In Praise of the Snorkel

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Posted by Rick Bursky on November 14, 2002 at 13:43:16:

Last night I had dinner with a dive buddy and the snorkel came up in conversation, as I think it always does ordering dark beer and a New York cut medium rare. Anyway, he told me some people where inclined to bad-mouth the snorkel these days. I was surprised. Why would anyone not use one when simply floating at the surface, properly weighted, which as you all know puts the mouth under the water. Would you waste precious air from your tank? Not me. And swimming at the surface? The most comfortable position, for me, is with my face down; not wanting to waste air from my tank, I use a snorkel. Okay, he explained the case against the snorkel is that it interrupts the diverís streamlined profile through the water. Wow. Iíve been on many dive boats, seen many divers and streamlining isnít often an issue, I mean think of all the things that a diver takes into the water that creates drag, starting with an couple of extra inches of belly hanging over the belt. If I was the engineering type I might attempt to figure out how much drag is created by a snorkel. I imagine not much. I believe anything so light and easy to use that provides something as vital as air deserves our respect and admiration. Here, here, another round of beer and a toast to the snorkel.

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