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02 December, 2008

Snorkeling Tips and Tricks, compliments of Kona Boys

Note: Amending this blog to include a few more points...

We rented our fins at Kona Boys, on Highway 11 between Kona and Captain Cook. And the benefit of this turned out to be the great advice they gave us about getting the best performance out of your gear. We were both having trouble with our masks leaking, fogging, and hurting us. Here were the tips they gave us, and all three tips worked like a charm:
  1. Do not make the strap on your mask tight to keep it from leaking. This is actually counter productive, because it can cause too much suction, and actually either suck water into the mask, or suck moisture from your own nose/throat into the mask, neither of which is good (not to mention that a tight strap can make your forehead and upper lip very sore)

  2. Do put vaseline around the edge of the mask to help with a decent water tight seal. This is a trick that has been long-used by people with facial hair, but it actually is an effective measure for everyone. This, plus the looser strap, basically solved 100% of both of our leakage problems. Was able to do an entire 75 minute stint without a single mask adjustment, compared to the frequent adjustments before using these tricks. This may or may not be necessary. Strangely, the first couple of days, we were both having a lot of leaking problems, and then we added the vaseline and the leaking went away. Subsequently, we forgot the vaseline, and still had no leaking problems. I almost wonder if there is some "conditioning" of the mask that occurs as you have it in water for a few days, especially if it has been a long time since it was last used.

  3. Do use toothpaste as a defogging agent for your mask lenses! Yes, it's true. You could spend a bunch on anti-fog sprays or gels, but plain old cheap white toothpaste is like a charm. He suggested a pea sized blob for each lens, and let it dry for a little bit, then rinse your mask in the salt water to remove the paste, before snorkeling. This is amazingly effective. Instead of messing with my mask to remove fog every 5 minutes, I do not need to mess with my mask at all now, and that is a huge improvement in the fun factor. Someone commented that spit in the mask has always worked for them. And up until recently, this was my primary approach. I am now thinking that maybe the fogging was partly due to the poor seal issues that we had on the first couple of days, because the spit in mask worked for both of us yesterday as well. Maybe it's all just voodoo?
One additional tip I would recommend is that if you are now having toothpaste on your lenses, and vaseline around the perimeter of the mask, you do need to be very careful to not accidentally get the vaseline on your fingers while you're rinsing the toothpaste off the lenses. This is not as easy as it sounds. And if you get vaseline on the lens, then forget about fog, you've got bigger problems. And the only solution at that point, I believe, would be soapy water, which (last time I checked) is not available in large quantities at most snorkeling locations. As the saying goes, "You gotta keep 'em separated". Or, as suggested above, maybe none of that stuff is necessary. This is a really helpful blog isn't it?

Okay, now goodnight for real.

1 comment:

  1. Defogger: Spitting into my mask has always worked for me (sloosh it around with salt water and dump it before putting it back on.) Sounds gross but it's easy and it works.

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