Do you know where that snorkel has been?

As I write this blog today, more snow has faSt. Luciallen in the Ohio Valley and I get it…………….We are all tired of it and want to find someplace warm, sunny and surrounded by water to play in.  This time of year many of us are headed off to cruises, all inclusive resorts or any place warm.  Recently in the news there has been a lot of press about viruses and people getting sick on cruise ships and most of us can relate to getting a cold on the flight from or to our destination. So we would like to offer a little professional advice to help you stay healthy while you are playing in the oceans this winter.

In the dive center we are busy teaching snorkeling and doing scuba refreshers for people planning a escape from the winter weather right now.  We are repeatedly told that they don’t need to own or plan on taking their own mask, snorkel, regulators or even fins.  The reason being the cruise ships, resorts, etc. supply them and they don’t want to pack them or spend the money.  But our advice…………………….own them and pack them!

The pathway for any virus is the mouth, nose and eyes and in our recreational sport that is where we put our gear.  Masks enclose our nose and eyes and snorkels and regulators go directly into our mouths. Do you know where your rental snorkel or regulator was before you put it into your mouth?  While I would like to think that all places rinse and disinfect their rental equipment as completely as we do, we know that they don’t.  Sometimes they don’t have the time or don’t think about the personal contact involved in the gear. I would no more use a rental mask, snorkel or regulator on a cruise ship or resort than I would use a stranger’s toothbrush.

A mask and snorkel can be purchased for under $50 and for what you paid for the vacation it is a small price to pay to protect yourself.   So when you are running down the list of need and what if items for your long awaited get away and if there are snorkeling or diving activites in the plan, we highly recommend you consider taking your own gear.  It just makes good sense…………and Have a Great Time!

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PADI Course Director and Owner of Aquatic Realm Scuba Center in Dayton Ohio USA.