When is the best time to snorkel? Is it morning, afternoon, or night? Because most snorkelers will choose to go during the day or afternoon, this article will concentrate on those times. However, there is no best time to snorkel because the answers are so subjective.
Should you snorkel in the morning or afternoon? The time of day significantly impacts the weather, currents, and temperature. Furthermore, the time of year and where you’re snorkeling will also have an impact. What’s finest for you may not be ideal for someone else, but most people prefer morning snorkel sessions. New to Snorkel Go through this complete Snorkeling 101: The Complete Guide to Snorkeling.
How much does timing matter?
Is there much difference between snorkeling in the morning and later in the day? Believe it or not, timing is everything when it comes to snorkeling. Where would the fish go if they didn’t have to hide from humans? That’s an excellent point.
Of course, if strangers show up at your home daily during the week, will they always find you there? Taking things to an extreme, you may be at home but not want to open the door for fear of being disturbed.
The fish are in a similar scenario. They go out and about at various times of the day. At other times, they will return to their little hole to sleep or hide from predators, waves, or the cold. You could be in the proper location while the fish should be there, but your arrival may be off in minutes.
If you know a particular species frequents a certain period, you might choose the morning or afternoon if you want to see them. Again, many of the variables we mentioned, such as weather, tidal currents, and temperature, play an important part in determining when you should snorkel. Let’s look at each one in further detail below.
What time to snorkel: key considerations
Keep an eye out for these five factors, as they will greatly impact your snorkeling experience. In no particular order:
Weather, for example, may have an impact on what happens underwater. The most important factors to consider are temperature, wind, and rain. We’re not trying to downplay the importance of snorkeling when it’s windy or rainy; you can still swim while it’s blowing.
The most essential to keep an eye on is wind since strong winds can produce powerful currents. Furthermore, your aquatic creatures will not waste their energy swimming against the current for your sake, and they’ll save their energy and swim with the current, frequently sweeping them from view. The wind typically picks up as the day goes on, so it’s best to snorkel early in the morning to avoid both wind and currents.
Another thing to consider is that since your snorkeling mask blocks light, you may not be able to see as well as you could if it didn’t. Rain lowers visibility, which can make seeing difficult. Snorkeling might be difficult because of the water droplets depending on how heavy the rain is.
The water droplets might cause a commotion to interfere with your view if you spend a significant amount of time at the surface. When it rains, fish avoid the surface. Check our Complete guide about 8 Best Snorkel Masks in 2023.
Depending on whether you’re wearing an exposure suit or not, the temperature might be an issue. The difficulty is not heat but rather cold because you’ll spend most of your time in the water. When it rains, the temperature will drop.
Snorkeling in the afternoon when the sun is at its highest will help you stay warm. Otherwise, snorkeling in the morning will require a wetsuit. At the absolute least, put on a rashie or other piece of clothing with a UPF protection factor. Even with these, you’ll need to apply a reef-friendly sunscreen on the exposed regions because you can still get sunburnt.
Tides and currents
Let’s look at the water itself. The two most important elements to consider are the position of the tidal currents and the size of the waves entering the region. Is it better to snorkel during high or low tide? Low tide is preferable for snorkeling to high tide, although both have advantages and drawbacks. Most snorkelers prefer low tide since it allows shallow ponds to form, giving you a tighter area to swim where more things may be seen. Visibility, on the other hand, isn’t always ideal.
The water may get too deep at high tide, putting the sea bed out of sight. If you’re up for ducking diving, it’s not so bad. The advantage of high tide is that visibility is generally better, and you’ll put further between yourself and the coral reefs, lowering your chance of coming into direct contact with them.
The moon determines the lowest and highest tides, which rise and set according to the phases of its cycle. You’ll need a tide table to determine when low and high tides are. This may alter whether you snorkel in the morning or afternoon, depending on which tide you prefer to swim in.
Another thing to consider is the waves, which may be quite large at times. Swell is something that surfers enjoy. But what about snorkeling? They will destroy your snorkeling experience. The undulating waves may make you feel nauseated, and you could unintentionally swallow a bucket of seawater if a large wave splashes onto your snorkel.
