Today I’m packing my bags to fly south to Vancouver from the Yukon. I’ll spend a couple of days running some errands around the city and catching up with some friends and then I’m taking a series of three different ferries to end up on Hornby Island where I’ll be freediving with sea lions for a few days.

Hornby Island is a small island in the Straight of Georgia, between Vancouver Island and the British Columbian mainland. I have been making regular visits to Vancouver Island for a while now and it’s easily one of my favourite wildlife photography destinations. This year I’ll continue to work on a book project revolving around that wildlife, and for the winter that means getting in the (very cold) water with some inquisitive sea lions!

My packing list is as follows:

Cameras and lenses will be carried on the plane in a backpack that I can’t talk about yet (stay tuned…). The underwater camera housing and associated lens ports and accessories are packed into a Pelican case, and then that is put into a rolling duffle bag called the Rolling Transporter from Osprey.

This is how I roll…

These expedition grade rolling duffles are incredibly lightweight for their size (I have a pair of the 90L bags and one of the 120L bags). Lightweight is good when you are packing heavily and trying to stay within airline limits! On this trip I’ll use one of the 90L duffles for my clothing and personal gear, and a second one for the camera gear. Handily the rolling duffles can be strapped together so you can pull both of them with a single hand, like a duffle train through the airport. Very useful if you’re travelling alone!

Sea Lion Rookery, Nanaimo, BC. Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon 100-400 f/4.5-56.L IS II

The longer 100-400mm – a big favourite of mine – will be used for photographing the sea lion rookeries from the boat, and the rest of the lenses will be used in the water housing with both a flat port and a dome port.

If you aren’t too familiar with the Aquatech housing setups then I suggest taking a look at a guide to setting up the 5D Mark IV for use in the Aquatech housing that I wrote last year.

This should be a fun trip! Stay tuned for some photos and follow my stories on Instagram.

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