I carry everything on, except for some spare strobes, flashlights, etc.
> Both Pelican cases made it home, but the Aquatica rig was no longer in the case nor were the ports, gears, or strobes. Be warned if you are traveling with your rigs in one of these cases. They must scream "TAKE ME, I can be sold on eBay".<
I am paranoid after reading this post. I am going to PNG in 18 days. How can I pack a Nikon D-200, lenses, strobes, L & M Titan housing and all that junk as a carry on? I have the Pelican 1610 case chock full.
My wife and I both have very large dSLR setups and dive bonaire regularly. Here's our pre and post dive procedure:
- At the hotel (we usually stay at the Carib Inn) we mount the BC to the tanks and load 'em in the back of the pickup. The cameras go on the rear seats. We dunk the wetsuits and put them 1/2 on (just the bottom part) and off we go. A wet wetsuit will keep you nice and cool - just don't let it dry out. :-)
- At the dive site, we recon the entry, put on the wetsuits and tanks (make sure there's a little air in the BC), put the mask on our forehead, grab the camera in one hand (our setup weighs a ton, but what're you gonna do) and the fins in the other.
- At the water's edge, put the fins between your legs and use your free hand to put your mask and regulator in place. Grab the fins again and walk as far as you can while keeping the camera above water. Dunk the camera and stick your head underwater and check for leaks/bubbles. If it's all good, walk a bit farther and let yourself float. Put on your fins - if you have spring-type straps this is very quick.
- Let the air out of your BC and off you go. We like to start the dive shallow to catch all the goodies in the shallows.
- Post dive it's pretty much the same. Stay underwater until your in the 4-5 foot range, than take off your fins, plant your feet, and walk out.
- We usually drop the tanks in the pickup (leaving the BCs on) and climb aboard to take off our wetsuits. That way you avoid picking up too much sand. If you bring along big 2L pop bottle with water in them, you can rinse off.
- When we get back to the hotel, we pop the wetsuits in the rinse tank, remove the BCs from the tanks, etc., etc.
We've done countless dives in Bonaire, and haven't seen anyone else that goes in or gets out faster then us. We also stay down longer, but that's another story... :-)