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How to Use a Snorkel and Mask
Using your snorkel and mask properly will give you a clear view of what's going on under the water and help you to relax when you are on the surface after your dive.
Begin by testing your mask and snorkel together to determine their fit and comfort. You’ll do this by positioning the small rubber strap, that attaches the snorkel to your mask, so that the snorkel passes just above your left ear. If you are using a special left-handed snorkel, it pass just above your right ear. Adjust the mouth piece so that it fits comfortably in your mouth without causing the snorkel to feel uncomfortable against the side of your head.
Once your are in the water and floating face down your snorkel should extend vertically above your head.
Clearing your snorkel of water
While on the surface be sure that you are gripping the mouthpiece of your snorkel securely in your teeth. Exhale sharply once to clear any water that may be in the snorkel shaft. Inhale slowly, to check and see if there is any water left in your snorkel. If there is water purge (exhale) a second time, and continue to do so whenever water enters the snorkel.
You well want to learn to move gently on the surface since any rapid or abrupt movements can fill your snorkel with water. Remember that it is normal for snorkels to flood periodically due to wave action and head movement as you swim about on the surface so practice purging your snorkeling until it becomes routine.
Snorkeling without dive gear
The above methods apply to snorkeling without dive gear except you will not have a tank with air and a regulator. There are ways to clear your snorkel in this situation.
When you are ascending to the surface, you can tilt your head back and exhale a small puff of air into the snorkel. Then as you rise, the air puff will expand and clear the tube naturally so that by the time you reach the surface the snorkel is already clear. This trick takes some practice to perfect, but it requires less effort than purging. But don’t forget, once you have reached the surface, to inhale slowly to check that there is no water.
If there is water in your snorkel or you don't have enough air left to purge, lift your head above the surface and take the snorkel out of your mouth to breathe. Once you are replace the snorkel into your mouth and continue on snorkeling.