Snorkeling in the Maldives
I use standard equipment when I go snorkeling in the Maldives, irrespective of the weather. My primary concern is to not harm any creatures in the ocean but also to protect myself from contact. I use a 3mm full body wet suit, gloves, short fins, wet socks, snorkel and mask. for reef snorkeling, my preference is shallow locations. Hence the short fins; I don't want to risk destroying any coral with long fins. Use a brightly coloured rash vest too, it increases your visibility if you accidentally drift out of a safe area, as there are strong currents in places, as well as people using jet skis and small boats just off some beaches. The other reason for a long rash vest is that it hides your dangly bits. Remember that it's a Muslim state and you need to cover up when leaving a designated bikini beach. Western swim wear isn't permitted on public beaches. Please respect their rules.
The moment you enter the water, you will probably see something, so please explore the area first before getting in. You'll see lots of broken coral and small/young fish but you need to be more concerned about what you don't see, so get everything ready, prepare your mask against fogging (I do this with Johnson's baby shampoo) and get your face in the water and look. If it's all clear, do a gentle push off and explore. Do not touch the bottom now until you come back and use the same route back. Do not stop short - just slowly drift in until your elbows rest on the coral sand and then sit up and remove your equipment.
Spot the Stone Fish in this video