I'm not a very good swimmer. I can tread water, float on my back somewhat, and do a mediocre backstroke. But in a few months I'm going to Hawaii, and I'd like to have some fun snorkeling. What swimming skills should I focus on trying to learn? Should I start with learning finless swimming things first, such as the front crawl, or jump right into using fins and snorkel?
Background: I'm not a very good swimmer because, while I did take classes growing up, I always seemed to naturally sink, unlike everyone else (I'm fairly lean), and didn't really enjoy the feeling of not being able to breathe freely. I never really got comfortable doing any water-based activity where my entire face was submersed.
That discomfort seems like the most immediate problem to me, so I've been following a guide to breathing while swimming
, which is helpful; though its not totally relevant to snorkeling, it serves as a nice staged introduction to having your face in the water, and just kind of chilling out like that. I'm making slow progress.
Now, after I get a basic level of comfort with that, what next? What particular skills would be most helpful for staying safe snorkeling out in the ocean? Some non-finswimming skills, maybe because they're fundamental in some way, or as a backup in case my snorkeling gear gets broken or knocked away... or should I go right into using fins and a snorkel and forget about my inability to do a plain front crawl?
And what particular skills might not be necessary, but would make snorkeling more fun or efficient? The dolphin kick?
I guess you could say I'm trying to determine a 'program' for myself that breaks this whole project down into subskills I can pick up incrementally, with the most fundamental stuff first.