If your favorite hobby while cruising is snorkeling or diving, then it’s crucial to carry spares. I found this out the hard way while snorkeling in a reef pass with considerable current in Belize. The clear water and white sand bottom provided a magnificent backdrop for the reef wall in front of me and the gentle current propelled me along with almost no effort. Caught up in watching the colorful scene unfold in front of my eyes, I momentarily forgot to check where I was…. BIG oops! When I swam to the other side of the cut to swim back in with a change of scenery, I found the current had switched and now was going out. No big deal, I even liked it because it was more exercise swimming into the current and it wasn’t difficult … until one of my fin straps broke. Now I was swimming against the current with one fin and one foot. Going got more difficult. Fighting panic, I was out of breath by the time I finally made my way back to where the dinghy was anchored just inside the pass. Luckily, I had a spare fin strap in the dinghy so I just switched it out and continued snorkeling … albeit I must admit, I stuck to the sand bores and reeftops INSIDE the pass after that experience!
Spare #1: Save A Dive Kit. My favorite is from Princeton Tec, but there are many varieties available, pick the one that’s best for you. Here’s the description from Amazon:
This Save-A-Dive Kit is a gear bag must-have! Includes essential spares that can make the difference between bubble watching or making your own splash! Don’t let an equipment problem make you abort any dive. Kit is equipped with a Fin Strap Extra which is heavy duty yet, can be adjusted with ease even with gloves on. Mask Strap that can be used with all masks. Mask strap is a split strap design which helps mask fit securely and comfortably in place. Snorkel Keeper is extra thick for durability and will fit most snorkels available today. Mouthpiece will fit most regulators and is standard size that will fit comfortably in your mouth minimizing jaw fatigue. All this and more comes packaged in a waterproof container.
Or individually, we like to have at least a spare mask strap, a spare fin strap – our equipment is TUSA and ScubaPro, so we each have fin specific spare straps although you can get one that’s supposedly “one size fits all” and a snorkel keeper.
Spare #2: Speargun or Hawaiian Sling Bands. Only a few things worse than having a speargun band break right as you round a corner and see the perfect dog snapper staring at you! But just in case, go back to the dinghy, replace the band and go find that snapper’s hole! 🙂
Spare #3: Extra batteries for my camera! Like losing a speargun band, there’s only a few things worse than finding a great photo … and having the batteries go out just as you’re ready to click. At least if you have spare batteries in the dinghy, you might have a chance to replace them and find the colorful angelfish or sea turtle or whatever you were trying to photograph when the batteries oh so inconveniently let you down!
HAPPY SNORKELING! Do you carry other spares that we should know about? Please leave a comment! Cheers! J