Sunday, December 2, 2012

7 things you need for a (Muslimah) snorkeling trip

Non-swimmers can't snorkel right?


Wearing a hijab/scarf would hinder you from snorkelling right?


Let's start from the beginning how this non-swimmer and hijab wearing female got to go snorkelling...

First things first, I can't swim. Just can't. No history of almost drowning or being dunked into the pool or anything. Nothing. But the fear of the water is there. Because I can't swim.

Secondly, I agreed to go snorkeling as I trust my friends and hubs and was confident of their swimming ability. You know, just in case an emergency arises.

And finally, I've never gone snorkeling before so why not do it just to see how it feels like. Further research on the Internet also proved that even those who can't swim can snorkel.

So muslimah bloggers or blogwalkers who intend to go snorkeling for the first time, you've come to the right place! I would do my best to describe everything I wore, important, since I don't swim and thus I have no appropriate swimwear. I would like to clarify something, even if you're not going to ask, I've been playing in the water a lot both in the swimming pool and beach but I've only started to wear the hijab pretty recently so finding a suitable attire that covers my aurat took some research. I didn't want to purchase a burkini as I don't play in the water much so I wanted to wear whatever that I already own. AND because some burkinis look just plain ugly for the price you have to pay (average RM100 and above for the nicer ones) and I can't find any shops that sell burkinis in Dungun. There I said it.

List of things needed for a non-swimmer and hijab wearing female to go snorkelling:

1. Tudung Syria - don't go for the awning type, you won't be able to put on the snorkeling mask without letting water in the mask as the awning would create a teeny weeny gap. Can't breath = not good!
The clearest photo I have of myself wearing the mask with tudung syria.

2. Waterproof long sleeved top -I finally gave in and bought one also after trying on Mie's top that he bought from a sports store. It costs RM59.90, pretty pricey but I thought I could also use it for my netball games. I'm sure you can get one at any other sports store e.g. Al-Ikhsan. If the sales people don't know what you're talking about, ask for a cyclist top. That should give them some ideas. Nike has a few too but all those cost more than RM60. An alternative would be your inner long sleeved tops that muslimahs normally wear underneath their tees. I wanted to do that but since I fell in love with the the waterproof top would be lighter and dry faster.
Gambar sekadar hiasan. But this is the waterproof top I'm talking about. Source: here.
Note: This waterproof top type would normally be skin-tight. Too loose and you'll have curious fishes swimming up your armpits and you don't want that. So the solution to the skin-tight top problem is...

3. A loose shirt to wear on top of the waterproof top - Or any loose tops that you think would make wading in the water easier. I used my husband's old football jersey because of the quick drying material.

4. Tights - I wore my Simply Vera by Vera Wang zipped tights. Classy, I know. You can choose to wear other dark-coloured tights. The reason to wear tights (in my opinion) is again, you don't want no curious fishies swimming up to your you-know-what and it has to be dark-coloured so it won't be transparent after you come out of the water. See, I think of everything!

5. Track pants -I just wore my loose fitting light weight track pants over the tights. I did take them off before I went in the water though. This is totally up to you :)

6. Snorkeling gear - life jacket, goggles and that mouth piece for you to breath in. These are normally provided by the diving company you go with or the resort you stay at. I tried using the mouth piece a few days prior to our snorkeling trip (Mie bought two sets when we just moved to Dungun nearly 2 years ago) under the shower, just to get a feel of what it's like to breathe through your mouth. Automatically I stopped breathing (normal apparently) and gasped for air after that. Hahaha! It took a few practice, even after we were in the water on the island but you'll get used to it after a while. And oh, I didn't use my own snorkeling stuff in the end because the mask was cracked. :(

7. Guts - let's face it, being out of one's comfort zone is scary, no matter whether you're 8, 18 or 80. Being out in the water where my feet didn't touch the sand was definitely not something I was looking forward to but having a friend who can swim and life vests helped alleviate my nervousness A LOT. Plus, when I was already on the deep end, I realised it was actually quite impossible to drown with the life vest on.

Upcoming post on where we snorkeled + tons of underwater photos soon!

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