A couple years ago we did a trip to Galapagos and managed to do 7 dives at Darwin's Arch. I took an Ikelite housed 20D (classic two clip port) and I started the dives with a back roll off the panga. For the wide angle photos, I was using a Tokina 10-17mm behind the 8" Ikelite dome too. My technique was to set the housing (with two Ikelite DS-125s) in my lap, curl my chest around it a bit then roll backwards off the panga. I figure that the cylinder and my back is breaking the water for me and taking much of the shock away from hitting the housing.
As for the current, it was strong, but I never felt like it was strong enough to give up the strobes. Coco's was much more challenging from a current perspective. Just keep the arms tucked in for the descent to your perch then unfurl them once you get settled. If you are swimming with whale sharks, I can see the appeal of not having strobes on to help streamline the package. It was a lot of work pushing the housing through the water when circling a 35' shark. However, our encounters with whale sharks were always at depth (the photo included was at 105 fsw) and I don't think my 20D would have been happy with all natural light at that point.
I've linked a couple of photos from the Arch that illustrate why strobes can be handy. You can flip through my Flickr gallery too if you want to see what else we encountered. I think much of the time our depth on the Darwin dives was 75ft and below which means it was fairly dim lighting.
Good luck with your trip!
SagenMember Since 23 Nov 2004
Offline Last Active Sep 15 2014 01:57 PM
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Camera Model & Brand
Canon 20D w/100mm, 60mm, 10-22mm and Tokina 10-17mm
Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
ULCS arms and Light Canon as Mod Light
- Website URL http://dannjill.smugmug.com