the equipment on board, rest assured we will give you every assistance possible to make your underwater adventures an unforgettable experience! It’s a beautiful world down there and we love to see you connecting and getting as much out of every opportunity we have.
Join Us on an Upcoming Snorkeling and Diving Adventure
Best of Micronesia: Rabaul to Palau
Canal to Cuba with Panama, Costa Rica & Colombia
Best of the Great Barrier Reef
Samoa & Tonga: Swimming with Humpbacks
Seychelles & Madagascar with Aldabra Atoll
Hidden Gems of the Caribbean
Best of Micronesia: Rabaul to Palau
Underwater Wonders of Western Australia
Papua New Guinea
Tahiti to Easter Island: Marquesas, Tuamotus & Pitcairns