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  1. #1

    Default Snorkeling at CSA - glasses and masks?

    Last year I visited CSA and loved it. I debated whether to try the snorkeling because 1) I haven't snorkled in 30 years and 2) My vision is not what it was 30 years ago. I wear Multi-Focal Lenses on my glasses now and I am not really sure how you accomodate for this with a diving mask.
    I actually can see ok (not great) without my glasses, but I actually didn't try it because by the time I decided to give it a try with just a regular mask, a North wind blew in and the seas were too rough to go out.

    1. What do others do about Vision/Glasses /Masks when they have multifocal lenses..just go without? Get a prescription mask lens to the mid range focus?

    2. Do they have size 12 or 13 (width is the issue) fins at CSA.

    I am going to buy the mask and snorkel, but will try using the CSA fins. Ironically I just chucked my perfectly good fins and mask that I used in my 20's just a few years ago.

    Thank you very much in advance for your replies. May the myopic among you please help me determine the right course of action please?

  2. #2


    1. I bring one day disposable contacts for just this reason. No need for solutions or anythign like that. Just wear 'em and throw 'em out. I am in the same boat that you are. Vision isn't BAD BAD, just can't see "well" without them. Talk to your optometrist. And trust me... It's lots cheaper than getting an rx mask.

    2. DH wears a 14. He had no problem. Just ask for the "Big black fins." They would see him coming and start to make jokes about him not needing fins at all. They were just attached to the end of his feet. LOL.
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  3. #3


    In answer to your first question, I am very nearsighted and love to snorkel. For years I had a pair of old glasses that I removed the armpieces from. Then I pushed them inside my mask. They were narrow enough to fit but wide enough to stay put and worked pretty well. A few years ago I took the plunge and bought a mask with my prescription in it. This works much better. They only make the lenses with the distance part of your prescription and it is one level less correction than you usually use. The refraction of the water gives a little bit of distance correction by itself. If your vision isn't too bad, this may be enough. The cost was $100 plus the price of the mask (Canada).
    Contacts were not an option for me, but they may be a solution for you.

    Question 2: I wear size 9 (women) but also have very wide feet. I think I was a duck in a former life. I have no trouble with their fins and they have several sizes larger than the ones I use.

  4. #4


    Bob can't see a lick without his glasses, yet he snorkels without them. It's not like you're reading a book underwater, you just want to look at the fish and coral.

    Yes, they have fins in size 12, which is what Bob wears.

    Here's a suggestion - try the snorkeling once early in your trip to CSA. If you love it, you can go out again! If not, you really haven't lost anything except one hour.

  5. #5


    Hey Time4usnow,
    I'm glad you see the humor in the fact that us older folk have to wear glasses with transition lenses. I'm 57 and also wear glasses with these lenses. I'll tell you what I did for my last trip to CSA in '08. I went and got a free set of trial contact lenses for distance vision from my eye doctor. He'll give you a small trial size kit with solution and storage caps for them. I used the lenses for the week and threw them away. If your prescription is less than a year old he won't need to examine you again. I tried one lense for distance and one for reading but that drove me crazy. The distance lenses were fantastic on the beach, while snorkeling and on the catamaran cruise. You really don't need reading ability while snorkeling. When I had to read a menu I had a cheap pair of reading glasses with me or had my wife help. I see no need for you to buy an expensive prescription mask if you'll only be using it once in a blue moon. And yes they did have fins to fit my size 13 feet. ENJOY!

  6. #6


    In 8 years of going to the Mayan Riviera I could never get my husband to go snorkeling with me, because he thought he wouldn't be able to see anything without his glasses. Last year I talked him into it (actually didn't give him much choice; just booked it! lol) and he saw everything just fine. As the other poster stated, the refraction of the water made up for it. Now he wants to go every time! Now we both have our own mask/snorkel sets and will use Couples' (CN & CSA) fins. 68 days to go!!!! WOO HOO

  7. #7


    I'm a diver and a snorkeler and I have horrible vision. I've always been near sighted but it's gotten worse and now I need reading glasses too. So I wear multi-focal contacts.
    I've always been diving/snorkeling with my contacts and it works out great. However, my optometrist told me that salt water is very bad for contacts, so 1 day throw-aways, (as mentioned above) are a very good idea.
    If you aren't able to wear contacts, don't want to dive "blind" and miss lots of stuff, and don't want to shell out for a very expensive prescription mask, another option is stick on lenses. They stick onto the inside of the mask. I haven't used them, and I don't know how well they work, but I imagine they'd work fine for a trip at least.
    Do try something. There's lots of macro sized cool stuff under water that you'd miss with poor vision.

  8. #8

    Default Snorkeling?

    Thank you all for some very good tips !

    I am going to phone my optometrist today and see what he thinks of the Contact solution to the problem. I am not sure that protracted use ( a week) with contacts would be good (they would drive me crazy I think) but if it is just for an hour or so or maybe a few trips, then I can use the no glasses option as a backup and rely on the Contacts as the Plan "A" solution. The $100 lens (I got the same cost from a Canadian/Calgary Dive Shop) is also a viable solution and I have about 150 days (who's to get it done.

    I am glad to see that I am not the only one with the monster feet Steve. They may look like flippers, but the space between those toes don't exactly help with the whole "thrust" thing! Here I thought those darn feet might shrink with old age (same age as Steve). How do you handle the "walker" Steve? Do you just leave it in the boat? If only I could find a way to keep my smoke lit then I might actually take up diving! Steve - Thank you a ton for a great answer and excuse the mild ribbing!

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