Monterey SCUBA Diving and Underwater Photography – My first dive with my new drysuit and D300 housing.

Posted by on Sep 26, 2010

Two months ago I bought a new (to me) housing for my Nikon D300 camera. I bought a new drysuit about the same time. Then I pinched a nerve in my neck and couldn’t take it all diving! After visits to doctors and chiropractor, and MRI’s and various treatments I decided that I was well enough to go diving. So Friday night Randy and I prepared our camera systems, packed up our dive gear and Saturday morning took off early for Monterey, California which is about an 1 ½ hours away.
Photo by Randy Herz
It was a beautiful warm sunny day in Monterey. This is good and bad. Good, because it is just a beautiful place and it is nice to be there without having to bundle up in layers of clothing. Bad, because we’re putting on long underwear, thick fleece drysuit jammies and a drysuit. By the time the gear is on and we are ready we are hot, sweaty and can’t wait to get in the water. Here I am all decked out in my drysuit. You have to be really dedicated to underwater photography and Northern California diving to deal with all that it takes to dive and photograph here.
A lot of gear!
But wait, there’s more! How could I do underwater photography without a camera! So add in the camera in the housing with two strobes and all the accessories. It is a Sea&Sea housing, same as my old D70 housing. The whole thing probably weighs 10 to 15 pounds. This is what it looks like (the camera isn’t in it at this point).
 My new drysuit worked really well. I stayed dry and warm and had no complaints…except the built in boots were too large for my favorite fins. I used a pair of fins that I happened to have (I won them) and found them to be more buoyant than my old fins. The camera system also worked fairly well but is heavier underwater than my old underwater camera system. With a heavier camera up front and more buoyant fins in back I found that my feet had a tendency to float up more than I like. They weren’t floating enough to put me in danger of turning upside down but it was uncomfortable and I had less control over my feet. Before I go for another dive I’ll be heading to the dive shop to get a new pair of fins in the same style as my old ones, and then to Backscatter for some floats for my strobe arms.
It was so nice to be SCUBA diving and taking pictures underwater again. I’ll be looking forward to my next SCUBA diving underwater photography adventure, with our club the Northern California Underwater Photographic Society, in October.
Read more about our dive in my next post.