The great thing about snorkeling is that you do not need to know how to swim in order to do it; I am testament to this statement as I am an average swimmer at best.We knew prior to going to Maui that we wanted to snorkel, we just weren’t sure how to go about it-renting equipment and doing it on our own, or going as part of a tour. Snorkeling was the one activity I didn’t arrange ahead of time, I figured we’d decide once there since neither snorkeling rental shops or snorkeling excursion operators are lacking on Maui.
I had read that Black Rock, an area of beach in front of the Sheraton Resort, is great for all snorkelers-beginners and pros. Even in the shallow parts, the water is very clear, offering great views of aquatic life. Since our hotel was only a five minute drive to Black Rock, I figured we could try snorkeling since the costs for renting equipment are minimal. I was all set to do this until I saw people snorkeling along the stretch of beach that D and I walked each morning. The waves at times were extremely large and extremely intimidating, so the idea of trying to snorkel while at the same time trying not to be completely knocked down by monstrous crashing waves scared me a bit.
Although going on an organized excursion can easily cost triple what it would to just rent equipment (fins, mask/mouth piece), there are definitely pluses to going this route. These include being able to snorkel in areas one really wouldn’t be able to access on their own (35 feet of water); being with people who truly know what they’re doing; having extra equipment at your disposal if so desired (life jackets and noodle were available to use). I had snorkeled once before off the coast of Isla Mujeres in Mexico and that experience was disappointing. We weren’t allowed to stay and snorkel in one place as we were constantly moving. I was simply overwhelmed with trying to swim and keep up with the group in such deep water that I couldn’t really enjoy myself. So while D and I hemmed and hawed until literally we were running out of time, we finally decided to book a snorkeling excursion as part of a group.
Snorkeling can be incredibly fun, even for the complete novice. Nothing compared to seeing schools of bright colored fish all around you. Since Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is a “bit” far from the East Coast, I hope to snorkel in one of Belize’s legendary cayes much sooner, as the country is home to the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere.