Chapter 8: WHERE TO GO SNORKELING
You can enjoy snorkeling and breath-hold diving almost anywhere. The greatest enjoyment will be in waters with good visibility and interesting things to see underwater.
When snorkelers and divers talk about visibility, they normally describe it in terms of how many feet they can see underwater. Since conditions vary from location to location, how good the visibility appears is a relative term. For example, in California the visibility is generally considered to be good if you are able to see anything over 30 feet away underwater. However, in the tropics, if you could only see a distance of 30 feet the conditions might be considered “poor.” Average underwater visibility in the tropics is usually 50-75 feet with exceptional days in excess of 100 feet.In certain extraordinary locations you may be able to see up to 200 feet underwater!
When you hear snorkelers and divers talk about the “vis,” they’re referring to the visibility. If you want to be “hip,” this is the term to use!
The visibility at any underwater site can change radically, sometimes in just a few hours. Weather is normally the biggest factor affecting visibility, including runoff from rain, surface waves, breaking surf (at ocean sites), and tides, but it can also be affected by microscopic marine life (plankton) in the water.
This section has been made available by www.SnorkelingCourse.com for your enjoyment and better understanding of the wonderful world of snorkeling. Please visit www.SnorkelingCourse.com for more information and to sign up for the complete online Snorkeling Course!