Gateway to the lagoon
Snorkeling and Fishing Aitutaki Lagoon.
Aitutaki and the lagoon offer many activities, with most of these being water based for obvious reasons. Our on site activities facilatator Wet & Wild provides tours.
Snorkeling the Aitutaki lagoon and surrounding reef system is a fish lovers paradise, Aitutaki has some of the most bio diverse reef systems in the world.
The outer canyons of the Aitutaki barrier reef hold several hundred species of fish, it truly is an amazing site to see so many species living in such close proximity to each other, true testimont to a diverse eco-system.
The inner lagoon tours will take you to the giant clam reserve, small motu's ( islets) and some of the nicest beaches you may have ever set foot on.
Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How, of Snorkeling.
Who? top of page
Well you, your family, friends, loved ones, kids, aunts uncles, moms, dads, brothers sisters you name it, snorkeling Aitutaki Lagoon, Cook Islands really is for everyone. It's a relaxing way to spend a day or afternoon on the Aitutaki lagoon, and the more you snorkel the more you will want to.
What? top of page
Snorkeling is the practice of swimming at the surface of a body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped tube called a snorkel, and usually swimfins. In cooler waters, a wetsuit may also be worn. Combining these tools allows the snorkeler to observe underwater attractions for extended periods of time with relatively little effort.
Snorkeling is a popular recreational activity, particularly at tropical resort destinations such as the Aitutaki lagoon Cook Islands.
When? top of page
When ever you can I would say, but for most people it is on their vacation time to tropical destinations. You can snorkel the Aitutaki lagoon almost anytime of the day, it's very sheltered and free of strong currents, except for the designated areas by the entrance to the shipping pier. Species of fish act differently during different times of the day so you may want to pay attention to this if you are one to study behavior. Few people snorkel during the night mostly for safety reasons.
Where? top of page
Aitutaki lagoon, Cook Islands we hope. Obviously snorkeling is something to be enjoyed anywhere there is something worth seeing below the surface. Most tropical locals offer good snorkeling, others stand out as a must snorkel local, Aitutaki lagoon is one of these, with four reserves (Ra'ui) dedicated to giant clam preservation and a never ending supply of coral heads to look around, the lagoon will keep your interest for many hours, days, or longer. Please come and let Wet & Wild show you the Aitutaki lagoon, Cook Islands and all its beauty.
Why? top of page
Ah...the Why? We could go down several roads with this Question, but it really boils down to personal fulfillment, I believe you should snorkel or dive for your own benefit and to gain understanding of the oceans environment, and how critical it is to the wellbeing of the planet as a whole. Other secondary reasons could be the great exercise value, or the participation of family and friends. What ever reason you have for wanting to snorkel its all good, if everyone tried snorkeling I think the oceans would receive the respect they deserve. Read about one of the greatest oceanographers of all time.
How? top of page
Get some gear and get in the water! It doesn't cost much for some basic snorkeling gear. All you need to get started is a mask, Snorkel, and set of fins, and of course a vacation to Ranginui's Retreat Aitutaki, Cook Islands. If you are new to the sport Ranginui's retreat offers easy and safe access to the water where you can learn at your speed and comfort level before going out on the tours.
The Basics of Snorkeling.
An important thing for a first time snorkeler is to be comfortable wearing the mask and breathing through a snorkel. Some people get nervous and have difficulty breathing through a snorkel while wearing a mask, so it's important to test things out in shallow water first. Many first timers have jumped into the water on a snorkeling venture only to realize they aren't comfortable wearing a mask and breathing through a snorkel. A good way to prepare yourself is to stand in shallow water, practice putting your face in the water and looking through the mask. Take normal breathes through the snorkel while looking around at the aquatic life. In shallow waters this can be a fantastic way to see many things without expending the energy of swimming.
One of the main skills a snorkeler must develop is the ability to clear their mask and snorkel of unwanted water that may seep in. This is an essential skill, as waves or splashes can send water into the open end of the snorkel, and masks can develop tiny leaks during use. Having your mask or snorkel fill with water can be a frustrating experience for first timers, snorkeler's should be comfortable with the process of clearing their mask and snorkel.
Clearing a snorkel is an easy process. If you find your snorkel starting to get a gurgling sound, exhale through your snorkel with force, this will send the water up and out of the snorkel. Some snorkels come with built-in drainage valves, allowing the water to be pushed out a one-way valve. This makes it easier to push the water out if a small amount of water makes it way into the tube.
