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Cerianthus

Diving with housed camera from RIB

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Hai all.

 

I am three weeks from a holiday in Bretagne, France. We will be diving rock formations and wrecks form 2 small RIB's. The RIBs will be quite full. The only seats will be on the inflatable tubes. The rides are mostly quite bouncy because we try to get the boats on the plane.

 

In the boat there wont be much room for anything other then tanks and other kit.

 

I am trying to find something that will keep the camera reasonably safe. (ikelite housing for 20D, two strobes). I dont trust it to put it in a bag on the rib floor. There will be tanks and kit there. I am sure the bouncing form the RIB or somwe heavy piece of kit might hurt the camera. I am not sure there is enough room for a plastic box, nor do I know it will give protection enough.

 

I will kit the camera up on shore, but it will have to make sure it gets to the water safe.

 

I was thinking of using an old (or new cheap) rucksack where the camera fits in (more or less) and wearing it in front of me. Does that sound any good ??

 

Gerard

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Your best bet might be a foam ice chest (which can double as a rinse/keep damp tank) or a plastic box/carton, with the housing cushioned with a towel or spare wet suit. as far toward the back of the RIB is best, less risk of pounding/slaming on waves than in the bow.

 

If there isn't room for something like that, then there may be too many people/divers on the RIB. Trust me, trying to hold your housing on your lap to protect it on a bouncing RIB can get very uncomfortable after an hour or so, and you may need one or both hands to hang on if/when the boat hits a funny wave.

 

Frogfish

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I meant not holding it on my lap, but more wear the rucksack in front of me like a baby carrier. My hands would still be free.

 

By foam ice box, dit you mean a cooler bag ?

 

I'll find out how much room we will have....

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Hi

 

I have a 6 metre Bombard Explorer DB RIB and have had as many as 7 divers, and a boat person to watch the boat while everyone was diving from it, on it at one time. Maximum number of passengers is listed as being 16 persons.

 

Extra space does evaporate quickly with that amount of divers and kit aboard. I also like to bring along an Aquatica D2x with two Ikelite Sunstrobe 200s. It’s a big housing with big strobes to go with it, and it’s heavy too.

 

While the RIB is under power on the way to the dive site, I like to have the camera and strobes situated on the deck of the boat right between my legs as I drive the boat so that I am standing over the camera. This position keeps the camera from rattling around the deck as it is corralled between my legs as well as the centre console and the pedestal for my chair.

 

The captain of the boat that you are going out on may also be able to do this. He/she may have devised a similar strategy if he/she is an experienced captain who is organized and attentive to your needs as an underwater photographer. It may be worthwhile to call him/her and find out how they deal with cameras and housings on the boats. In all likelihood, they probably have an acceptable solution for you and your housing.

 

When diving from somebody else’s boat, I will tell the boat operator, at the earliest possible convenience, that I have a large and heavy camera housing that I intend to dive with from their boat. This lets them plan for the extra equipment on board and also helps to prevent any little last minute surprises that could ruin your dive charter.

 

I place my housing and strobes inside a flexible insulated (48 can beer) cooler bag that does double duty as a rinse tank from time to time. The flexibility and padding of the cooler bag would provide greater protection for the camera housing than a rucksack and probably cost about the same.

 

Good luck with the dives, hope you get some great photographs.

 

Happiness is a fast dive boat! ;)

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Or maybe a hardsided coleman icebox (cooler)? Those are good because they can be sat on, although space may be at too much of a premium for that.

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I'm gonna try a `really useful box'

 

A friend (actually the owner skipper of one of the RIBs) has good experience with them. On the site they claim you can stand on them. It doesnt close with an oring, but properly closed it might float for a bit too, this image is quite convincing (altough for americans it is a very small car ;) ) For my housing, it is a very close fit, but with some padding, this would have the advantage of nothing banging into eachother......

 

caronboxes04.jpg

 

I can tell you more in a months time....

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That's assuming that there is room on board the RIB for extra boxes and such. Whenever I am on a liveaboard, there is rarely much extra room for the many cameras and video set ups on the pangas that are used. Thus, holding it on your lap or between your feet is the normal and safe way to do it. Of course, I've never had to travel for an hour this way as usually the dive sites are 5-10 minutes away.

Steve B)

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I use flexible cooler bag, something like this but simpler and cheaper, it's gives some protection to the equipment and can be used also as rinse tank.

Since it's flexible its can be folded and in some cases I used it's as extra bag for flights.

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If there is enough room, put the housing (in its box or whatever) on the deck as near to the back of the boat as possible as this is where the least motion is experienced by the box and contents. I often dive from RIBs and either hold onto the housing (if there isn't deckspace) or put it in a plastic box at the back on the deck near the engine(s). This has never caused any problems although I rarely use foam in the box - if you want to use foam, sleeping bag mats are a cheap source or, an even cheaper solution is to line the box with bubblewrap although this does have to be replaced fairly often. One thing to do is to make sure that the flash doesn't bang against the housing as the RIB hits waves - again bubblewrap is a simple remedy.

 

I'd be really interested to hear what the diving is like where you are going.

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Paul,

 

probably not that different from wales or the english south. Most spectacular thing I saw there was a sunfish (Mola mola). But that was BP (before (my) photography)

 

If a few pics turn out nice, I'll do a trip report...

 

Arnon,

 

I know about these bags and have one of the very cheap ones. The softness wont give it any protection against loose stuff in the boat I'm afraid.

 

Gerard

Edited by Cerianthus

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