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Does Wind Affect Snorkeling Conditions?

snorkeling conditions in the wind

If you’re a fan of snorkeling, then you know that the conditions can change rapidly depending on the weather. Wind can play a huge role in how pleasant or unpleasant the experience is. Some people might wonder if wind affects snorkeling conditions at all – and the answer is yes! Let’s take a closer look at how wind affects snorkeling and what you can do to make your snorkeling trip more enjoyable.

Wind Can Make it More Difficult to Swim

Winds over 10 miles per hour can create waves of up to 3-feet in height. This wave action will make it harder to swim comfortably. The wind will also push you in the direction it is blowing. If it is blowing out to sea, you will need to be careful to not drift too far and make swimming back to the boat, or land more difficult.

Wind Can Make You Feel Colder

While the average surface water temperature off the shores of Kauai is around 77 degrees Fahrenheit, a constant wind will make things feel much colder. This is felt both in the water and out of the water. If needed, a bodysuit can help keep you warmer in this situation. A strong wind can also stir up colder water from deeper down lowering the overall water temperature where you’re swimming.

Wind Can Increase the Risk of Sunburns When Snorkeling

As we learned above the wind can make it feel much cooler when snorkeling, this can mask the effects of the sun. The sun’s rays are just as intense with or without wind, but since you feel cooler it will be harder to notice the effects of the sun. This can cause some people to forget to re-apply sunscreen or get out of the sun in a timely fashion. It’s very easy to receive a sunburn and not realize it until later in the day.

On the subject of sunscreen, we highly recommend the liberal use of sunscreen to prevent sunburns and long-term sun damage to your skin. But please make sure that your sunscreen is reef safe. Some chemicals in non-reef safe sunscreen can damage coral reefs. We want to make sure our oceans are healthy and can be enjoyed by future generations to their fullest.

Wind Can Make Getting On and Off The Boat Harder

When snorkeling from a boat, a strong wind can make getting on and off the vessel more difficult as the boat bobs with the waves. Make sure to use caution and follow the crew’s instructions when getting in and out of the water.

Wind Doesn’t Have to Ruin a Snorkeling Trip

Even though wind can affect your snorkeling experience, it doesn’t have to ruin your snorkeling trip. If the wind is light it will feel good on a hot day and help cool you down. As we pointed out above, you will want to make sure to use plenty of reef-safe sunscreen on windy days as it’s hard to recognize how intense the sun actually is.

The best way to make the most out of a windy day when snorkeling is to move to sheltered water. At Kauai Sea Tours, if the wind is blowing more than we would like at our original snorkel destination we will move on to a more sheltered bay or side of the island. This is one of the advantages of participating in a boat snorkeling tour, we will help make sure you get the most out of your snorkeling excursion.

To book a snorkeling adventure, check out our Snorkeling Tours Page and book a trip that is perfect for you.

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