Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

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Scubie Doo
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Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by Scubie Doo » Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:26 pm

Just returned from a great trip to FGB out of Texas. I have been wanting to do this trip for a long time and we picked the perfect time. Seas were 6"-12" with little to no current. We boarded the MV Fling on 8/28 at about 8:00pm and heading to the Garden Banks. We hit our first five on the 29th at around 7:00am. There was a little current on this site, so we spent a lot of time adjusting and trying to get comfortable. I chose WA for this dive and struggled to get some good shots. Here are a few favorites.

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Dive two was at the same site. However, this time, instead of fighting the current we chose to drop immediately and swim under the current. This proved to be a good idea as this dive was a lot more relaxing. There were tons of Lionfish and Barracuda, amongst a ton of coral heads. Again, not a tons of good shots, I was trying to get George to model for me :-)

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After dive #2, I took a nap and woke up tied off the an Oil Rig. We were told that the Oil Rigs were no longer an option. The boat was thrilled and the WA choice paid off here. We even swam with (2) sharks around the oil rig.

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After lunch we moved to the East Garden Bank for an evening and night dive. As I was in the water for dive #4, the DM hit my camera port against the boat and dislodged it. I jumped out of the water and quickly reset the port. The shield was broken, but the port was in great condition. This would be my last WA dive of the trip.

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For the night dive (#5) I went Macro, and boy was I in my element. A Macro night dive was the remedy for a frustrating day of shooting.

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This was tiny, could use an ID :-)
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During the evening of the 29th we moved to Stetson Bank Buoy #3 for the last two dives. We woke up to an amazing sunrise. The diving here was phenomenal. The first dive we spent relatively shallow, chasing macro critters.

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The final dive George and I dropped in on a Manta Ray and Sandbar Shark! It was a truly amazing experience. I got the Manta on video and a rough shot of the Shark with my macro rig. We saw tons of baby Lionfish, I know these are invasive, but they are beautiful.

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All in all, this was an amazing trip. We had wonderful conditions and I couldn't ask for a better buddy. I will post a video in the near future. Have an awesome holiday weekend. I will leave you with my absolute favorite shot of the trip.

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Tom Nic
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by Tom Nic » Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:11 pm

Jesse - thank you so much for this trip report. This has been on my list for years and I'm so happy you got to do it!

Great shots, as always. They really capture the moment.

Can you fill us in on the nature of the diving, tanks, boat rules, your travel arrangements, etc as you have time?

Thanks again!
More Pics Than You Have Time To Look AT
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Bric Martin
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by Bric Martin » Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:51 pm

Great report! Sorry about the camera mishap, but your pictures are fantastic!

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by Scubie Doo » Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:25 pm

Tom Nic wrote:Jesse - thank you so much for this trip report. This has been on my list for years and I'm so happy you got to do it!

Great shots, as always. They really capture the moment.

Can you fill us in on the nature of the diving, tanks, boat rules, your travel arrangements, etc as you have time?

Thanks again!


Certainly. Flew into Houston and left from Freeport Texas. George flew in the Friday of departure, I flew in a day early to visit friends. Drive to Freeport via rental car was about 90 minutes. Boarded around 7:30pm and left at 9ish. Also, on my early arrival I rented LP108s from Houston dive shop called Gigglin' Marlin. The boat has Alum 80s and can only fill to 3000, this turned out to be a great move. The tanks were an extra $30 for the weekend. The seas were extremely calm 6"-12" and the water "Bonaire" Warm. I dove my 5-4-3 the first dive and ended up in a rash guard and shorts the remaining dives, water temp was 86 degrees. Boat rules are on the web site, but they are very strict, and rightfully so, we were in BFE so any accident is critical. The main rules was 130' (or MOD) on dive 1 and you could not exceed 100' the rest of the day. In fact, they asked for BT and Depth as you exited the water. One thing I really appreciated is the DM asked "How are you feeling?" after every dive and a couple times on the side. It was a strict but excellent crew. We stayed in Clute upon our return on Sunday, it was nice to have the boat ride home to collect and pack your belongings. We then flew out on Monday around 5:00pm. The food on board was great as well, they always had something out to munch on.

Anything I missed for you Nic?

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by Scubie Doo » Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:25 pm

Dive operator was MV Fling.

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by Scubie Doo » Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:27 pm

Bric Martin wrote:Great report! Sorry about the camera mishap, but your pictures are fantastic!


Thanks Bric. Yeah they banged it pretty good. I said "Lower it and I will look at it." the DM said "No! Come up here and look." I am glad I did, the port was jarred loose. All in all, no damage what so ever, so I really appreciate them strongly encouraging me to exit and inspect :-)

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Penopolypants
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by Penopolypants » Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:17 pm

Gorgeous shots!! I am envious!
Come to the nerd side, we have pi!

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by Scubie Doo » Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:38 pm

Penopolypants wrote:Gorgeous shots!! I am envious!


