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Everything You Need to Know About Your Snorkel, Part 3: Clearing Your Snorkel



Check out Part 2 here.

Admittedly, there isn’t much to actually using your snorkel, other than placing the mouthpiece in your mouth and breathing slowly and deeply. The one skill that seems to stymie most snorkelers, however, is what to do when you get water inside your snorkel, either by accident or by diving below the surface. This is why we want to focus on snorkel clearing.

The keys to snorkel clearing can be summed up in three steps:

  • Blast forcefully
  • Inhale cautiously
  • Displace when freediving

Let’s take a look at each.

1. Blast forcefully

Snorkel clearing blas awayThe key to clearing water from your snorkel is to exhale forcefully. One quick, sharp exhalation should do it.

2. Inhale cautiously

  • Before inhaling, remember that there may still be some water remaining. You don’t want to risk choking on it.
  • Snorkel clearing Use cautionBy making that first inhalation a cautious one, you may be able to “breathe past” any remaining water. This almost always works.
  • If need be, a second blast will generally remove any remaining water. You will still want to make the following inhalation a cautious one; however, you will most likely be able to breathe dry after this.

3. Displace when freediving

Snorkel displacementMost freedivers avoid using the blast method to clear, and instead favor something called displacement clearing. This can be both efficient and effective; however, it only works if your snorkel does not have a self-draining mouthpiece (something most freedivers avoid anyway).

  • As you ascend, look up. You also want to have a hand up.
  • When your hand touches the surface, blow a puff of air into your snorkel. The suction of water passing over the tip of the snorkel, coupled with the expansion of air in the snorkel, will force any water out.
  • When your head touches the surface, look down and inhale cautiously. You will most likely find your snorkel completely clear.

What to remember

To effectively clear your snorkel, keep these three things in mind:

  • The key to clearing water from your snorkel is to exhale forcefully.
  • After exhaling to clear, make your first inhalation a cautious one, in case you need to “breathe past” any remaining water.
  • If freediving, learn to use the displacement clear. It’s significantly easier than blast clearing.

Have additional questions about snorkels or snorkeling? Talk to the experienced professionals at your local SDI Dive Center. They will be able to help you.

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To find out more about International Training, visit

From its humble beginning in 1994 to today, the group of training agencies Scuba Diving International (SDI), Technical Diving International (TDI), and Emergency Response Diving International (ERDI) form one of the largest diving certification agencies in the World – International Training. With 24 Regional Offices servicing more than 100 countries, the company today far exceeds the original vision the founders had when they conceived the idea on a napkin, sitting at a kitchen table in the early 1990’s.

Dive Training Blogs

Reef Rescue Network launches new interactive map



The Reef Rescue Network (RRN) was established in 2017 by the Perry Institute for Marine Science (PIMS) as a network of non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses committed to improving the condition of coral reefs by restoring populations of corals and other species that will build coral reef resilience. Since then the RRN has grown to include nearly 30 coral restoration sites in partnership with 25 local partners from 9 islands within The Bahamas as well as Aruba and St. Lucia. Through this partnership between coral reef scientist’s local conservation and education organizations and private businesses in the dive industry, the RRN is making significant advances in restoring coral and building reef resilience.

Visitors and locals can now immerse themselves in coral restoration activities at a partner location within the Reef Rescue Network. The network has coral nurseries that offer coral restoration experiences throughout The Bahamas, Aruba & St. Lucia. PIMS has developed a PADI Reef Rescue Diver Specialty Course that dive shops throughout the Reef Rescue Network are teaching. To participate, you must be a certified open water diver and at least 12 years old. The course takes one day and consists of knowledge development and two open water dives at a coral nursery.

You can learn how to assist with maintaining the nursery and get a hands-on experience or you can just scuba or snorkel the coral nursery as a fun dive to just observe and enjoy the nursery and marine life that it attracts. Another option is to scuba or snorkel one of the many restoration sites to view the corals that have been outplanted and witness for yourselves this habitat restoration and the marine life it has welcomed.

To find out more about the Reef Rescue Network, watch this video:

To visit the new Reef Rescue Network Interactive Map click here.

To learn more about the Reef Rescue Network visit their website by clicking here.

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Dive Training Blogs

Saving Scuba: Are We Living The Dream Yet?! (Watch Video)



Are We Living The Dream Yet?! How do we save scuba diving? A multi-million dollar industry primarily comprised of mom-and-pop shops. Non-essential. Tourism-based. And hit so hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In this video, I identify three key challenges to the scuba diving industry that have been amplified, but not created, by the coronavirus outbreak. Cute hashtags are not going to save scuba diving. We need a plan. We need action.

I have friends – professionals in the industry – who are suffering hardships because of this pandemic. And just because the quarantines may be lifted, it doesn’t mean everything will return to normal. People who have suffered economically because of business closures are not going to rush out and spend money on dive gear and travel.

As always, stay safe and thanks for watching. D.S.D.O, James

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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