Tips for Snorkeling in New England

From waterskiing to fishing to cruising, there is much fun to be had on the water with your boat. Seeing what’s beneath the water’s surface is yet another fun and exciting way to spend an afternoon on the water.

New England boaters might know their local waters as being dark and murky. But while nobody will be skipping a trip to the Caribbean to snorkel in New England anytime soon, the Northeast still has some excellent snorkeling opportunities for adventurous boaters to explore.

To get started, you’ll need a snorkel, a mask and fins. If you think you’ll be doing lots of snorkeling, you may want to get a wetsuit. New England waters tend to be chilly, and a wetsuit will let you stay in the water longer. It can also extend your season. Also, depending on where you’ll be snorkeling and the amount of boat traffic, you may want to get a diver down flag to let people know you’re there.

Test your equipment beforehand to make sure your mask and snorkel don’t have any leaks, and check that your mask fits properly. Masks tend to fog up in the water. To avoid this, use an anti-fog gel on your mask. Some people also use a solution of baby shampoo and water.

Once you’re in the water, practice blowing water out of your snorkel a few times. This will allow you to dive down underwater and then easily clear your snorkel when you surface.

New England might not have the kind of crystal clear water found in other parts of the world, but it does have interesting underwater habitat, marine life and shipwrecks that are great for snorkelers.

In Rhode Island, snorkelers enjoy the waters near Beavertail Lighthouse in Jamestown, as well as Brenton Reef and the waters around Price Neck in Newport. Cape Cod has many great places to snorkel, including Sesuit Harbor, the waters off Sandwich Town Beach and the area just off the coast of Corporation Beach in Dennis. On Cape Ann, coves near Plum Island are a great place for snorkeling.

For trailer boaters who want to explore the clearer waters of inland lakes, New England has plenty of those to offer. Some large lakes, such as Lake Champlain and Lake Winnipesaukee, not only have amazing underwater habitats, they also have shipwrecks that are accessible to snorkelers.