About Our Tours
What makes our snorkeling tours so successful is our knowledge of the areas (over 30 years of exploration) combined with a bit of flexibility, an important element in adventure travel. The general itinerary includes sites that, historically, have always delivered the best snorkeling experiences. The flexibility of our itinerary allows us to incorporate local weather, tides, and currents into our design so that we can visit these sites at the best possible times. Furthermore, we seamlessly budget in time to explore a new site or visit areas we have recently discovered. This approach results in a solid, proven itinerary that not only delivers fantastic snorkeling opportunities, but also promotes a sense of adventure and uniqueness. Most importantly, we usually budget up to 6 hours of snorkeling per day! We appreciate relaxing on the sundeck with a cool drink surrounded by incredible beauty, but we never lose sight that it’s really all about the snorkeling!
With the daily goal of snorkeling some of the best reefs in the world, our schedule generally includes two snorkel sessions, a beach walk or dinghy tour, and a presentation before dinner. Our first snorkel session begins after breakfast and can last up until lunch. We generally budget for at least three hours of water time so it is up to you! About an hour after lunch (because we don’t want to get anyone in trouble with their mom if we swim prior to one hour after eating), we jump back in the water for another session. Beach walks or dinghy tours can happen either in the early morning (before breakfast) or in the late afternoon to take advantage of the cooler air temperatures and less intense sun (plus the birds are more active!). We complement our daily activities with insightful presentations on marine ecology, coral reef biology, and underwater photography. As marine biologists and guides with over 30 years of combined experience in this region we have acquired in-depth knowledge about coral reef ecology and the marine flora and fauna of the Indo-Pacific. Please note that this schedule may change if we have special activities planned, such as the visits to villages or to take advantage of a special snorkeling or hiking opportunity.
All of our snorkel activities are 100% boat supported
In almost all cases, there are two dinghies, each with easy-to-use ladders. Our programs are designed so that you can stay in the water for as long or as short as you like. When you are ready to return to the expedition boat, simply signal the dinghy drivers to pick you up and take you back. Easy!
What to bring
The following list is a suggestion of things to bring and applies to almost all of our trips (specific items on a particular departure will be noted on the departure information).
-A good fitting mask, snorkel, and set of fins. If your equipment is brand new, please try it out in the pool. Determining the fit and function of your equipment in the pool includes doing several laps with all of your equipment on. Doing several snorkel dives is also very beneficial. It is also important to clean your new equipment, especially your mask. Cleaning procedures for your mask include light scrubbing with toothpaste or dishwasher soap to remove the light layer of silicon that is used to preserve the mask during shipping and storage. All areas of the mask, both inside and out, need to be addressed. Doing this greatly reduces the chances of having your mask fog. Not doing this, even when using mask de-fogger, usually results in a fogged mask.
-A wetsuit, rash guard, diveskin, or any type of clothing that can be used for thermal and/or protection form the sun. In most cases, water temperatures will hover between 80 – 82 degrees (27 – 28 Celsius). We suggest bringing a 3mm wetsuit (either full or shorty) or some type of core insulation like a vest or shirt made of 1 – 2 mm neoprene (e.g., Lavacore or Sharkskin shirts or vests). These items will not only provide thermal protection but protection from the sun as well. Hoods are also a great way to help keep warm and will also keep the sun off of the head. For those who feel that a 3mm suit may be too warm, please consider a full body skin or rash guard to ensure protection from the strong sun. With regards to thermal protection, remember the saying: it is better to have and not need, than to need and not have. One that note…
-Head protection in the form of a wetsuit hood, a cap, or even a bandana. Anything that can keep the sun off of your head is extremely important. It is the most exposed part of our bodies when we are floating on the surface.
-Biodegradable sunscreen lotion. Okay, this is a tricky suggestion. Even many biodegradable sunscreen lotions have been shown to harm and even kill tiny larvae (baby marine life ranging from fish to all types of invertebrates especially coral). It is fine to wear on land, but we highly discourage the use of sunscreen lotions in the water. Having a full wetsuit or skin will do the job of protection from the sun much better than lotions and the suits also help with thermal protection. It is truly a win-win for everyone and the marine environment.
-Casual, lightweight, tropical clothing
-Sunglasses (and a spare in case you lose your main pair)
-Comfortable footwear such as active sandals (Teva, Keen, Merrell, etc.)
-Hats. We cannot stress the importance of a hat in the tropics!
-All of our boats provide items like shampoo, soap, towels, etc. We bring this up because these items represent added weight and if they leak, less-than-fun times during the unpacking stage of the trip.
Other items that may be considered:
-Lightweight rainwear to protect from the occasional afternoon shower