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bversteegh
08-14-2008, 21:58
Finally sorted a few pictures out from the trip to the Flower Gardens a couple weeks ago. I think Devil Diver kicked my butt - has some nice posts over in the travel section. But I caught a few that are pretty good.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3027/2764576838_22d472b0f7_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3206/2763731005_9ddd7ec02d_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3198/2764575952_86b70c7422_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3104/2764576052_a71b7c8a5b_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3156/2764576482_dee7bdf28d_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3119/2764577176_968bcc27b9_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3237/2764575120_e6def2d80b_o.jpg

mchain
08-15-2008, 09:49
Pretty cool, thanks for sharing those.

unclepooty
08-15-2008, 10:08
Great shots!

MSilvia
08-15-2008, 10:55
Nice shots, thanks for sharing!

loudgonzo
08-15-2008, 11:08
very cool, thanks for sharing, I hope to make a FG trip next year.

Illini_Fan
08-15-2008, 13:30
Nice shots Bruce

monant
08-15-2008, 13:59
Awsome

ScubaJ
08-15-2008, 14:17
Spectacular shots. Looks like a good time.

bversteegh
08-15-2008, 16:47
Spectacular shots. Looks like a good time.

The diving was much better than I expected, to be honest. I've lived in Texas for 26 years, and first time I've gone to the Gardens; really regret not going earlier.

But the trip was a little rough - I got seasick for the first time in years on the way out - if you decide to go and are the least susceptible to mal de mere, get the patch. Plus my friends that were coming down got screwed by American Airlines - cancelled their connecting flight plus lost their baggage - so they didn't get to go. A real bummer.

But all that said - had a good time, and enjoyed meeting everyone.

here are a few more:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3031/2763732201_eac0a04349_o.jpg


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3062/2763732069_2d1c6f6413_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3256/2764575416_78cfefdc59_o.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2067/2763731821_8cbe7cdd18_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3081/2763731387_8501e24ed8_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3135/2763731335_7e7d2f4938_o.jpg

allison finch
08-16-2008, 19:26
I really like the photo of the white spotted filefish! Nicely done.

Aussie
08-18-2008, 06:38
Bruce can you tell me more about the Flower Gardens National Sanctuary? I havnt heard much about it over this end of the World.

Regards Mark

Illini_Fan
08-18-2008, 07:21
Bruce can you tell me more about the Flower Gardens National Sanctuary? I havnt heard much about it over this end of the World.

Regards Mark

Not to steal Bruce's thread (since these are great pictures), but....

Flower Gardens (http://flowergarden.noaa.gov/about/about.html)

Gulf Diving (http://www.gulf-diving.com/) < --- note: the Spree will be moving to Florida in 2009 and thus only the Fling will be doing Flower Gardens trips

bversteegh
08-23-2008, 12:49
Hey Mark - its an open ocean coral garden in the Gulf of Mexico. On top of a salt dome that raises the bottom enough for coral to survive. The top of the reef is at 50 - 60 feet, so average depths are relatively deep; have to watch deco status and air a little more than I am used to in your end of the world. Usually in Indonesia, could come up to 20 or 30 feet for the last half of the dive and have great reefs still, so bottom time of 70 minutes or so. I was averaging 45 to 50 minute dives here, so that was a little different - was pretty conservative on air because lots of current/surge, so didn't want to be low on air getting out, and my buddy was burning more, so that also was a factor. Reefs are very healthy - but all hard corals. No gorgonians, sponges, or soft coral at the flower gardens - although there are sponges on the oil rig and at Stetson bank - a separate area you dive on the way back from the Gardens. I thought Stetson bank was the highlight of the trip - more variety of coral/sponges/fish/critters, plus more interesting topography (sand patches, pinnacles, swim throughs).

In general, the area is not real well know. Partly I think because it is difficult for the dive operators to work, because so weather dependent - the reef is 110 miles from Port Arthur, where our boat left from. And it requires at least intermediate level dive skills (currents, deep diving, surge).

But all that said - well worth doing if you have the skills. And since it is a weekend trip (11 dives in 3 days), you can work it in your schedule pretty easily.

DevilDiver
08-31-2008, 10:54
Great shots Bruce!! You can see the teeth on the Trunkfish!

It was a great trip, I really enjoyed the Stetson Bank and the oil rig dives.

I have been thinking about sneaking another trip out over a weekend before the end of the season and the departure of the Spree. Not sure if I can do it but it never hurts to keep your options open...

bversteegh
09-03-2008, 12:12
Great shots Bruce!! You can see the teeth on the Trunkfish!

It was a great trip, I really enjoyed the Stetson Bank and the oil rig dives.

I have been thinking about sneaking another trip out over a weekend before the end of the season and the departure of the Spree. Not sure if I can do it but it never hurts to keep your options open...

Hey - let me know if you decide to try and work one in. My divorce is supposed to go final September 18th - so assuming I have any money left at all:smiley29: maybe I'll join you. Diving is much more necessary than little things like paying the mortgage or eating - LOL.....