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newtobonaire
06-19-2012, 01:37 PM
We'll be snorkeling with our 9 and 11 year old kids in August.

Does anyone have any advice specific to snorkeling with kids? We have masks and snorkels and plan to buy fins before we leave. For example, would anyone recommend a snorkel vest? We plan to snorkel from the shore and on a Woodwind trip to Klein Bonaire. Is there anything else we should be considering?

Another question has to do with water shoes/booties -

I've seen that many recommend the Seasoft Sunrays and we'll look at those for my husband and me. Does anyone have any recommendations for kids who feet are still growing (and where we'd rather not spend a lot)?

I posted a similar question in the diving section, but thought I might get a different response here from the snorkelers both for the kids and for us parents (who don't necessarily want to spend $70 on booties for snorkeling once a year unless it's really important to us enjoying Bonaire).

Thank you!

ModCecil
06-19-2012, 01:52 PM
On the vest I would say it depends on the kid and his/her comfort level in the water. It might be nice to have if just for the talisman effect. On the booties, maybe just go with water shoes and full feet fins. The adults will have booties and can take the water shoes up to shore once the fins are on. A small hassle that can save you some money.

Good recomendations on where to snorkel although I do have a suggestion for the first snorkel. The fisherman's pier at Lac Bay. Nice protected sand beach for their first time and also some great snorkeling. Do look for the upside down jellies.

gbf
06-19-2012, 02:20 PM
+1 on Lac Bay.

We did the long wade out to the barrier when my girls where 9/11. It's shallow (dad can stand up and let kids hang on). The coral heads are rife with critters, and they're up close. Put water in your pockets. use plenty of sunscreen. It's great snorkelling.

jkehnle
06-19-2012, 08:12 PM
I don't dive, and occasionally snorkel. I love walking out into the crystal clear water. Both my wife and I use aqua socks -- always -- as so much of the sea floor is rocky.

I'm very unconfident in the water, so when I do snorkel, I use a flotation device. I've enjoyed several Woodwind jaunts using their flotation vests.

As to the kids, I think aqua socks would be a good thing to have. Flotation devices depend, I think, on your confidence in their abilities in the water, and their confidence as well.

Have a wonderful time, and post a report to let us know how it went.

grunt
06-19-2012, 08:36 PM
Go to Caribe Inn and check out gear and prices; they have been consistantly cheaper than I can price like items at home.
Masks are about 40% cheaper than at my local dive shop.
His shop stocks Seasoft Sunrays.
email Bruce and he will give you a price for any item he stocks.
http://www.caribinn.com/

george and judy
06-20-2012, 11:03 AM
We have done a lot of snorkeling with our grandkids. I agree about not spending $$ when feet are growing. I suggest some inexpensive water shoes from K-Mart or Wal-Mart. Then go on a Woodwind sail and use their equipment. If the kids like it you can rent the equipment from Dee during your stay.

Patsy
06-20-2012, 12:27 PM
About wearing safety vests: We use our thin yellow vests, not inflated, just to be able to spot each other easily. We also have fluorescent green-yellow t-shirts that we use for visibility. For some reason, snorkeling in Bonaire is absolutely not scary; no waves, too much to look at to be worried! We have never experienced boat traffic either. So I would think of peace of mind for parents rather than flotation when deciding what kids should wear.

Regards...
Patsy ><((((o>

Timmmmmy
07-15-2012, 10:40 AM
Parents who make their kids wear a helmet to ride their bike will most likely get the vests.

Also you may want to wait 60 minutes after they eat so they don't get a cramp. ;)

Squirrelfish
07-25-2012, 04:10 PM
I agree with the idea that it depends on a child's comfort level in the water. We are bringing our 10 year old to Bonaire to snorkel for the first time in August. We will outfit him with a skin for sun protection but don't intend to bother with a vest. He'll probable be more frustrated with positive boyancy after a while and wish he had a weight belt! Good advice about water socks or water shoes tho. We hadn't thought about that.