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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do these snorkeling adventures work?
Answer: You will receive an automatic email upon booking your trip. The email will contain pertinent information including where and when you and your group will meet your guide on the day of your trip. Our guides will generally meet you and your group at 10am. Please read our policy on “No shows, Late Arrivals, and Refunds” on our “Guidelines and General Trip Information” web page under the “Info” tab at the top of this page. Our guided river snorkeling adventures are anywhere from 3-4 hours, including drive time, dressing into your gear, and a short riverside safety orientation. Our snorkeling excursions take place along several of our mountain rivers and it is impossible to know which river you and your group will snorkel until the day of your trip. Rain is very common here and overnight rain events determine where you will snorkel or if we need to either cancel your trip or move it to another date. If we end up canceling your trip you will be refunded the entire cost of the trip.

 

2. Can you see underwater?
Answer: Yes. Visibility is anywhere from 5 - 30 feet on our snorkel adventures, and differs in various sections (i.e., riffle, run, or pool) . We are also at the mercy of mother nature and a little rain will slightly decrease visibility, a lot of rain will eliminate visibility. We do watch the weather and will either refund your money or re-book your adventure for another time if the trip is canceled due to mother nature.

3. Do I have to wear a life jacket?
Answer: Only on our guided canoeing and snorkeling adventures, and only while paddling. You do have to wear one of our wetsuits while snorkeling (you can wear your own wetsuit, but it must be a 5mm full suit and approved by us first). Our wetsuits are buoyant and will keep you afloat.

4. Is the water cold? How deep is the river?
Answer: On average, water temperatures in the summer are around the upper 60s to mid-70s, with spring and fall temperatures in the high 40s to low 60s. We run trips when the river is above 55 degrees, and the ambient (air) temperature is above 70 degrees. Your wetsuit will keep you warm enough. If you get cold, you are welcome to stand up and get warm. The upper French Broad averages several inches to four feet deep in most places, and over 25 feet wide. There are several pools that are more than 10 feet deep.

 5. Do I have to sign an acknowledgment of danger and liability release form?
​Answer: Yes. There are inherent risks with river snorkeling just as with any outdoor activity like hiking, canoeing, fishing, etc. We assume no liability for personal injury or loss/damage of personal belongings. You will be prompted to read, fill out the appropriate boxes, and sign the online waiver during checkout.

6. Do I need to make reservations?
Answer: Yes, you should pay for your snorkeling adventure in advance to reserve your spot. We operate on a first come, first serve basis, and we have limited availability on all our snorkeling adventures and expect them to book fast!


7. What if I am late, do not show up, or call to cancel a snorkeling adventure? Can I get a refund? What if it is an emergency?
Answer: Read our "Cancellation/Refund Policies" under "Important Info" at the top of this page on our “Guidelines and Important Information” web page.

8. How do I know what size wetsuit I need?
Look at our wetsuit size chart under the important info tab.  Our wetsuits have a 200% stretch, so if you can't find your exact measurements. it's ok. The most important measurements are: Chest/Bust, Height, Weight, Waist...in this order. If you have questions about size, email us or give us a call.  You will be taken to a size chart on check- out, you "must" choose wetsuit sizes before you can finish booking the trip.

9. Can I buy a new or used wetsuit, snorkel, or mask to use on my snorkeling adventure?
Yes, we sell Akona wetsuits, gloves, hoods, and hoods, and Sherwood snorkels and masks. We generally do not keep new merchandise in stock. We place orders once a week on Fridays. Please allow five business days. We take pride in keeping our equipment in good working order, the wetsuits are cleaned with a eco-safe wetsuit detergent product from Jaws Products that is specifically designed to clean snorkeling gear.  Our snorkels and masks are also disinfected after each use.

 

10. What do I need to bring with me?

  • ​Begin with a positive, ready to explore type attitude.

  • Medication (i.e., blood pressure medication, epi-pen, asthma inhaler, etc.)

  • Closed-toed shoes and thick socks (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!). Clients will not be allowed to participate in any of our river snorkeling activities without closed-toed shoes.

  • Guys can wear swim trunks; Girls can wear swim trunks, too, but need to wear a bathing suit top (one or two-piece) or a bathing suit-type material.

  • A tip for your guide is not required, but is recommended.

 

11. What should I NOT bring with me?

  • No open-toed shoes, no open-toe sandals like Chacos, flip-flops, or bare feet.

  • No Alcohol ​

  • Although we are pet lovers, we can not allow pets on our trips​

​12. How do I carry my stuff?
All clothing except for the clothing left in your vehicle. The only things you need to bring are the items you are wearing and a camera or Go-Pro. Leave all phones in your vehicle with your change of clothes.


​13. What is the age limit?
We have an age limit of 10 and/or 75 lb. weight minimum for our snorkeling adventures.

14. How do I get back to my vehicle?
We will get out of the river in your vehicle unless arrangements are made prior to the trip.

15. Why do we have to have a guide?
Due to upstream dangers (i.e., paddlers, tubers, etc.) and the inherent risks downstream (i.e. felled trees, rocks, etc.), all of our trips will be guided.

16. Are there snakes?
Answer: There are two venomous snakes that occur naturally here in Transylvania County, the copperhead, and the timber rattler (http://bio.davidson.edu/herpcons/herps_of_NC/snakes/snakes.html). All other venomous snakes occur east of our mountain streams. Very rarely will you see a copperhead or a timber rattler in the water. If you do see a snake, it will most likely be a non-venomous northern water snake or non-venomous brown snake.

17. Do we see hellbender salamanders on all of our snorkeling adventures?

No, but we have been fortunate in the past to see at least one on approximately 90% of our snorkeling adventures. Although we wish for every client to see a hellbender, there are no guarantees.


18. Do we still go if it rains? What about lightning?
Answer: Here in the mountains, we receive on average 80 inches of rainfall per year. Our trips still operate if visibility is at least 5 feet whether it is raining or not. We will cancel all trips in the event of a lightning storm. The weather here can change fast, and if a lightning storm happens during a trip, we will locate a sandbar, or low riverbank, and wait it out. Our guides will have emergency thermal blankets & emergency towels to keep you warm.

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