Who are the Snorkel Venture snorkel guides?
For those of you who have not been on a guided snorkel safari with us and met at least one of our fantastic snorkeling guides, Snorkel Venture has four full-time snorkel guides—not including Big Boss Ben who also leads trips from time to time. Our snorkeling guide’s primary role is to lead the many different group snorkeling safaris we offer. Since we run so many tours each year with many overlapping in completely different countries, we also work with several freelance snorkel guides with who we have been working for years and are just as passionate about snorkeling.
All of our guides— freelance or full time—have a significant professional background in the diving industry, and have now since converted to snorkeling—because snorkeling rocks! Given our snorkel guide’s years in the diving industry, which by nature is a pretty nomadic lifestyle since each region or country generally only has a six month “high season” and in order to make a livable wage they/we end up traveling around the world chasing the next upcoming dive season, our guides are all very knowledgable of not only the nuances of traveling but also the reefs and locations we run tours though. Add in all the tours our snorkel guides have run for Snorkel Venture and you are looking at some seriously well-traveled individuals who have snorkeled a vast majority of the world’s best-snorkeling destinations.
What do they do?
First, our guides are on the tours to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible, so the guests don’t have to worry about travel logistics and can just enjoy the fantastic resorts, yachts, and of course the snorkeling. Traveling around places like Indonesia and The Philippines can be a little bit confusing given the different modes of transport like taxis, planes, and boats, needed to arrive at our snorkeling destinations. Our guides have this all organized in advance and will be there every step of the way so you just need to move from one air-conditioned vehicle to the next without thinking and just enjoy the view through the window.
Once at the resort or onboard the liveaboard, the snorkeling guide or guides will coordinate with our host’s snorkeling staff to put together the rough snorkeling site itinerary for our stay. This is something that needs to be done on-site and on a daily basis as certain snorkeling sites and sailing routes are current and weather-dependent. We want to ensure that we get the guests snorkeling on all the area’s best sites so you’ll see the guides constantly checking different mobile apps which provide the most accurate information regarding the wind and currents.
Then of course there is the snorkeling, our guides will be in the water with you for every organized snorkeling session. They are in the water with you to not only point out cool creatures you might have otherwise missed but also to make sure everyone is safe. Given our snorkel guide’s background in diving, all of our guides are first aid trained and certified rescue divers.
Finally, one of the biggest things we get a lot of feedback on about our snorkel guides is just how easy they make it to join and travel with a group of strangers. Particularly for the first few days or so when everyone is still behaving a bit like a kid on the first day at a new school, our guides make the perfect ice breaker. We’ll be at every meal, for sure at any sunset cocktails, and will even at times put on little presentations about different things like underwater photography or new snorkeling destinations. Of course, I’m a bit biased being a snorkel guide myself, but in general, I think our guides are a bunch of genuinely fun and happy-go-lucky individuals who seriously love snorkeling, traveling, and meeting new people, and I believe having someone like that in a group of people really helps people come together.
What’s the benefit of a guided group snorkel safari?
Well, aside from the things I listed above, which we hope our guests see as benefits, there are a number of reasons why we think guided group snorkeling safaris work better for snorkelers. The big one, which may not be the most obvious, is the simple fact that while we are at the resort or on the liveaboard, every snorkeling session will be specifically organized for snorkelers. There is no mixing divers and snorkelers on the same boat or site. Divers and snorkelers have a very different set of requirements for what makes a great snorkel or dive site. It is this specific reason why on our tours we have our very own snorkeling boat or boats at the resorts, and charter an entire liveaboard specifically for snorkeling.