Any would-be snorkeler needs gear: a snorkel, mask, and fins, and perhaps a buoyancy compensator vest for safety and flotation. If you’re looking to buy equipment while you’re in town,
Austin’s Dive Center in South Miami carrys everything you’ll need for a recreational snorkeling session. Equipment can run anywhere from about $80 to $150.
If you’re not ready to make that kind of investment and maybe just want to test the waters, so to speak, then renting gear is a great option.
South Beach Diver’s offers rentals in addition to their retail sales. Twelve dollars gets you a snorkel, mask, and fins for the day.
Take the time to get accustomed to your gear. Make sure your mask has a good seal around your eyes and nose to prevent water from seeping in. Take one breath in through your nose to establish a seal, and position the strap around the crown of your head. The strap doesn’t need to be tight to keep the mask in place. While snorkeling, you’ll be breathing exclusively through your mouth. Bite down on the snorkel’s bite tabs and make certain your lips are sealed tightly. Remember, the snorkel will only work if one end is out of the water. If you plan to dive down, hold your breath!
Your legs are your propellers and your fins work best while kicking your legs in slow, steady motions underneath the water. It’s easy to get lost in the underwater world unfolding before your eyes. Make sure you stop every so often and peek your head above the water to check your surroundings.
If you’d like to do a little snorkeling during your day at the beach, take your gear towards South Pointe Park and Government Cut. Approximately 200 yards southeast of the 2nd Street lifeguard stand is theJose Cuervo Reef. On Cinco de Mayo in 2000, a 10,000-pound concrete Jose Cuervo bar was sunk to create an artificial reef, and to promote near-shore snorkeling and diving. The reef, only 10-15 feet deep, is an ideal snorkeling destination and is accessible by swimming from the beach. An abundance of marine life can also be found alongside the nearby jetty.