Mad Monk's SCUBA Trip Reports Mad Monk's SCUBA Trip Reports






Flower Gardens, Texas/Louisiana Coast March 1996




Lodging - Liveaboard on the Spree Click here to see (the sister vessel the Fling) Room for about 40 divers plus crew leaving from Freeport TX.

Diving - Pretty hard to choose on a liveaboard. This was about as well run an operation as I have ever seen. Everyone is checked in and out of the water by bunk numbers and sometime after the dive, one of the crew will be checking up on you to be sure you are OK. I was impressed by the crew's diligence and hard work though they did still seem to have fun.

Dive Sites:
Flower Gardens - West Side
Max Depth - 82 FSW Water temp - 68 F Viz - 85 feet Time - 44
Max Depth - 15 FSW Water temp - 68 F Viz - 85 feet Time - 10 - couldn't equalize - aborted
Max Depth - 82 FSW Water temp - 68 F Viz - 85 feet Time - 22
Wow!!! Everywhere you look there is a manta. Must have been 4-5 swimming around the dive site. Occasionally, we would see a hammerhead swim by in the distance. At one point, I was trying to get m buddies attention to point out the huge hammerhead behind him while he was trying to point out the large bull shark behind me. Barracuda and lots of other smaller fish and more brain coral than I have ever seen before. During the surface intervals, the hammerheads would come in closer to the boats but as soon as divers entered the water, they kept their distance. Lots of big amberjacks below the boat on the third dive.

Flower Gardens - East Side
Max Depth - 76 FSW Water temp - 68 F Viz - 60 feet Time - 35
Max Depth - 68 FSW Water temp - 68 F Viz - night Time - 35
Still mantas around along with the hammerheads. Add to that lots more macro life and some huge lobsters even during the day. As the sun was going down, we could see spinner sharks leaping out of the water. An awesome sight. Lot of urchins out on the night dive as well as hosts of shrimp and smaller life

Stetson Banks
Max Depth - 73 FSW Water temp - 61 F Viz - 45 feet Time - 27
A good spot for macro photography. Lots of nooks and crannies in the rocks (no corals) with lots of eels, worms, shrimp, and smaller fish.

All in all, for me it was a good trip and I would do it again. However, of the four of us that went, two were seasick from the time we left the dock til we got back and on Sunday AM, two dives were aborted when the wind came up hard enough to snap a mooring line. We went back to freeport in nearly gale force winds and it was a very rough ride. I figure about 99% of the people on the boat were either sick or thinking about it and that included the crew. The weather off the Texas coast in late winter can be chancy but it is an opportunity to see the hammerheads schooling and that doesn't come along all the time. Sorry, couldn't get close enough for a picture. If you decide to make this trip, plan for seasickness - even if ou've never been afflicted before. I hadn't and never quite got to chumming for fish but it was really close (never eat the scrambled eggs and sausage when the wind is blowing up a storm.)

Food:
Food is plentiful. Not great, not bad, but plentiful. Water, tea, coffee, lemonade are always available and soda, beer, and wine can purchased. NOTE: If you choose to have a beer with lunch, you are done diving for the day. That is too expensive a beer for me. NOTE ALSO that if you BYOB, you are required to store it with the crew.

DOT chuck@chopf.com send some E-mail to Chuck



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©1995 Construction started on Sep. 20, 1996 by the MadMonk