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Old 02-03-2013, 11:00 AM   #1
Harlancy
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Snorkeling Questions

Going to St Thomas late Feb and will be snorkeling for the 1st time. Are the mask tight enough so I can wear my contacts? I am blind without glasses or contacts. Also will be snorkeling for 90 minutes and will I need some type of protection from sunburn on my back? Will a t-shirt be enough?
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:06 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Harlancy View Post
Going to St Thomas late Feb and will be snorkeling for the 1st time. Are the mask tight enough so I can wear my contacts? I am blind without glasses or contacts. Also will be snorkeling for 90 minutes and will I need some type of protection from sunburn on my back? Will a t-shirt be enough?
Yes, you can wear your contacts. I've snorkeled several times with my contacs. Like you'd, I'd be blind without them.

For the sunburn issue, we buy rash guards for that very reason.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:18 AM   #3
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You should be okay wearing your contacts to snorkel. I'm a scuba diver and I dive with my contacts on all the time.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:26 AM   #4
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Will a t-shirt be enough?
I buy swim shirts for me and my son. They are t-shirts that are made to swim in so they do not hold water and drag you down. Just search swim shirt on the web and you will get lots of places to get them with lots of styles. Just make sure you order them big enough.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Harlancy View Post
Going to St Thomas late Feb and will be snorkeling for the 1st time. Are the mask tight enough so I can wear my contacts? I am blind without glasses or contacts. Also will be snorkeling for 90 minutes and will I need some type of protection from sunburn on my back? Will a t-shirt be enough?
My sister just got a prescription mask. She said it was like 50 bucks. Might be worth checking into if you think you'll be doing more snorkeling in the future.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlancy View Post
Going to St Thomas late Feb and will be snorkeling for the 1st time. Are the mask tight enough so I can wear my contacts? I am blind without glasses or contacts. Also will be snorkeling for 90 minutes and will I need some type of protection from sunburn on my back? Will a t-shirt be enough?

You can buy inexpensive prescription masks, even on eBay, but if you don't think you'll be snorkeling again, I wouldn't spend the money for one. The first I've heard of anyone being able to wear their contact successfully is from KSDisneyDad (above). We've been snorkeling all over the Caribbean for over 30 years, and I've never run across anyone else who's been able to do this comfortably.

I wouldn't bother spending the money for a special shirt, either. Sunscreen and a t-shirt work just as well. Make sure you have a LOT of sunscreen on the back of your neck, and on your EARS. Don't forget the back of your legs, either!
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justmestace

You can buy inexpensive prescription masks, even on eBay, but if you don't think you'll be snorkeling again, I wouldn't spend the money for one. The first I've heard of anyone being able to wear their contact successfully is from KSDisneyDad (above). We've been snorkeling all over the Caribbean for over 30 years, and I've never run across anyone else who's been able to do this comfortably.

I wouldn't bother spending the money for a special shirt, either. Sunscreen and a t-shirt work just as well. Make sure you have a LOT of sunscreen on the back of your neck, and on your EARS. Don't forget the back of your legs, either!
I've been diving for over 20 years with contacts and never had a problem. I work in a dive shop pt in Orlando and the only time I've heard of an issue is when someone used rain ex as an anti fog.
Word of warning for those who buy off eBay or a box box store. Try the mask on asap. There are no two masks that fit the same. A mask too small wm cause a leak.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justmestace

You can buy inexpensive prescription masks, even on eBay, but if you don't think you'll be snorkeling again, I wouldn't spend the money for one. The first I've heard of anyone being able to wear their contact successfully is from KSDisneyDad (above). We've been snorkeling all over the Caribbean for over 30 years, and I've never run across anyone else who's been able to do this comfortably.

I wouldn't bother spending the money for a special shirt, either. Sunscreen and a t-shirt work just as well. Make sure you have a LOT of sunscreen on the back of your neck, and on your EARS. Don't forget the back of your legs, either!
I snorkel often and always wear contacts. If a mask leaks a bit it is slow enough to catch before the water covers your eyes. I have never had a problem ever, but have made a few adjustments in the water( tighten mask, etc.).
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:53 PM   #9
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Four of the five in our family wear contacts and none of us had any issues snorkeling on any of our cruises. Last year, we snorkeled at St. Maarten, St. John and CC. This included jumping off the catamaran's wearing our masks as well.

Also, with respect to Rash Guard or Swim Shorts, we won't cruise without them. They provide great sun protection without worrying about missing a spot or two. Our family won't swim without them anymore. I guess it's because we're from a cold climate and burn easily.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:00 PM   #10
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I didn't say that I didn't believe wearing contacts was wrong, or that it wouldn't work for a short cruise excursion. Just saying that when we snorkel, it's for days at a time, on 2 week trips to the islands, along with the times we snorkel while cruising, and we've truly not run into any snorkelers or divers who do it. But then, the people we go with and meet are basically what you'd call "pros", who do it all the time, so it's worth the money for them to have prescription masks made, like we do.

I honestly don't think that for a novice, it would be a good idea to try it, unless they had a pool to practice in at home, or were willing to lose their contacts.

Also, for a first time cruiser/snorkeler, I don't see paying $20-$50 for a rash guard, when a cheap t-shirt works just as well. Definitely not as attractive or professional looking, but who cares? We take old t-shirts and then just toss them as we go along. We don't have to worry about getting them dry, and it's a few less items to haul home.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:11 PM   #11
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Pros (like DAN) recommend prescription lenses in the mask, but they also say that if you are going to wear contacts, make sure that they're SOFT contacts. And make sure that whoever is with you knows you have contacts in, so that if you lose your mask, they can retrieve it for you. Also, make sure you close your eyes when you clear your mask, and when you're done snorkeling, wash/rinse your contacts and your eyes to make sure there isn't any sand or muck in them.
Personally, that's just too much for a novice to have to think about for a "relaxing" sport.

There are also some stick-on magnifying lenses (soft plastic and inexpensive) that you can buy to put in your mask.

And keep in mind that the water magnifies things 30%, so if your vision isn't too bad, you might do well without needing anything extra.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:44 PM   #12
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I snorkeled for 10+ times with my soft contacts in, no problem. I also wear them for water skiing, swimming and showering. I do, however, have the daily disposables, so I was never really worried about losing them (lost one in the last 10 year doing a water sport, but it was when I was out of the water, rubbing my eyes too hard on the boat).



I would definitely try to swing by a pool and see if you are comfortable wearing contacts in the water. I did it for 27+ years starting at 10 years of age, so I was super comfortable (on swim team, etc.)
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