Snorkel first

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Posted by Eric Frasco on September 13, 2004 at 16:14:56:

In Reply to: Any tips for a new beach diver? posted by TomR on September 13, 2004 at 14:16:28:

Go in with just your snorkeling gear first, especially if the conditions are even slightly questionable. Leave the scuba and weights on shore until you have scoped out the situation. Once you are sure you can handle the surf entry AND exit, and determined that visibility is to your liking, then go back and get the gear.

If you have troubles entering and exiting with just snorkeling gear, it won't be any easier with full gear.

And while you are out there snorkeling, make sure you determine where the reef is. If it seems like a long surface swim in snorkeling gear, it will seem even longer once you have full gear on. Find a site that has mild conditions, a short swim, and lots to see.

Pay attention to current. If there is even a slight current, head back when you have 2/3rds your air left to compensate for the extra effort it will take to swim against it.

And finally, take a compass heading on the shore before you drop down so you know which way to go to exit the water.


P.S. All the good parking spots are gone by 7:30 am in San Diego, so get there early.

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