Snorkelling for the first time

Stories From Camp

We introduced our REEF2 group to snorkelling for the first time this camp. Only a handful knew what snorkelling was, one of the REEFies “thought you snorkelled in the snow?”

Our first snorkel session was held on day one, starting with the snorkelling gear we demonstrated how to use the equipment before our snorkel safety brief outlined some very important hand signals and our buddy system.

We checked out the conditions at the Cottage beach, it was a strong southerly wind and high tide (terrible conditions for snorkelling with zero visibility) but this wasn’t a worry to us as we just wanted the REEFies to get a feel of the equipment and how it all worked.

We strapped on the masks first and practised breathing underwater, some found this difficult as it didn’t feel right but then learnt to trust that the snorkel would do it job. As the waves were crashing we couldn’t see anything but the REEFies embraced the masks and pretended they could see fish. Our last step was to practise using the fins and kicked along the shoreline mastering the right technique.

With all the basics now covered, we were ready for better conditions to practise our newly learnt skills. This day arrived Friday! Not a breath of wind, low tide and the sun was shining, perfect.

The REEFies were split into two groups, half fishing and the other half gearing up to snorkel. The Cottage reef was exposed and it was picture perfect. With a quick briefing and a run through of our safety measures we were in the water practising our new snorkelling skills.

We started on the right side of the reef and made our way around the outside and into the middle pool of the reef where it is sheltered. We spotted a friendly stingray burying itself under sand along with a number of different species of fish. The REEFies really enjoyed swimming around with their buddy pointing out all different types of marine life.

We finished our snorkel with a bombing competition off the edge of the reef, then headed back to Cottage to wash and pack up our gear.