Another Beach Day

Another Beach Day

May 25, 2022 — Another beach day, specifically a snorkel day today, and tomorrow will be the same, only tomorrow will be from a boat, whereas today Penni took me to a snorkel spot right off a beach in Kona, using her own masks. After that, we had lunch at Magic’s, amazing food as well as artistry. 

Another beach day in turquoise waters. The sun was out today and the water glowed like a transparent blue jewel, aquamarine, or sapphire. The fish were amazing, as usual, though the water not as clear as off Molokini, and most of the coral dead. Although I went out farther than the pack of people near the shoreline, where only a couple of snorkelers were, and there I found living coral. Whew. I don’t think too many people realize it is an animal, versus a rock or a plant, maybe? Maybe a subject for tomorrow. Can’t believe tomorrow is my last full day — luckily it will be another beach day with lots of snorkeling.

Another beach day in the turquoise waters off Kona
Another beach day in the turquoise waters off Kona

And now for word count, I’ll let the Artful Gents tell you about the history of the snorkel. Ironically, I’m finding these Artful Gents sections worth the read, despite the bad writing.

The snorkel was originally designed as an instrument to gather food, and was seen again around 500 BC by Greeks during times of war. The earliest swimmers were probably farmers at that time, trading in marine sponges in ancient Greeces markets. They created early snorkels by slicing through the stems of the reeds, which helped them harvest the sponges naturally available for trading. These men were going after natural sponges off the coast of Crete, and they were breathing through the first tube in the world of a snorkel…a hollowed-out reed.    Show Source Texts

The Crete sponge farmers used hollow reeds to constantly breathe under the surface, so that they could stay underwater while collecting the sponges. At the time, early free divers used hollow reeds instead of a modern-day snorkel, allowing them to keep breathing underwater. With the worlds first dive bell, divers had the option to inhale their breaths without having to surface from the water. The dive suit was the first to provide the diver with breaths, by adjusting the airflow out of a reservoir to match the divers breathing and pressure needs.    Show Source Texts

He also proposed inventions involving underwater tubes leading to floating containing air at the water surface, up to the fully self-contained dive suit. Another notable brilliant mind, Leonardo da Vinci included some innovative designs for underwater devices in a lengthy list of inventions by another notable brilliant mind, including a simple snorkel tube leading above the surface towards the air, and a fully self-contained diving suit, similar to what divers wear today. Leonardo da Vinci was fascinated with the concept of submerging himself under the sea, and his sketchbook is filled with innovative ideas for diving devices, including mesh diving gloves and a snorkel tube attached to a fully self-contained diving suit, equipment that is incredibly similar to what divers wear today. The equipment that Leonardo da Vincis sketches pictured included simple breathing tubes (much like snorkels), dive suits, and even contemporary fins, as gloves with nets in the fingers.    Show Source Texts

When the sixteenth century came, Leonardo Da Vinci, in his famous sketchbook, designed an underwater breathing apparatus made from tubes, the early conception of a modern snorkel. Leonardo drew a number of ideas for the underwater world, including a submarine, but the one that is probably most interesting is a tubed, curved snorkel that allows a diver to be lying face down in water, yet still breathe air from above.    Show Source Texts

Effective, easy-to-use snorkeling fins were also developed, giving divers of all types the opportunity to move through water as fish. Snorkeling has made great strides since Aristotles time, using fins and scuba masks has made the experience much more effective. Snorkeling has now moved past collecting sponges from the ocean, to scuttling invading fleets.    Show Source Texts

Snorkel tubes are improved, their use usually proving inadvisable for diving deeper than about two feet, since at that point water pressure makes breathing impossible. The idea of having a long tube extended over water seemed great, but it was not effective in real-life practice, since high water pressures over two feet below the surface made it impossible to take a breath.    Show Source Texts

As time went by, divers realized it was not feasible to use breathing apparatus designed for surface-level swimming on a deep-water expedition. New attempts turned toward discovering a way for divers to breathe air above the surface of the ocean. A new dive bell allowed divers to take deeper dives under the sea, but the device was cumbersome and hard to carry.    Show Source Texts

Another early reference to devices similar to snorkels was a practice using pipes made from reeds, done by soldiers in order to stow away under water in order to avoid enemies. The earliest swimmers are thought to have been sponge farmers on the Greek island of Crete about 5000 years ago, using hollow pipes for breathing as they kept their faces above the water in order to freely scubate for sponges.    Show Source Texts

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Lauren Forcella

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About Lauren Forcella

Painting nature is my way of being devotional to this beautiful planet we’ve been born to. I strive to bring onto the canvas the livingness, aliveness, and wildness of this wonderland we call Earth… Read More

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