Cenote Commando | Fly & Dive Photography

Someone smart at Ikelite casually mentioned that with the new vacuum system on the housings it was possible to basically assemble the system, pull vacuum, fly with it, and jump in the water straight out of the plane... I wasn’t sure if he was completely serious, but I decided to give it a try.

If this worked, it would be an amazing benefit for times when you can't check in early at the hotel (i.e. frantically assembling gear in the middle of a hot and crowded lobby) or when you fly out for a short trip and want to maximize time in the water (i.e. frantically rushing to assemble rig without skipping an important step and causing major problems).

The perfect opportunity to test this experiment arose last week in the form of a really cheap flight to Cancun, along with a short window where my wife Kimber and I were available to travel. I packed the following:

  • Canon EOS 5DS R with 16-35mm III
  • DL200 Housing
  • DL Compact 8" Dome
  • DL 28mm and 50mm Extensions
  • Pair of DS161 Strobes with Arms
  • Dual Sync Cord
  • Vacuum Pump with Gauge
  • Dive gear
  • A few pairs of shorts
  • Extra o-rings/lubricant (for the housing)

Copyright Ken Kiefer

Kimber packed:

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with 8-15mm Fisheye
  • DL200 Housing
  • DL Compact 8" Dome
  • DL 20mm Extension
  • Dive gear
  • Swimsuits plus some dresses for modeling

Off We Go...

We arrived in Cancun around noon and took a shuttle directly to dive shop Solo Buceo. Threw our dive gear on the boat and headed out for some amazing eagle ray experiences. That night at dinner we heard that the port in Cancun would be closed due to the high winds.

Copyright Ken Kiefer

We considered ourselves lucky to have a quick dive under our belts and wondered if weather would force us to play in the cenotes instead of heading out to open ocean. First thing the next morning we received word that the port at Playa del Carmen was still open. We grabbed all of our stuff and jumped in a shuttle. Got there just in time for a bull shark feeding dive with Phantom Divers. This is a very cool experience, that is always over sooner than I’m ready.

Copyright Ken Kiefer

Super early on our last morning, we went looking for some cenotes were we could test Kimber’s cold-water tolerance and work on some underwater modeling shots with friends.

Copyright Ken Kiefer

Without the help of Yucatan Dive Trek, we would never have had the ability to find the types of cenotes that we were looking for, in the short time frame that we had available.

Copyright Ken Kiefer

Few hours of sleep and back on the plane to Houston, where we both had to work that afternoon.

Maybe there was a tiny bit of corner sharpness lost in a few images without my big 8 inch dome, but I really can’t find it. And, even if that happened, the ability to quickly grab everything and transition, plus being able to walk off the plane into the water was well worth it!!

I owe you one Mr. Smart Guy at Ikelite.

Copyright Ken Kiefer

Copyright Ken Kiefer