There is some world class snorkelling to be had in the Barrington Coast... something to suit all skill levels.

As with any activity that involves the ocean, you must be aware of the changing environment. Here are a few tips to ensure you enjoy your snorkelling as much as possible and stay safe.

The health benefits of snorkelling are numerous and include, muscle strengthening and cardiovascular fitness - one hour of snorkelling can burn between 1000 to 1200 kilojoules.

As with any activity that involves the ocean, you must be aware of the changing environment.

This low impact water-based activity is great for joint mobility and the controlled mouth breathing techniques can even have a calming meditative effect that improves mental health.

Here are a few tips to ensure you enjoy your snorkelling as much as possible and stay safe:

  • Snorkel with a buddy always. It is also a good idea to tell people where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • Look but do not touch. There are numerous marine species that are venomous or poisonous. It is always better to be cautious and keep our hands to ourselves.
  • Buy good quality equipment. Buy the best you can afford, preferably from a specialist Dive centre. They will be able to fit a mask to your face and offer more advise. Nothing ruins a snorkel trip faster than a mask that leaks and uncomfortable equipment.
  • Tow a dive flag with you. A dive flag attached to a buoy lets other water users and passing boats know that there a snorkellers or divers in the water. Boats are required to keep a safe distance and speed from dive flags.
  • Be sun safe and stay hydrated. When you snorkel, the backs of your legs and your neck receive a lot of sun. Wear a long sleeve rash shirt to protect your arms and back. Try to avoid putting sunscreen on your nose as this can cause your mask to fog up.
  • Rinse your mask out with diluted baby shampoo to stop it from fogging up when swimming. Keep all hair out of your mask as this will let water in as well.
  • Know what the weather and tide are doing. A change in tide and wind can quickly change the conditions you are snorkelling in.
  • Keep your fins off the bottom. Staying horizontal in the water reduces the effort required to move through the water and every time you kick the bottom, you can stir up silt and sand, reducing visibility.

With those safety measures in mind, it's time to hit the water. Check out my top 5 snorkelling spots in the Barrington Coast.

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