Un Snorkeling to Make Underwater Ocean Observation More Enjoyable

Discovering Un snorkeling is one of the great benefits of all the swimming in my Fastlane current generated water has been. I wasn’t sure how to spell it. It might be technically better to write “un-snorkeling.” I think the hyphen helps with word recognition. Regardless, you are probably wondering what un-snorkeling is.

Un-snorkeling is like snorkeling in the aspect that it is: floating around in the ocean looking under water to see underwater creatures. However, while un-snorkeling I just wear my swim goggles. This keeps my nose and mouth free to function, just as they normally do while swimming. (click on any photo to enlarge)

Un Snorkeling to Make Underwater Observation More Enjoyable

The differences between snorkeling and un-snorkeling

As I float around looking underwater, I blow bubbles at a relaxed rate, casually lifting my head for air exchange as needed. This might seem inconvenient to some people, but snorkel masks make me feel claustrophobic. I never feel I am getting enough air through the snorkel. It also constrains the angle at which I can hold my head.

When waves wash up over it, it is challenging to know just when and how to blow out the salt water, to avoid inhaling it. It is always harder for me to position a snorkel mask for an adequate seal against water leakage. Plus, it tends to fog up from the inevitable attempts I make at using my nose to breathe.

Taking a breath while un-snorkeling doesn't take very long if you are relaxed.

Taking a breath while un-snorkeling doesn’t take very long if you are relaxed.

I don’t have any of these problems when un-snorkeling. I can turn my head which ever direction I want. My swim goggles have less surface area they are trying to seal with. Between this, my nose not being under them, and the fact that there are fewer facial muscles around my eyes that I am likely to move, I rarely have leakage issues.

How I discovered un-snorkeling

Last year, I was at a tropical beach, not expecting to go on any underwater exploration. However, when my husband was checking out a rock formation down at one end of the beach, he ventured into the surface and noticed some fun fish gathering around. He wanted me to go look, but all we had was my one pair of swim goggles, which we took turns using.

Almost immediately, we both recognized how much more comfortable I was doing it this way. I declared I would only be “un-snorkeling” from now on. I much preferred breathing on my own terms. With the salt water providing so much more buoyancy, there was only as much swimming effort as I decided to engage in. And, even that was easier than with a snorkel set-up, because there was no snorkel and mask to interfere with comfortable swimming form.

Getting to be comfortable in the water

Both my current mode of swimming and swimming in my Fastlane generated current have helped me learn to relax in the water and develop calm breathing while I swim. Like with most aerobic conditioning, swimming ability can be gradually improved by simply swimming at a comfortable pace. You may enjoy occasional bursts of speed, but those are not necessary for the average swimmer. Swimming under stress tends to inhibit aerobic conditioning.

Cleaning the underwater parts of my pool ladder probably increased my breathing capacity, too. Blowing bubbles is not just good practice for kids learning to swim. I made a bit of a game out of seeing how long I could stay down without feeling too desperate for air. I tried to avoid reaching the surface so air deprived that I needed to take a long break above water. I liked finding a rhythm where I could go back down over and over after just a couple of breaths above water.

Verifying un-snorkeling

I un-snorkeled again and several times during our recent trip to Cozumel. This confirmed my initial decision to be an un-snorkeler! I could just float in the superman pose for as long as I wanted, then lift my head in any direction to reload my air supply. I could swim more quickly from place to place, including getting to shore.

Going out in to the ocean is always a bit scary for me, but feeling more in charge of my air flow and not being encumbered by marginally helpful equipment made it a much nicer experience. My husband still prefers to use a snorkel, but he is fully supportive of me not struggling with one. If you struggle at all with a snorkel and mask, maybe you should try un-snorkeling?

It is easier to communicate with people around you without a snorkel and mask!

It is easier to communicate with people around you without a snorkel and mask!



  • This is great, I didn’t enjoy the mask / air tube part of snorkeling either, so I can see how this would be much better!

    • lauraimprovises

      I saw see quite a few other people struggling with their mask and snorkels. I have to think this might help some of them!

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