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Dive Review of Fling Charters in
The Continental USA

Fling Charters: "Flower Gardens Banks, Texas", Jul, 2016,

by Mary K Wicksten, TX, US (Contributor Contributor 17 reports with 8 Helpful votes). Report 8990 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
This is not a luxury boat. You have curtained bunks, common dining area and dive platform. Some curtains don't quite shut out the emergency lights, so you may want to bring an eye mask. Temperature varied between cabins. Food is "diner style" but filling. You will enjoy the brownies and ice cream after the night dive! Beer available but your first alcoholic drink marks the end of your day's diving.

The Flower Gardens and Stetson Bank are 70-120 miles out in the Gulf, minimum depth about 65 feet. Divemasters give a thorough briefing and urge safety procedures. (A pity that a couple of people didn't hear "HANG ON TO THE DOWN LINE!" But yes, they made it back to the boat.) Divemasters do a check on everyone after each dive.

Entry is a jump off the side. You grab the side line and may swim against a surface current to follow the buoy line down. You exit by grabbing the back line, removing your fins and timing your exit as a heavy ladder dunks in and out. You need to monitor your time, depth, and location while diving. Plenty of places to explore on the bottom or around the legs of the platform but you need to stay alert. This is NOT a place for beginners.

Reefs contain big coral heads or rock pinnacles. Lots of fish schools, all sorts of colorful and cute smaller crustaceans and fishes among rocks and corals. Distant manta, sharks cruising around platform, slipper lobsters and other crustaceans out at night. Great opportunities for any camera.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Galapagos, western Mexico, California, Hawaii, Fiji, Palau, Yap, Australia, New Guinea, Florida springs
Closest Airport Houston TX Getting There You need to drive to Freeport to catch the boat (about 1.5 hour drive). No public transportation.

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas surge
Water Temp 81-85°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 30-50 Ft/ 9-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Maximum of 130 feet on first dive, 100 feet afterwards. 2.5 hours between dives, safety stop for 3 minutes at 15 feet.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera tank and table provided. Can arrange for down line on entry or exit.

Lots of marine life from fish schools to tiny blennies and crabs. Day and night dives available, different species at each. Big guys (sharks, mantas) tend to be distant--video might be a better way to shoot them.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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