It’s time to talk about snorkelling in Niue.
We were lucky enough to take our holiday with good friends who are experienced snorkellers. Deb and I had never snorkelled before. I tried it one time a decade or two ago, but just couldn’t believe I could breathe through my mouth, let alone underwater. It never happened.
Find all the posts from our 2016 trip to Niue under the tag: Niue.
Also, I don’t really swim unless it’s a thermal pool or maybe tropical waters. I’m more a person to be on the water rather than in it.
But Niue is famed for its clear waters and great snorkelling. Our friends love snorkelling, and I recalled writing a Tech Universe item about full face snorkels a few years ago:
The Easybreath mask is a full-face snorkel mask that offers the wearer an unobstructed 180 degree field of vision, and uses a double air-flow system to prevent fogging. The wearer can breathe normally inside the mask, while a special mechanism plugs the top of the snorkel tube if it goes under water.
With a click and a click and a wave of the credit card two Tribord masks were on their way for us. We decided to forgo fins at this stage.
Let me just say:
there’s a whole other world down there under the water!
I also invested in an underwater camera, an Olympus TG-870, and while I really need to use it a whole lot more to learn how to get the best from it, I loved at least some of the photos I took. Although the fish proved fairly elusive, there were some beautiful patterns of light on the rocks and coral below the water.
There are numerous places to snorkel in Niue. Some are better for beginners. Some are better at certain times of tide. Some are easier to get into than others. The Commodore’s Tour the day after we arrived gave us invaluable advice about where and when to go for best snorkelling.
We started at Hio, and on other days tried Avatele, Matapa Chasm, Limu Pools and Namukulu. Our friends tried a few other spots too. Next time we visit I’ll try some of those other spots.
If you’ve never snorkelled then I totally recommend the Tribord full-face mask. It made it possible for me to discover this whole new fascinating world.
There’s a downside though to snorkelling for those of us who wear glasses — you can’t wear glasses with a snorkel mask. For me that meant not being able to see clearly, so what would be the point?
Optometrists can do things with standard snorkel masks to give you prescription glass, but I don’t know if that applies to the Tribord. I decided to take the plunge and go with daily contacts — the ones you throw away after a day’s use.
I wore contacts for a decade or so back in my twenties, but eventually couldn’t tolerate them any more. Surely, some thirty years later, there was a chance that would have changed.
My optometrist checked out my eyes and gave me some samples to try for a week or so. I found the lenses worked fine once I was used to them again, but I had trouble reading. On a return visit to check on progress we discussed that and my optometrist made a slight change to the prescription.
The new lenses work well: I can see well enough at a distance and well enough to read.
So, the new snorkelling venture cost a bit to set up, but we’re already planning a return trip to Niue, and may well visit other Pacific Islands in the next decade or two, so I’m sure there will be more snorkelling in my future.