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Flower Gardens trip May 5 - 7, 2017

Discussion in 'Member Trip Reports' started by Cajun Diver, May 8, 2017.

  1. Cajun Diver

    Cajun Diver Tiger Shark

    The weather report for the weekend of May 5 - 7 was looking great so I decided to jump on the trip even though I didn't have a buddy lined up. Anyone who hasn't been there you should look at the Flower Gardens Primer thread. It has a lot of great information.

    We did the normal briefing and headed out on Friday night. The ride out was smooth enough for me to sleep in one of the forward bunks - surprising since the wind was still blowing out of the north at 10 - 12. I had the front all to myself (well except for the captain and one crew).

    We arrived at the West Bank and tied on to buoy #2 on Saturday morning to an almost flat sea which is very unusual this time of year. Water temps were 77 - 78 degrees so getting almost warm enough for me to dive a 3 mil wetsuit but I stuck with my 5 mil and lava core so I wouldn't get cold.

    I tagged along with a couple on the 2 morning dives and the rig dives since there were no other buddy less divers. We saw the usual assortment of small fish and the coral was looking great as always. I counted 7 lionfish without looking hard so it will be interesting to see how many are removed during the lionfish rodeo this year. I'll submit a report on that shortly.

    Next we went to dive the rig and since a crew boat was on HI - 376-A we went to HI - 376-B. The wind was too light to tie up so they ran a line from the rig and dropped us off. We saw a couple of sharks, a turtle and a bunch of jacks. The coral encrusted on the legs was very colorful as always. The current had picked up a little so it was hard to stay steady for macro pictures - album is here. Temp was 78 degrees.

    We gathered on the line and they would pull close (the wind had started picking up by then) and 3 or 4 divers would go and board then we would repeat the process.

    Next we went to East Bank and tied up on #4 for the late afternoon and night dive. The couple I had dove with previously had a computer issue so skipped the dive. I buddied up with 3 others but 2 dropped out quickly - ear problem and camera flooded. This was in the area that had the die off "mortality event" and there was a lot of dead coral. There were quite a few fish so hopefully the coral will recover in the next few years. Water temp was 78 degrees here too.

    I skipped the night dive since I had an ear bothering me and couldn't find my dive light. I had it on the Comal trip last month so not sure where I packed it on the trip home but will look through my camping gear again.

    That night we moved to Stetson for the last 2 dives on Sunday and tied up to buoy # 2. I buddied up with a diver who's buddy didn't want to get up early for the morning dive. Water temp was 74 degrees here so I was glad to be in my 5 mil now. We saw a slipper lobster, tiger grouper, a large spotted eel, southern stingray, trunk fish and 3 lionfish. The couple I had been buddied up with saw a tiger shark heading away.

    The RV Manta arrived between the dives and backed in close to us to drop off some divers. Good thing they have the water jets instead of props since they kept getting close to our down line.

    On the second dive I was back with the couple and there were plenty of black sail blenny's displaying but I couldn't catch one with it's sail out on camera. A large school of jacks cruised by to see us off. Temp was still 74 degrees and I was getting a little chilled near the end.

    As always the Fling had a great crew and a fantastic cook so I'm looking forward to the CHUM trip in June.
     
    Ms KJenn Dives and Sushi Boy like this.
  2. Diver_T

    Diver_T Treasurer Staff Member

    Nice pictures!

    Good luck in this years Lionfish rodeo :)
     
    Cajun Diver likes this.

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