Flower Garden Banks 3 Day Trip Report with Photos & Video

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flyingDiver75

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Got back Wednesday evening from a 3 day trip aboard the M/V Fling. Conditions were somewhat rough for most of the dives with surface and sometimes bottom current, but there was plenty to see! Being comfortable with using a current assist line and doing rough water exits goes are key. Highlights were 2 encounters with a Manta Ray on the West Bank, southern stingrays and a juvenile trunkfish on Stetson, and a Sea Hare during the night dive on the East Bank.

2 dives on the West Flower Garden Bank, 3 dives on the East for day one
5 dives at Stetson for day two
2 dives on the Kraken wreck the morning of day 3
Average depths around 80' for most dives and total run of around 40 minutes each.

The Fling crew makes sure you are well fed before and after every dive.

Photo Albums:
West Flower Garden Banks
East Flower Garden Banks
Stetson Bank
Kraken Wreck

Videos:
Manta Ray
West Flower Garden Banks
East Flower Garden Banks
Stetson Bank
Kraken Wreck

20604402_10155793692902994_9205807686479118768_n.jpg
 

drrich2

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Glad to see a Flower Gardens trip report! One thing I'd like to see, but doubt I ever will, is a % 'go vs. cancel' rate given for trips at various months of the year. I'd think if you're an intermediate or advanced diver within an easy drive of the Freeport, TX and the Fling, it'd be a no-brainer, but for those of us who'd be looking at booking airfare or a serious drive, well, that's not so clear cut.

Richard.
 

flyingDiver75

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Wow. The Kraken dive was dark!
I think we hit the water about 7:30AM so there was time for a 2nd dive which I didn't make. It was pretty much a night dive in terms of visibility with a think
Glad to see a Flower Gardens trip report! One thing I'd like to see, but doubt I ever will, is a % 'go vs. cancel' rate given for trips at various months of the year. I'd think if you're an intermediate or advanced diver within an easy drive of the Freeport, TX and the Fling, it'd be a no-brainer, but for those of us who'd be looking at booking airfare or a serious drive, well, that's not so clear cut.

Richard.

It's a 10 hour drive for us, so unless it's a day-of cancel we can usually get word in time to stay home. I know a few people have made the drive from here only to get a cancel on the way - at least New Orleans is about 1/2 way and a bit of a consolation for a trip cancellation.
 

iamrushman

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thanks for sharing the info and dive report...
 

mcohen1021

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Great trip pics. I've been twice. Trip one hightlight I was 15' ft from a hammerhead, trip 2 highlight 10' from a manta ray. Yes conditions are sketchy to say the least and living in DFW does help. Trip 2 we were caught on the edge of a tropical depression and I think we got a total of 3 dives in before it was over. Sleeping was very uncomfortable due to the conditions.
 

ReefHound

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Glad to see a Flower Gardens trip report! One thing I'd like to see, but doubt I ever will, is a % 'go vs. cancel' rate given for trips at various months of the year.

The data is there, just needs someone like you to volunteer to organize it! On the Fling website you can look at the calendar for previous months/years and each trip shows Canceled or Go status. Looks like it goes back to 2009.
 
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drrich2

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Thanks for the tip! I suspect figures for 2015 or 2016 would be more generalizable than for 2017, due to the very unusual hurricane season we've had (e.g.: Hurricane Harvey hitting Houston).

I've looked at Trip Advisor in the past to see what other entertainments Freeport, TX might have in case a visitor got blown out & was stuck a few days. I take it Freeport's not a really 'happening' place...

If I ever finally get around to booking a trip to fly down & try the Fling, I'd ideally like to do 2-trips within a week (maybe a 2-day, 1 day break, then a 3-day?), if that's practical. It would entail enough diving to justify dedicating a week of vacation time, car rental, etc...to it.

Anybody know if any LDS around there rents big tanks (I'm talking 120 or 130-cf steels, LP or HP)? From what I understand the diving is mostly deep, with much of the dive spent at depth, lending itself to nitrox, so I imagine for some of us a steel 120 would be very nice to have...

Richard.
 

Dan

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For those who will fly to Houston for Flower Garden trip, if the trip get cancelled during your flight, there are plenty nice places to visit around Houston & Galveston area like Moody Garden, NASA Space Center, Kemah Boardwalk, etc.
 
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