Comfort in the water
You’ll need to bring your own personal snorkelling gear to Tonga. 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.
We recommend a dark-skirt mask which will stop the annoying reflections evident in clear-skin masks. Avoid clear-skin masks.
If you don’t like spitting in your mask as an anti-fog treatment, bring Sea-Drops or similar. We do have an atomiser bottle of mask defog (baby shampoo and water) on board for everyone’s use.
*The tempered 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. If you have a new mask check that it is tempered glass… we have noticed recently some new materials being used that actually scratch when trying to remove this layer with toothpaste. Check with the manufacturer.
Whales Underwater Mask Straps
Why not add one of our great WHALES UNDERWATER neoprene mask straps to your kit?
These straps replace your standard mask strap. They are attached to your mask with velcro, providing a secure and very comfortable fit.
You can purchase by following this link to purchase at our online shop.
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 long “freediving” fins. They are difficult to maneuver when you are negotiating your way around the boat, and tend to get in other people’s photos when you’re in the water.
Do not bring large freediving fins as we don’t allow their use around the whales.
Jasmine and Darren use and recommend Mares Volo Race Fins that you can purchase from our Finslap on-line store.
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 will be in and out of the water all day so you will require some form of wetsuit that will keep you warm in the water and protected from the harsh tropical sun. We have neoprene boat jackets on-board for each guest, designed to be worn over your wetsuit to keep you warm topside if required in the collar months.
Darren uses a long-sleeved, wetsuit vest only, so the top half of his body is buoyant and the bottom half will sink. Jasmine uses a similar swimsuit-style/cut wetsuit top. ‘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.