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Learn to Snorkel

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Start snorkeling today. Seems simple enough! Why do I need a class to, “Learn to Snorkel?” Snorkeling may seem easy enough, except when you realize you are in the Ocean and there is a problem.

I found that “Education today” and practice really allowed me to enjoy my trip to Mexico. Training allowed me to solve my own problems. I saw so many other “cruisers” who hated the experience, because they had an issue and didn’t know there was a simple fix.

My training allowed me to learn in a pool; make mistakes and solve problems. I found out that taking a snorkeling class before my cruise to the Mexican Rivera helped me really enjoy my days on the beach and in the water.

The instructor told me how to find a good fitting mask and fins. I learned to clear my snorkel and breathe easily. I received some information about what I would see in the water in Mexico. I learned how to safely feed the fish for great photos.

In the class I got safety tips and signed up for a 1st aid class to help myself and my wife – should something happen. Nothing did, but I was prepared and that felt good.

I am fair skinned, so the instructor gave me some useful advice about exposure protection and exposure suits. He gave a talk about heat exhaustion and heat stroke, so that I would protect myself and NOT spend the trip, bathed in Aloe or worse yet, in the infirmary.

After the pool training my wife and I signed up for his ocean exploration class in Monterey. Monterey was great. It was a small romantic weekend along with some fun exploration.

While in Monterey, we learned more about exposure suits; an area called Breakwater cove, Jellyfish, sea otters, California Sea Lions, an old pump house, Kelp and soft corals. After 2 hours in the morning exploring “The Pipe” – a great area to see many things, we had the afternoon off.

My wife and I explored Cannery Row and the Aquarium. Wow, is the Monterey Bay Aquarium cool. There was so much to see and do. Around 6pm everyone in the class met up for a great dinner at London Bridge on the Wharf – for clam chowder. The dinner, conversation and other people were very fun and interesting.

On Sunday we met at 10 am and there were divers coming out of the water. Our Instructor and a couple of others offered to take us on a tour. We were going to snorkel while they dove down to the bottom. We split into small groups and followed the divers.

The water was so clear it was like swimming in the aquarium. Some people had a problem with their mask and snorkel, but they applied their new skills and enjoyed the adventure.

I found that I enjoyed watching the fish follow the divers. Our Divemaster or DM, as the instructor referred to him, brought up “rocks”. The “rocks” turned out to be Decorator Crabs. The life in the water made the weekend very cool.

It really was a great class and an enjoyable weekend. I found that my new skills came in handy during my cruise. My trip was fabulous – we had one good day and one day where the weather dictated we stay on the ship. Next time I will tell you about my snorkeling experience in Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe.

Would you like to see more of the world? If so, learn to snorkel. Contact: SACSCUBA (http://sacscuba.synthasite.com), your local Parks and Recreation District or
PADI (http://www.padi.com)

Some local places to snorkel in Sacramento are: Folsom Lake, Ice House, Lake Tahoe, Sly Park, The American River and many more. Also, you can snorkel up and down the California coast. Remember to get proper training.


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