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Sean Chinn’s Snorkel Journeys: Part 7 – Me and water



In this ongoing series regular contributor and worldwide snorkel adventurer Sean Chinn shares his snorkel journeys.

Part 7: Me and water – It’s an obsession

For someone born into a big city smack in the middle of England, it’s not expected for you to become obsessed with swimming and visiting wild places to enjoy the water. However I was very fortunate that I was introduced to swimming very early. I was also extremely lucky that my grandad had a pool he built in his back garden for us to enjoy throughout the summer. I had swimming lessons from an early age and you couldn’t keep me out the water when on holiday (I don’t do too well with heat). So it was inevitable I would transition to a life in the ocean at some point.

Lionfish on the house reef in Sharm el Sheikh during a 4-5 hour snorkel.

I would take any opportunity I could to be in the water snorkelling when on trips abroad. Especially where there is amazing wildlife to witness. Once I took up underwater photography back in 2013 this became an addiction. This showed on a particular trip to Sharm el Sheikh in the November of that year. After 5 great days of diving on my first trip to Egypt. We had a free day of no diving before our flight the following day. Most of the group decided to head down to the beach and house reef. We all got in for a snorkel and was enjoying our time around the beautiful shallow reef full of colour and life. While others in the group got out I carried on exploring. It wasn’t until I got out and some of the group were shocked and asked if I’d been in the water all that time and did I realise how long I’d been in there. We worked out that I must have been in the water for 4 and a half hours snorkelling around.

A tiny nudibranch taken while snorkelling at night time in Anilao, Philippines.

There was more in water action on a day trip out of Nassau to Ship Channel Cay in 2014. With stingrays and sharks in the shallows I never left the water the whole time we were there. However it wasn’t until 2015 I truly realised how obsessed I’d got when I upset my girlfriend. We were stopping in Anilao, Philippines for a few days where I had 4 dives booked in but no night dives. We were stopping on the coast and while eating dinner one night I noticed some lights in the water and thought it looked shallow. So the next night after dinner I planned to go snorkelling for a bit at night and the missus waited up by the restaurant. 2 and a half hours later I got out the water to a hostile reception once I returned to the room. I just completely lose myself in the water and become engrossed in the wonders I find.

A manatee family in the shallows of Crystal River, Florida. 

I always take my opportunities when travelling and 2016 was no different. I was visiting Bahamas on a shark infested liveaboard. The boat would leave from Palm Beach, Florida, so I decided to book an extra few days to explore the underwater action in Florida. My dedication to see as much as I could saw me book an overnight stay around Crystal River for a day snorkelling with the manatees. After 3 dives in Jupiter in the day I drove around 4 and a half hours north to Crystal River. I was tired but the next day in the water with these cute but large marine mammals was amazing. So friendly and docile it was great to see their loving nature all huddled together. I had no time to rest after though and drove 5 hours back south to Palm Beach in preparation for my liveaboard the next day.

While I could go on with more examples of my addiction to going in the water with wildlife at any opportunity. Times like in Aqaba where I could have relaxed on surface intervals but went under the pier or to the M42 Duster. Or in the water with Mantas until 1.30am in the Maldives. Well, I’m sure you get the picture now. Snorkelling makes it so easy to enjoy these amazing moments around the world.

Under the jetty at Berenice Beach Club was full of life on a surface interval snorkel.

Find out more about Sean, his photography and his trips at:

Sean Chinn’s diving adventures started in a freezing cold quarry back in January 2011. Maybe the reason he wasn't instantly hooked! However, after an amazing trip to Indonesia in 2013, he realised he needed to see more of the underwater world. With no photography background, he enlisted some help in developing both his diving and photo skills. This kickstarted his adventures which have become something of an addiction. Seeing and photographing wildlife is Sean’s real passion in snorkelling and diving but he is always keen to try new ideas.

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The Suit Ocean Team leads the Ultimate Curacao Snorkeling Adventure



By Bryan Horne
Snorkeling and scuba diving in Curacao is a dream for anyone who loves the combination of amazing beaches and the mind blowing biodiversity that exists along 104 square kilometers of its fringing coral reefs. So if you are interested in the ultimate Caribbean snorkeling adventure then keep reading as The Suit Ocean Team takes you on a one hundred kilometer snorkeling tour of Curacao’s southern shoreline.

As passionate residents of our Dutch Caribbean Island, we must congratulate The Suit Ocean Team for creating more awareness about the importance of protecting our beautiful fringing reef systems in Curacao.

The film, Curacao Underwater Kunuku (Kunuku is Papiamento for Garden), not only documents this ultimate snorkeling adventure showing you how easy it is for everyone to access and enjoy a snorkel or diving experience, but it also showcases the interaction between man and nature, highlighting the beauty of underwater life while promoting conservation, preservation and the need to protect these vital habitats.

These are the key ingredients to this beautiful short film documentary. Watch NOW and please enjoy our “CURACAO UNDERWATER KUNUKU”.

This film, produced by the Lawrence Mensa Foundation (LMF), is also available in multiple languages including: Spanish, Papiamentu, Dutch, Portuguese and German.

