Gift A Day Exploring The Underwater World
A famous philosopher once said, “Under the Sea, Darling it’s better, Down where it’s wetter, Take it from me”. Ok, that was Sebastian from Little Mermaid but he makes a good point. Snorkelling and scuba diving experiences invite you into the world under the sea and it’s magical down there. There is an unrivalled sense of serenity with both snorkelling and scuba diving.
From the moment you first hit the water, you experience both excitement and calm all at the same time. If you have an idea of what you’re looking for, like a turtle or shark, you’ll longingly scan the horizons. Or you may just be there for the ride, happy to take in whatever incredible creatures pop up at you. Either way, your eyes will soon be wide with amazement. Colourful coral, fish of every shape and size, and a sense of freedom and exploration that can’t be found anywhere else. It feels like flying, as you float through this kingdom of wonder. Every tiny fish is its own delight to make you smile.
This is what makes snorkelling and diving a global phenomenon. From Australia to Jamaica, Iceland to Hawaii, these underwater adventures bring people to explore, experience and enjoy the wonders of the ocean. So, now that you’ve decided an underwater adventure is the perfect experience gift certificate, do you choose snorkelling or scuba diving? We’re here to help with that decision.
Snorkelling Experiences VS Diving Experiences
Snorkelling is for surface-level marine life viewing. All you need is a half-face mask or goggles, a snorkel (a pipe to breath through) and some flippers. Once you’re geared up you can glide across the surface at your own leisure. Worried about floating? Most companies will provide you with a flotation device if need be. This is what’s great about snorkelling. It’s a simple adventure that takes little time or preparation. You will see an abundance of marine life and feel totally absorbed in the underwater world. It can also be a very social experience, with fellow snorkellers yelling out when a turtle, shark or manta ray appears! On the other hand, scuba diving is the pinnacle of underwater exploration.
Swimming deeper in the ocean means that you’ll see creatures that don’t rise to the surface. It’s also easier to get up close and personal with the marine life for those all-important underwater photos. Make sure you know and understand how close to the sea creatures you can swim for both your safety and theirs. There’s also incredible shipwrecks and caves that are only accessible by scuba diving. You may be getting to see parts of the world that only handfuls of people have seen! However, scuba diving requires more serious equipment and training. In addition to the mask and flippers from snorkelling, you’ll need an oxygen tank and much more to have you safely breathing underwater. This is where the training comes in. Most dive companies will have an option for those with no previous experience. This will involve an introductory dive in a safe space, such as a swimming pool. Once you’re up to speed, you’ll be taken out for your dive! There are also official certifications that will mean you can skip this step.
PADI is the leading organisation in this field. Either way, whether you choose snorkelling or scuba diving as your gift certificate, we’re sure that your recipient will be thankful. For the freedom, exploration and serenity that only comes with exploring under the sea. If you still have some questions, check out these FAQs that we’ve sourced from a range of snorkelling and scuba diving suppliers. These are general responses, so always be sure to check with your experience provider specifically for any clarification. Can I still snorkel or dive if I wear prescription glasses? Yes. There are plenty of underwater explorers out there who don’t have 20/20 vision. Regular goggles or half-face masks do provide some magnification. However, snorkel and dive providers will have further options.
Can I snorkel or dive if I can’t swim?
Incredibly, the answer here is yes. This will vary depending on the provider but both snorkelling and diving can be a great gift card option even for those who can’t swim. For snorkelling, flotation devices will provide buoyancy and safety for the activity. For diving, the oxygen tank will mean that simply gliding through the water is fine with no actual swimming ability often required. Always be sure to check with the activity provider for their own operating procedures.
Can I dive if I have a medical condition?
Some medical conditions will mean that diving isn’t a safe option. Conditions such as asthma, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, epilepsy, heart issues, and certain medications may mean that diving is off the cards. Thankfully, snorkelling is a much more accessible activity for those with these and other conditions and is still an amazing way to see marine life. Is there an issue with flying after scuba diving? Yes. There are some big risks associated with flying too soon after scuba diving. The primary concern is Decompression Sickness. PADI recommends at least a 12-hour surface interval between a single dive and flying. This increases to 18 hours for multiple dives, but it’s generally recommended to wait a minimum of 24-48 hours before flying after scuba diving.