If you want a better look at what's underwater, all you have to do is snorkel.
You will need
- Toothpaste (optional)
Step 1 Collect your gear Find a mask that fits your face and a snorkel. Attach the snorkel by sliding its hook through the strap on the side of the mask. Carry the mask, snorkel, and fins into a shallow part of the water.
Step 2 Put on your mask To keep your mask from fogging, rub saliva around its interior and dunk it in the water. Then, bring it to your face, place the straps around your head, and pull them until the mask is snug, but not tight. Hold your face underwater briefly to ensure the mask doesn’t leak.
Before using a brand new mask, rub the inside with toothpaste — not gel — and then rinse it with warm water to help prevent it from fogging.
Step 3 Get used to the snorkel Place the snorkel’s mouthpiece in your mouth and breathe through it. Practice putting your face in the water and breathing in and out through your mouth as you rest your teeth lightly on the rubber tabs.
Step 4 Use your fins Lift your feet out of the water, put on your fins, and push off the ground lightly to begin swimming. Kick your legs calmly and evenly to propel you through the water, keeping your fins below the surface and your body parallel to the sea floor.
Do not position yourself perpendicularly, as you are more likely to step on live coral or stir up sand and debris.
Step 5 Purge your snorkel If water enters your snorkel, clear it by exhaling a short burst of air, similar to saying the word “two.” If that fails, lift your head out of the water, take out the mouthpiece, turn the snorkel upside down to drain it, and return it to your mouth.
Step 6 Go with the flow Stay aware of your location, your energy level, and other divers as you relax and enjoy peeking in at the mysteries of the deep.
The coral reef tract off the coast of the Florida Keys is home to over 5,500 species of marine life.