|Comfort in the water
Ensure you are comfortable snorkelling BEFORE you come to Tonga. In most instances you will be in water where you can not see the bottom. Please test your gear for fit and comfort before you come to Tonga as there are no shops to purchase alternate gear locally.
Best advice for snorkel choice is ‘keep it simple’. A simple splash guard is useful, as is a purge valve at the bottom to make clearing easier. Please avoid the models with a float valve of any kind on the top as these can be very awkward, even dangerous, in choppy conditions.
We prefer a dark-skirt mask which will stop the annoying reflections evident in clear-skin masks. If you don’t like spitting in your mask as an anti-fog treatment, bring Sea-Drops or similar.*The glass of all brand new masks needs to be thoroughly cleaned of a residual silicone coating left over from manufacture. This is done with toothpaste/Jif and a toothbrush. If you don’t remove this layer of residue your mask will fog-up every time, even with anti-fog treatments.
|Whales Underwater Mask Straps
Why not add one of our great WHALES UNDERWATER neoprene mask straps to your kit?
Available in Navy or Grey, these straps replace your standard mask strap. They are attached to your mask with velcro, providing a secure and very comfortable fit.
AUD$25 each shipped free within Australia + $10 flat rate shipping outside of Australia.
You can purchase by following this link to www.darrenjew.com/whales-uw-gear/
Neutral or slightly negatively buoyant, full-foot fins are advised. Fins that require the use of neoprene booties will make your feet float… not the preferred position in the water when photographing, and floating feet tend to splash a lot, which is not good around the whales. Please do not bring large “freediving” fins. They are difficult to manoeuvre when you are negotiating your way around the boat, and tend to get in other people’s photos when you’re in the water.
Again, please do not bring large freediving fins.
| Wet suit
The water is ‘warm’ in Tonga (around 23C in early August to approx 27C in October), but some people still feel the cold. It can be cold when you’re wet up on deck and its windy or raining.You may be in and out of the water all day so you will require some form of wetsuit vest that will keep you warm and protected from the harsh tropical sun. Darren uses a long-sleeved, .5mm wetsuit vest only, so the top half of his body is buoyant and the bottom half has a chance to sink. ‘Shorty’ and ‘steamer’ wetsuits are warmer, but the more neoprene you have on the bottom half of your body, the more your bottom half will float, which is not the ideal position in the water when photographing.Wetsuits designed for surfers are an option to consider if you are after something a little more stylish.