Clearing a mask is similar to clearing a snorkel, but can seem more difficult because of the reduced visibility. To clear out a mask, simply lift your head out of the water and pull forward on the front of the mask tilting the bottom out from your chin. This will open up a gap in the bottom of the mask, allowing the water to drain out. Some masks come with a built-in purge valve, which serves the same role as the drain valve on a snorkel. By including a one-way valve which lets water out but does not let water in, snorkeler's can clear a mask of water by simply blowing air out their nose while the mask is on. The water will be pushed out the valve, clearing the mask. Even masks without a built-in purge valve can be cleared while underwater. Simply press the top of the mask to the forehead and blow out the nose. Air will bubble into the mask, pushing the water out the bottom.
The next step in learning the basics of snorkeling is to practice while in open water, when you cannot touch the bottom. To do this you will need to be comfortable with using your fins to stay afloat upright as well as to move around while floating face down in the water. As you swim along the surface, practice breathing evenly through your snorkel. The most common underwater kick is the basic flutter stroke. When used properly, this kick can be a very fast and efficient method of transportation in the water. As you kick, use a slow, comfortable pace and remember to keep your fins submerged in the water. You should find that a pace of about twenty kicks per minute will give you a good cruising speed through the water without too much fatigue. Breaking the water surface with your fins uses more energy and decreases the efficiency of your kicks. Keep your arms at your sides while swimming to reduce drag. Another common kick is the dolphin kick, in which both legs sweep up and down together. This kick can be more difficult to master but is a very efficient means of underwater propulsion when learned properly.
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If you feel a bit more adventurous, you can practice going deeper underwater by diving below the surface. The two basic types of dives are the feet-first dive and the head-first dive. The feet-first dive is the simplest. While vertical in the water, raise your chest and arms above the surface of the water by kicking with your legs. As the weight of your body begins to pull you back down into the water, raise your arms above your head, sweeping them upward to push yourself lower. Because it is harder to sink underwater when your lungs are full of air, exhale a small amount of breath as you begin to descend. Next, pull your knees to your chest and lower your head, which will rotate your body to a horizontal position and allow you to swim underwater.
The other type of dive is the head-first dive, which can be started directly from a horizontal position while snorkeling. To be most effective, this type of dive should begin with a good amount of forward momentum. As you kick forward, bend at the hips and pull your knees and arms in towards your chest. Thrust your legs straight up and maintain a streamlined position to glide down into the water. Continue to kick with your feet to move down deeper, and simply arch your back to level off and or continue up to the surface.
To increase amount of time you can spend underwater, try taking several long, deep breaths before diving, to clear the carbon dioxide from your lungs. Exhale about halfway before submerging and hold the breath as you dive. When you begin to ascend, slowly let the air our of your lungs as you rise toward the surface, keeping enough breath to clear out the snorkel with a final blast of air as your head breaks the surface.
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Taking Care of Your Snorkeling Equipment
You can prolong the life of your snorkeling equipment and keep it in top shape by regularly soaking them in fresh water. Salt crystals can condense on equipment that has not been properly rinsed or soaked. These can dry and harden, causing scratches or holes in equipment and weakening straps. Rinse your equipment well with fresh water after every use.
If Your Mask Fogs
Sometimes the inside surface of a mask will begin to fog. This happens when moisture in your breath condenses on the cold glass surface of the mask. To avoid this, regularly clean both the inside and outside of your mask with soap and water to remove all dirt and grease. If your mask begins to fog during a dive you can clear it by allowing a little water to flow into the mask. Then look downward to wash the condensation from the lens and clear the water out of the mask. One of the best tricks is to clean the inside of your mask with toothpaste, and rinse well just before entering the water.
If You Get Tired
If your legs become tired or if you develop a cramp while snorkeling try flipping over onto your back. This will let you tread water easily while remaining afloat on the surface of the water. The inverted leg motions will be much easier than the basic kick and will let your muscles rest and recuperate energy. Your body position should be semi-sitting, with the head above water.
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Deep sea fishing Aitutaki is a great way to spend a day on the water and get some adrenaline pumping fishing into your day. Catching Yellow Fin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and Wahoo can be an incredible fishing experience not to mention a means to a great dinner. Wet & Wild, Ranginui's on site activities facilatator is just the guy to get you onto some fish in the deep blue. Quinton has years of local Aitutaki fishing knowledge and has been an avid fisherman since he was a young lad.
Wet & Wild provides all the fishing gear and equipment needed to bring home the fish, just give us a call or ask on arrival about doing some Aitutaki fishing.
We depart right from your Ranginui's Retreat Aitutaki accommodation doorstep.
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