Images courtesy of The Suit Ocean Team
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8 Unique Places to Go Snorkeling in Europe



Snorkeling in Europe brings to mind golden sands dotted with beach umbrellas, clear waters, and rocky landscapes busy with Mediterranean fish life. Europe offers all of that, but it also offers so much more for snorkelers. Among Europe’s diverse countries, you can find impossibly bright blue lagoons, idyllic islands, and pristine marine reserves that host thousands of sea turtles and playful seals. You can snorkel over a sunken Roman city and explore one of the world’s premier marine megafauna hotspots. Ready for a summer vacation? Get inspired with our round-up of 8 unique places to go snorkeling in Europe.

Comino, Malta

Sitting between the islands of Malta and Gozo, Comino Island is a paradise for snorkelers and divers alike. This tiny island hosts the brightest blue waters in the Maltese Islands and offers fantastic snorkeling among sheltered inlets and caves busy with diverse marine life.

Comino is best-known for hosting the Blue Lagoon; a bucket-list destination with crystal-clear waters and striking rocky landscapes. It is the perfect place to go snorkeling, take a hike, or simply marvel at the gorgeous scenery.

Medes Islands, Spain.

With over 500 dive sites and seaside destinations all along its coastline, Spain draws tourists from around the world. This vibrant country is one of Europe’s top vacation spots.

The Costa Brava in northeastern Spain is home to some of the most famous snorkeling spots in the country, one of which is the Medes Islands. This small archipelago of seven islets off L’Estartit is one of the best marine reserves in all of the Mediterranean.

Fishing was banned at the Medes Islands over 30 years ago, which has allowed marine life to flourish there. Seagrass meadows and rocky areas busy with fish await. A visit to this exceptional marine ecosystem is a must if you are visiting Spain.

Zakynthos, Greece.

If you love sea turtles, Greece should be top of your list of places to go snorkeling in Europe.

Zakynthos is home to Marathonisi Island, also known as ‘Turtle Island’. This small island sits within the National Marine Park of Zakynthos and is a vital breeding ground for loggerhead sea turtles. The National Marine Park of Zakynthos was created in 1999 to protect these turtles, plus rare Mediterranean monk seals, which give birth to their young in Zakynthos’s secluded caves.

Marathonisi, nearby Cameo Island, and Zakynthos, are the top places in Europe to swim with turtles. In the summer months, thousands of loggerhead turtles visit the area to lay their eggs and you can go snorkeling with them.

Lundy Island, United Kingdom.

Snorkeling with seals is bound to leave a smile on your face. These cheeky animals are known for getting up close to snorkelers, checking them out, and occasionally nibbling fins.

Lundy Island is one of the best places to go snorkeling with seals in Europe. This island sits just 12 miles off the coast of Devon and hosts a breeding colony of Atlantic grey seals. The seals can be found playing in the surf and lounging in the sunshine at various points around the island.

Grab your snorkeling kit and dive in. Below the water, you will find shallow sunlit kelp forests, a variety of reefs, sea caves, and pinnacles. Lundy is a popular place for diving, but you will see plenty of marine life from the surface, including bright cup corals, anemones, fish, and hopefully seals.

Sunken City of Baiae, Italy

Not every great snorkeling experience is about marine life. In Italy, you can snorkel over ancient Roman ruins.

Two thousand years ago, Baiae was the destination for rich Romans to escape the city and relax by the seaside. Countless emperors and merchants flocked to Baiae’s shores every year, until tectonic activity forced this thriving city underwater.

Today, Baiae is an intact underwater city and one of the top highlights of snorkeling and diving in Italy. Observing these ruins is a breath-taking experience that brings history to life. There are Roman statues, a thermal spa, paved roads, and pillars dating back to the 1st century BC.

Corsica, France

Corsica is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and shallow bays perfect for snorkeling with your kids.

This gorgeous island in the Mediterranean Sea boasts dramatic cliffs and white-sand beaches that hosts a wealth of accessible snorkeling spots. There are rich seagrass beds and rocky landscapes, plus small hidden coves dotted around the island. All of which host a diverse array of marine life, including huge schools of fish, octopi, moray eels, and starfish.

Corsica’s calm waters make it ideal not just for kids, but also for beginner snorkelers and those who want an easy time in the water. With water temperatures reaching up to 26 °C, plus water visibility of up to 30 meters, Corsica ticks the boxes for a laidback beach and snorkeling vacation.

Traun River, Austria

You might not think of Austria for snorkeling, but this land of iconic mountains and lush green landscapes has pristine lakes that attract divers and snorkelers every year. Away from the lakes, you can go snorkeling in spring-fed rivers that gleam in the sunshine.

Forget about floating on the surface when you go river snorkeling. At the Traun River in Upper Austria, river snorkeling involves rock jumping, canyoning, and some relaxed floating downstream. Along the way, you can explore interesting rock formations, underwater caves, and a waterfall, and meet freshwater fish life. This is also an excellent spot to go drift diving.

The Azores, Portugal

Sitting in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by endless blue waters, the Azores is a mecca for marine megafauna.

These famous islands host a remarkable amount of marine life, including more than 27 whale and dolphin species, mobula rays, and sharks. Snorkeling at the Azores is a great way to experience this wealth of life. You can swim with dolphins and snorkel among dozens of mobula rays and big pelagic fish.

And if you have a scuba certification, you can also go diving with mako and blue sharks. With water visibility reaching up to 60 meters, the Azores is incredible whichever way you choose to explore.

Kathryn Curzon, a conservationist and dive travel writer for SSI (Scuba Schools International), wrote this article.

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