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Snorkeling

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cincinnati
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116 posts
64 reviews
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Snorkeling

We have never experienced snorkeling, any recommendations for a tour company that has lots of patience for first timers that are 50 +and is there anything we need to purchase in advance!

Athens, Tennessee
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2,483 posts
37 reviews
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1. Re: Snorkeling

Everything you will need is provided. The crew goes over all the details of snorkling before letting anyone in the water. Sebabgo provided noodles along with life vests for anyone who wanted them. You might want to take some motion sickness meds if you are prone to motion sickness. Have fun!

Bemidji, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
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2,647 posts
18 reviews
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2. Re: Snorkeling

If you can deal with an all day trip and would like to kayak too, Danger Charters and Sebago's Island 'Ting would be my recommendation. Danger Charters has a smaller boat and takes fewer people. Their crew will be in the water with you should you need any help. Either of these will provide all the equipment you need.

Something that will make the experience more enjoyable would be trying it out before you come. Find a pool nearby and buy an inexpensive mask and snorkel to try out. Start at the shallow end and get comfortable with breathing through the snorkel while you have your face in the water, then work your way to the deeper part of the pool. If you have a lake nearby and the water warms before you go, trying it in a lake would help too.

A couple of websites that help are available.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g34345-c3631/Key-West…

www.ehow.com/how_1850_snorkel.html

Marathon, Florida
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for Marathon, Islamorada
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33 reviews
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3. Re: Snorkeling

They are alllll used to newbies.

It's their job to teach and help you.

Don't stress about it, just have fun. Any questions, whoever takes you out should answer and help.

Pjk
New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Key West
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34,159 posts
95 reviews
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4. Re: Snorkeling

Danger Charters is a little more expensive than most of the others, but it's not unusual for the captain or one of the creww members to get into the water with you to make sure you are comfortable and even stay near you to pointing out things that are interesting. Lobsters are difficult to see fiding under a rock, and that straight stick might be the tail of a ray hidden under the sand.

Sebago will give everyone a "reef talk" as you approach the reef describing the equipment and the area, etc. Then they will ask if there are any beginners or weak swimmers. These they will ask to stay close to the boat when first entering the water so that they can make sure you are OK.

You might want to nvest in a small, digital camera that is good for 10 - 20 feet underwater. You'll me amazed at what you might want to try to photograph. Those disposable ones are almost impossible to use with a mask on.

Pjk

Los Angeles
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4,529 posts
49 reviews
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5. Re: Snorkeling

I always recommend buying your own gear, at least your own mask and snorkel.

Most of the big sporting goods stores will have a good selection, so try them all on and check the fit. They should show you how to do that.

I wouldn't bother with the equipment they let you use on the boats, even if it is free to use. The odds that their mask will fit you are slim, and a poor fitting mask that fogs up can ruin your snorkeling trip.

No matter what trip you book just be sure to mention that you'd like some instruction and you'll not be put on the wrong boat. Many of the small boats don't have instructors or guides and don't have crew in the water so be sure to ask.

Edited: 15 March 2010, 18:20
Los Angeles
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4,529 posts
49 reviews
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6. Re: Snorkeling

I just saw that the snorkeling boat out of J. Pennekamp has personal in-water guides:

http://www.pennekamppark.com/snorkeling.html

Hamilton, Canada
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72 posts
40 reviews
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7. Re: Snorkeling

Four of us went to Looe Key as first time snorklers with Strike Zone out of Big Pine Key, they were great. We went to Sombereo with 4 more new people with the charter group beside Porkeys in marathon, they were great as well. I would agree get your own equipment and become comfortable with it. I have prescription glasses and both places had inserts that gave me good vision.

Pjk
New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Key West
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34,159 posts
95 reviews
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8. Re: Snorkeling

After all these years the first thing I'm going to do this May is to buy my own mask, one of the more panoramic ones. I used one on my last trip and it was hard to use one of the masks with just a flat lens. I suppose I'll spring for a snorkel too, but fins would be too much of a hassle to bring back and forth to Key West.

There is a big store that specializes in water-related things just off Simonton and Front or Green.

Pjk

St Augustine, FL
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111 posts
6 reviews
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9. Re: Snorkeling

If you are driving down you can stop at any number of dive shops to get gear. Most have sales. Take along some Creast Gel toothpaste to use as anti-fog.

Los Angeles
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4,529 posts
49 reviews
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10. Re: Snorkeling

I usually stop at the huge dive stores on the 1.

I recommend getting one of those inexpensive mesh bags for gear. You might think about getting one of those covers for the strap of your mask, as it makes it much more comfortable. Some short booties or thin socks will keep the fins from rubbing your foot raw.

You'll need regular toothpaste to clean off the manufacturing residue on the glass lenses. Then you can use the anti-fog drops they have on most boats.

I've never heard of toothpaste being used as anti-fog!

Some boats are charging $5 to use their snorkel, which they let you keep. Better to get your own one, in whatever style suits you best.