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.

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