Smart Breathing: Bilateral Breathing
Bilateral breathing is a fundamental open-water skill. Aside from helping you swim straight, it allows you to breathe opportunistically in rough water. Breathe more often when it is choppy so you are not air-starved when you get splashed in the face. Make your mouth a smaller target by pursing your lips like you are going to whistle and don’t be afraid to make some noise. Exhale forcefully through your nose like a whale.
If you find that you get lots of water in your mouth you are probably pulling your lead hand back too soon on the breathing stroke. Keep it extended forward an extra beat when you roll to take in air.
There is no magic way to learn bilateral breathing. You just have to do it. Get comfortable with it in the pool before using it in open water.