MY SNORKEL MASK LEAKS: A MYSTERY SOLVED

While in Australia we had the barrier reef on our “to do list” and for me, I learned an expensive lesson there.

Over the years I have had a lot of trouble with face masks and leaking. I recently upgraded all of the family’s gear (we love to snorkel) and had some success with masks.

However, the same thing kept happening over and over on trips. The longer we were at the hotel/resort, the leakier my mask would get. It was was driving me INSANE. The family had gotten use to it and was convinced that I am just finicky.

We traveled all the way out to the barrier reef and the same thing happened, I spent more time clearing my mask than snorkelling. The mystery being that a couple of days prior I had snorkelled for 4 hours with no issues. What was I doing wrong?

The skipper finally solved the mystery: my beard. When I go on holiday I like to skip shaving. As the week progresses, it gets thicker. At a certain point, the mask is incapable of making a seal with my skin due to the stubble and starts leaking. Mystery solved: shave. Which is alright, there is a surprising amount of grey anyway (smile).

The boys have no such issue, they swim like fish.

SNORKELLING AROUND HAMILTON ISLAND

 

The tide goes out in the afternoon providing excellent access to the reef system off the beach. You walk in ankle deep water for 300m and then make your way out to the system. The wind and waves will determine the visibility. On boxing day we spent a couple hours snorkelling with excellent visibility. I was swimming with my Canon G12 and an underwater case.

The coral is beautiful.

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I have no idea what type of fish this is but the camouflage was very impressive.

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There were a few jellyfish so you had be careful. Most people were not wearing a stinger suit.

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I happened upon this huge sea turtle grazing. No one else was around so I just hung out for 30 minutes swimming beside him/her and snapping shots. They are such magnificent creatures.

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He/she was not bothered at all.

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The turtle was over a meter long. Beautiful.

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Amazing experience.

A CAMERA UPGRADE

 

For traveling I have two camera choices – the full rig (Canon 40D with a number of lenses) and a portable. The portable (And old Canon SD1000) was carried in my laptop bag and was primarily used for underwater shots …. thanks to an amazing waterproof chassis that I grabbed after a trip to Bora Bora when a friend took this shot with the same chassis.

2007 Bora Bora Snorkelling with the sharks (14)

It has been a great product that we use all the time. Below are a few underwater photos from a trip to Mexico in August. The quality is fantastic for a 7 year old camera.

2011 08 18 Mexico  _-19

2011 08 19 Mexico  _

2011 08 19 Mexico  _-5

2011 08 19 Mexico  _-8

But it was time for an upgrade. For Christmas I received a Canon G12 and a WP-DC34 underwater case. I cannot wait to test out full HD video, RAW and the advances that the camera offers when we are snorkelling in Grand Cayman. Can’t wait.

EGYPT: THE LAST PART

We closed out our day in Luxor and headed to the airport to head to Sharm el Sheik, on the Red Sea, for some R&R.

We stayed at the Hyatt  in 2 attached family rooms (versus the Four Seasons which was a single room for the same price). In retrospect, if we were going back we would go to the Four Seasons and take a smaller room for the same money – the experience in Cairo was that good.

Personally, I loved the weather. It was 80 the majority of the time – not too hot. BUT, it was not hot enough for others and I can understand that. One of the things that was very obvious at the resort was the Russian wealth. You could spot them, they were the ones with very big logo wear and lots of gold. In conversation with a Brit, he made the following observation:

‘It is like the UK years ago, we came into a lot of wealth after a long period of no wealth and went on a spending spree – showing that wealth’

Russia is now No. 2 in the world for billionaires. New wealth indeed.

The hotel was beautiful with an 80′ water slide, a lazy river pool with waterfalls and pretty good service. But the highlight was the snorkelling, the Red Sea is known for their diving and right off the beach was a coral garden which was beautiful. A few photos below.

A great way to end the trip.

2008 04 01 636 Egypt

2008 04 01 637 Egypt

2008 03 30 625 Egypt

I bought an underwater camera case for our point and shoot, it worked amazing (great for videos also). A $200 investment I will not regret. I also upgraded all of our snorkelling gear at the dive shop, another good investment.

You swam along the shallow coral from the beach and then it would drop off …

2008 03 31 Red Sea at the Beach  (8)

2008 03 28 Red Sea Sharm  (24)

Truly amazing to snorkel with the family.

2008 03 28 Red Sea Sharm  (18)

There were hundreds of fish and they would simply swim beside you.

2008 03 28 Red Sea Sharm  (24)

2008 03 28 Red Sea Sharm  (26)

2008 03 31 Red Sea at the Beach  (5)

2008 03 31 Red Sea at the Beach  (10)

A few videos from the Canon point and shoot below. I love the movie facility on these cameras, use it all the time. 

And so concludes our Egypt trip. My only recommendation, if you can do it, go. Travelling to Egypt is the opportunity of a lifetime.

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