Seeing Clearly Under the Deep Blue Sea

fishes swimming around a coral reef
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Seeing Clearly Under the Deep Blue Sea

Blind as a bat. Yeah, I’ve heard that one on more than one occasion! I’m not blind, but I do have pretty horrible eyesight, meaning – if my glasses ‘ain’t on the nightstand when I wake up, then I ‘ain’t going nowhere. I’ve been a four-eyes for as long as I can remember. I’ve gotten used to it, but what I do miss is being able to open my eyes underwater and seeing clearly.The magical underwater remedy for people with bad eyesight. Snorkeling has never been more spectacular!

I’ll admit, I do the big NO-NO and wear my contacts in the water when I surf or swim. That means I especially can’t open my eyes underwater with them on, or I’ll lose them. For those of you who don’t wear contacts and are limited to wearing glasses, then think about renting some prescription snorkels, which are regular snorkels but with fitted corrective lenses. They’re good for the nearsighted, farsighted and people with astigmatisms.

A few places on Oahu rent out prescription masks and goggles, like Snorkel Bob’s and Hanauma Bay. But Snorkel Bob’s claims to have the best selection of prescriptions. They charge $11 per day or $44 per week. The Maui Dive Shop in Waialea also offers snorkels with prescription lenses, but if you plan to do a lot of snorkeling or ping on your Hawaii trip, you may consider ordering a customized mask from your optometrist at home. They can make a snorkel mask that specifically fits your face and your vision.

Here are some renting tips:

  • Bring your glasses or the actual prescription from your doctor, and snorkeling stores will find a close match.
  • Keep in mind how deep you plan to pe or snorkel and choose the appropriate gear. Tempered glass is good for high-pressure deepwater ping; plastic or metals are good for shallow-water snorkeling.
  • Light acts or behaves differently in air than in water, so be aware that objects underwater may appear closer than they seem.
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