You just never know. One day the waves can be a meter high the next day the water is still. You have to be prepared to snorkel whenever the water is good. You can't assume that the sea will be calm all day because it is calm in the morning.
On a sunny day in the summer you will have good light up until 5:00 gradually diminishing to 4:00 at the end of September.
If the sea has been very wavy for any length of time [weeks] then visibility will be dramatically reduced due to the amount of sediment in the water.
What makes Cozumel so attractive for diving is that the western side of the island is protected and water conditions are usually great. This makes the island a great place to snorkel as well and there are numerous guides with boats available to take you to some choice locations. Trips run from $20.00 - $50.00 depending on where you go and how long you go out.
All coastal property is controlled by the Mexican Federal Government and is open to all people. You are free to snorkel the waters of any beach you wish. The problem is that highway 307 runs around a km away from the coast in some spots and access points are few and far apart. What you will see is a number of resorts and small roads cut into the forest. Some of these roads are private, many are for beaches, restaurants and cabanas. Look for signs indicating beach, diving, fishing and cabanas.
We have been told [unofficially] that access to any beach must be given upon request by an individual through a resort property. However resort gate guards have told us that we would have to pay a fee to use their beach. The law does prohibit people from trespassing through private property so technically you must first gain permission to cross someone's property however once on the beach they have no legal authority over you.
All resorts have snorkel equipment to lend you. It has been our experience however that every mask we have ever borrowed, leaked water to the point of being useless.
You can buy equipment on the Riviera in any number of dive shops. Many resorts even sell equipment. Equipment at the dive shops is priced according to the U.S. market so expect to pay U.S. prices for everything. Most shops carry top quality equipment.
Some attractions like Xcaret and Xel-Ha provide new snorkels and they have enough masks that you can usually find one that won't leak. They also carry fins and life jackets, which are mandatory.
While snorkeling you may encounter a 5-ft barracuda. They are ferocious looking creatures with lots of teeth. They are also a very curious fish and may approach you. If you see one it is best to slowly swim away. If he starts following you don't panic, just continue to swim. If he swims right up to you do not make any sudden moves. Hold your ground and gently swim away.
Barracudas are attracted to shiny objects and can be found in quite shallow water. They will just sit there in one spot while the water flows past them. You can swim quite close to one and they will not flinch. Actual barracuda attacks are extremely rare and are attributed mostly to spear fisherman.
If you have ever seen the film footage of "Captain Bob Olson" being attacked by a barracuda the footage is rather gruesome. It was also staged for the cameras and was totally faked.
Snorkeling and Rip Currents
WATER IN MASK
Once a mask has been damaged it will leak. Damaging occurs from masks not being cleaned, sand/debris particles scraping the insides, men's facial stubble and age.
Men should shave before snorkeling. You can also create a "seal" by applying Vaseline or silicone grease to your face. You can also buy a mask with a "Purge Valve", which is a small one-way valve that allows water to drain out of the mask.
If your mask leaks then it needs replacing.
Always clean masks after you have snorkeled. You must clean the sea-salt off the mask.
Want to swim faster with less effort? Use diver's ankle weights.
Use buoyancy to raise right leg. Repeat, alternating legs.
Using ankle weights reduces the energy needed to swim and can extend your snorkel time by conserving energy.
Wear a snorkel vest or shirt. They are made from water resistant neoprene. Not to be confused with Life Vests.
Even a T-shirt will work. Wearing a vest/shirt will help you conserve heat and keep your back from getting sun burnt. If you happen to get washed into some coral or rocks it can also protect you. These items can be found at dive shops.
GETTING INTO THE WATER
It is best to put your gear on in the water. Don't put it all on and try to walk across the beach and into the water.
First look for a safe place to enter the water. Hold your mask/snorkel in one hand and your fins in the other [put hands through straps to hold securely].
Enter the water up to around waist height. Dunk your head into the water to get your hair/face wet. Put your mask/snorkel on. Now, while in the water you can safely wade to put your fins on.
Never assume that boats, kayaks, sea-doos can see you and know you are there. If a watercraft is headed in your direction keep your eyes on it and warn any other snorkelers in the vicinity. Wave your arms if you have to, to get the drivers attention. Be prepared to take evasive maneuvers if you have to.
Most resorts have boating lanes roped off or have the safe swimming/snorkeling section of the water roped off for your safety.
|In Mexico they speak: Spanish, various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional indigenous languages.|
90% of Mexicans age 15 and over can read and write.
Mexico Sex ratio:
Mexico has a population of: 100,349,766 (July 2000 est.)
There is 61,000 sq km of irrigated land. (1993 est.)
Mexico's natural resources are: petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber.
There is 9,330 km of coastline.
The life expectancy is: male 68.47 years,female 74.66 years. (2000 est.)
The geographic coordinates are: 23 00 N, 102 00 W
Mexico had 38.6 million people in the labor force in 1999.