Large waves are unpleasant to look at and pose a significant safety risk for snorkelers who aren’t strong swimmers. Tidal currents and waves, on the other hand, are not a problem if you’re snorkeling in an isolated bay. If you wish to avoid large waves, go in the morning when they are less chaotic.
We’ve dropped hints here and there, but to be clear, if you want better water visibility, snorkel in the morning before the waves build up. In the afternoon, hurricanes are more likely, which means choppier seas and poor visibility. You can also check this: Can you Snorkel with Glasses?
Time of the year
Let’s step back and forget about snorkeling in the morning or afternoon. Let’s talk about the best time to snorkel during the year is?
This may or may not come as a surprise to you, but the time of year you go snorkeling significantly impacts the marine life you’ll encounter and your overall snorkeling experience. The season influences the temperature, weather, and current levels.
The ideal time to go snorkeling in Hawaii is during the summer. The water temperature will be higher, the winds will be less turbulent, and the sea swells will be smaller.
Ironically, even though the best weather exists during summer, it is a two-edged sword. The main reason is that so many visitors go in the summer, which will ruin your experience. Because there are so many people and poor visibility, snorkeling may not be enjoyed in peace.
That is why, in actuality, the ideal time to go snorkeling is at any time before or after summer. When you compare the months transitioning into or out of the summer season to those already in it, you’ll discover how warm they are. If you plan on going snorkeling before or after the
Again, hurricane season is a major concern when referring to Hawaii, which is in the tropics. June is when hurricane season begins, and November is when it comes to an end.
During this period, the region’s chance of hurricanes and tropical storms rises. Since time immemorial, global warming has caused its strength and frequency to increase. It is still possible to go to Hawaii at this time; be ready for abrupt shifts in the weather.
If you’ve booked a snorkeling boat trip, it’ll most likely depart early in the morning. There will be a new crew who will be happy to show you the beautiful seas in the region. As we’ve said, the waters are calm during the morning so that they will be cleaner and clearer.
There are also boat excursions in the late afternoon; however, other trips have departed, and the weather may be starting to change. The water might be dirtier, and there may be more wind, waves, and so on. Going out earlier prevents this from happening, allowing you to see different marine life under better circumstances.
If you own a waterproof camera and take pictures or shoot videos while snorkeling, this will not be your first option. Taking photos or filming films is a component of the snorkeling experience for some people. Some individuals like to share their amazing encounters with family and friends on social media.
If you want to shoot underwater photographs, mornings are the best time. The wind will be light, the seas will be calm and unobstructed, and the fish will be out looking for food. This is the ideal moment to snap as many images as possible because everything is quiet and peaceful.
Some people don’t have their snorkeling gear or want to deal with the trouble of transporting it on an airplane. If you want to choose from a selection of equipment, you’d better arrive early in the morning.
This is also the most sanitary option since you know no one else has used that equipment before. Furthermore, because you have the pick of the goods, you’ll be more likely to find ones with the most security features still available to rent.
Other water activities
Be cautious of people doing their water activities while you’re out there. While bad weather and big waves are unpleasant for snorkeling, they are exactly what surfers, kitesurfers, and windsurfers want. If you decide to snorkel in the afternoon, remember that you’ll have to contend with other swimmers and the weather.
In conclusion, when is the best time to snorkel – in the morning or afternoon? The majority of snorkelers prefer to do so in the morning. When it comes to the optimum season to swim, technically, summer is when you should do it, but if you despise large groups, then do it before or after.
Hopefully, you’re better informed about when it’s finest to snorkel. It would help if you considered several factors, including the weather, the climate, hourly tides, and visibility. Although snorkeling is most popular in the morning, it is based on the assumption that it usually offers the best conditions.
Take a look at the weather forecast and tide tables, and inquire about when the best time to snorkel at that location is with the locals. Stick to times when there’s plenty of sunshine, little or no wind, few or no clouds, low tides, and minimal waves. The water must be clean and clear for the fish to see, so there will be few distractions that might scare them away.
If you’re snorkeling in a protected bay, it doesn’t matter when you do it because you don’t have to worry about most of these things. If you’re new to snorkeling and don’t want the added pressure of considering everything in this article, protected bodies of water are an excellent choice.