While the newest sets of government announcements have further restricted activities for many for the immediately foreseeable future, Snorkel Instructor Trainer Marg Baldwin says we should still be looking forward to snorkelling in 2021 with optimism.
As we follow the Government guidelines and stay home, let’s start to plan our activities for next year. Think about snorkelling related activities you have always wanted to achieve but the preparation time has never been available and start doing the relevant research now. I think it will be prudent to place the emphasis on UK snorkelling for much of 2021 as it appears foreign travel is likely to be heavily restricted. Hopefully, under the Christmas tree, you may have found some nice new shiny snorkelling equipment ready to tempt you back in the water at the earliest opportunity,
Different and new UK snorkelling destinations
The range and diversity of the different snorkelling locations visited by Andy Torbet in his column for SCUBA magazine is one useful starting point to find different places to snorkel or even ideas for different types of snorkel sites. For any new site, we know we must research all the details carefully and when travel restrictions permit, a ‘no diving’ recce is likely to be appropriate to put all the safety considerations in place.
Caring for the environment
As snorkellers, we want all our waters to stay clean, safe, healthy and full of life. We can assist with that by planning our trips by always thinking of the environmental aspect. Sharing vehicles (where allowed by Covid-19 rules), miles travelled etc., and once we are onsite, litter picking and ensuring that when we leave a venue it is cleaner and tidier than when we arrived.
Find out if there are any environmental studies taking place at our chosen location and see if, during your visit, you can contribute. If there is no ongoing study should there be one? Consult with organisations like Marine Conservation Society or the local Wildlife Trust.
Try something different
I know freediving is a different sport but some snorkellers are expressing an interest in having a go. Do some research via Youtube or similar to identify the common elements across the two sports. Perhaps when we are able to visit pools regularly again, your branch could find a local freediving instructor who could make themselves available to give your branch members the opportunity to try freediving.
BSAC, as the National Governing Body for underwater activities, has a freediving course under preparation – something else to look forward to.
If under the Christmas tree, there was something small and shiny that resembles a fitness watch/dive computer that is suitable to be used when snorkelling, do take the time to read and understand the instruction book. Perhaps it has a useful GPS or compass function which would be good to know how to use. Remember, practice on dry land during our permitted outdoor activity really can help.
Best wishes for a Happy Christmas and a healthy new year.
Think SAFE – Snorkel SAFE – Stay SAFE
Snorkel Instructor Trainer
BSAC has released guidance to help members and the wider diving community prepare for a safe return to snorkelling activities in the new year. Check it out.
Image credit: Genine Keogh | Snorkel Wild