Thank you PPants :) I will share my amateur video tomorrow and hopefully Gdog will be able to post some pics and commentary too.

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Gdog
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by Gdog » Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:06 pm

Im always late to the party.....
So here are the best of what I shot on this trip. I was not real happy with my wide angle shots, clearly need several more trips to Flower Garden Banks until I improve! Still, it was a fantastic trip.

Up from the Deep.jpg

Oil Rig Sponges.jpg

Fish Life on the Reef.jpg

Down into the Deep.jpg


I also felt more comfortable when I switched to Macro. Here are some of the results;

Stetson Banks Lionfish.jpg

Orange White Christmas Tree Worms.jpg

Stetson Banks Goby.jpg

Multicolor Christmas Tree Worms.jpg

Scorpionfish Smile.jpg

Colorful Christmas Tree Worms.jpg


Had a blast on this trip, especially the Oil Rig. Jesse, thanks for being my dive buddy! Oh and also thanks for sharing your Deet bug spray; those mosquitos rode up on horses Texas style before they tried to suck you dry.

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xBabyJesus
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by xBabyJesus » Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:39 pm

Awesome dive report! My girlfriendbuddy is from Texas and she is shocked that this place even existed! Pretty sure we are booking soon :D

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mpenders
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by mpenders » Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:01 am

Great report & pics, guys!

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YellowEye
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by YellowEye » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:02 am

Cool stuff!
I really like those baby lionfish photos, besides the invasiveness! Beautiful curves and colors in each of your pictures!

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mz53480
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by mz53480 » Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:00 am

Very cool! Thanks for sharing! :)
...I like going to the chamber.. They have great food there, and awsome live music "H20doctor"
Check out the VIDEOS!

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ScubaJess
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by ScubaJess » Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:08 am

Really beautiful pictures guys! I'm so glad you had a fun trip! I love how you captured all the color and life! Jesse really like your pics of Gdog! He had some great modeling skills! Also glad your camera is ok.
Gdog I really like the tube worms? Shot and the cute fish in between. Such cool eyes!!
Welcome back!!! We missed you guys!! :)
Live Long And Prosper!!!

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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by RoxnDox » Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:17 am

Wow, great shots and reports! Super impressed...

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Gdog
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by Gdog » Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:49 am

Awesome shots and great report Jesse. Stunning work! Really love the last shot as well as the sponges on the oil rig. I need to work on my modeling Skills! Another thing I think you forgot to mention was the food. We did 5 dives the first day, and ate before and after every dive. Something different was prepared each time we came out of the water, and it was all good and plentiful. The crew of the Fling did a great job, excluding the bumping of your camera port!

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spatman
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by spatman » Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:30 am

Great shots, guys! Definitely added that spot to my list.
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ScubaJess
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by ScubaJess » Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:32 am

Also I really love that squat lobster looking guy!!!!
Live Long And Prosper!!!

Stay Warm underwater with the Weezle Extreme Plus undergarment! Please let me know if you would like to order one or have any questions. :luv: :partydance: :eric: :taco:

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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by Tangfish » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:04 am

Great trip report Jesse. Your last two shots are my favorite. On banging your dome port, how did this happen, they were raising and lowering your cameras from up above via a rope or something?

Gdog, how did you do on the seasickness, did you guys manage to attract many fish?

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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by Gdog » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:21 am

Tangfish wrote:Gdog, how did you do on the seasickness, did you guys manage to attract many fish?


Meclazine worked well for me although we has seas of 1' or less. We still had side to side rocking, and swells but nothing bad. I had zero problems. So we were a little weak in the chumming category. Thought about stabbing Jesse in the leg to see if the sharks would come in closer but Jesse wouldn't let me get close enough....

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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by Penopolypants » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:28 am

Gdog wrote:Thought about stabbing Jesse in the leg to see if the sharks would come in closer but Jesse wouldn't let me get close enough....


Hah!

And great shots from you too Gdog!
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by mz53480 » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:29 am

Gdog wrote:... Thought about stabbing Jesse in the leg to see if the sharks would come in closer but Jesse wouldn't let me get close enough....


:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
...I like going to the chamber.. They have great food there, and awsome live music "H20doctor"
Check out the VIDEOS!

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by Scubie Doo » Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:42 am

Here is my mediocre video :-)

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by Scubie Doo » Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:43 am

Tangfish wrote:Great trip report Jesse. Your last two shots are my favorite. On banging your dome port, how did this happen, they were raising and lowering your cameras from up above via a rope or something?

Gdog, how did you do on the seasickness, did you guys manage to attract many fish?


Yes, they were lowering with a rope. They felt really bad about it and mentioned it right away. Otherwise, they handled the cameras very well.

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Re: Flower Garden Banks, Texas Caribbean

Post by Gdog » Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:47 am

Hey the video was a blast to watch!!

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