The extreme interaction with single-fured sea lions at Punta Loma Natural Reserve, Puerto Madryn, does not happen in any other place in the world. These friendly and curious animals let us in into their environment to interact with them to live an unforgettable experience. After years of experience we have found that sea lions interact with both scuba diving and snorkeling. The advantage of snorkeling is that it gives anyone without diving experience the possibility to enjoy this experience. Even those people who don't know how to swim can be part of this adventure. By applying this snorkeling training, we can live this experience in a simple and safe way, and the best of all, full of fun.
The Snorkeling Equipment will be described at this manual and it includes:
»Wet or Dry Neoprene suit (Dry Suit is optional)
»Internal vest 3 mm neoprene (optional along warm seasons)
»Gloves and Hood (optional along warm seasons)
Throughout this section, each participant will learn the main characteristics of the activity concerning the correct use of the basic equipment that will lead us to the proper application of the skills in water. The success of the interaction will depend primarily on how we move in water:
The neoprene rubber is a water-resistant synthetic material composed by micro bubbles of air, which gives the suits Positive Buoyancy. In other words we’ll float the whole time and the thicker the suit, the greater the buoyancy.
As was previously mentioned, we provide customers with 7mm neoprene wetsuits, or 4mm dry suits, which is very thick as this activity is carried out in the Patagonia Argentina, where surface water temperatures fluctuate between 10 and 21ºC, depending on the season. Both wetsuit thickness and tightness are the main characteristics which determine protection from the cold and comfort. However, because of this thickness, wetsuits generate excessive positive buoyancy. Regardless of experience, divers generally tend to move their arms a lot. This must be avoided if we expect to have a good interaction with the sea lions.
All the skills that you learnt by reading the manual provided for us, will be watched on a video the day of the excursion. Once we have finished, the instructor in charge of the excursion will talk and practice with the whole group.
All the practice will be carried out in water before starting the interaction. In this way animals will feel safe to approach and play with us.