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Kona Aggressor Captain’s Log March 23rd-30th 2016
Air Temp. 75-85 F
Water Temp. 77-79 F
Captain Colby Hawkins
2nd Captain Greg Dooley
Engineer Ernie Stanley
Instructor David Jackson
Chef Toby Reichart
Jeffrey, Reese, Christina, Marianne, Arthur, Samuel, Benjamin, Gaylen, Jill, Manuela
Sunday – Meadows, The Dome, Pelagic
Monday – Amphitheater, Shark Fin Rock, Garden Eel Cove
Tuesday – Aquarium, Kalokos Arches
Wednesday – Driftwood, Lion’s Den, Rob’s Reef
Thursday – Au Au Crater, Captain Cook’s Bay, Mantaville
Friday – Turtle Pinnacle, Predator
Saturday April 23rd 2016
The crew of the Kona Aggressor welcomed nine eager Divers and one Snorkeler aboard for a week of live aboard diving and snorkeling along the beautiful west coast of the Big Island Hawaii. Shortly after arriving our guests busied themselves setting up dive equipment and photography equipment after which they were shown to their cabins so they could unpack and get settled. Captain Colby then delivered the welcome briefing and introduced the crew. Chef Toby wowed our guest with an amazing dinner. After desert the guests retired early in preparation for the week ahead. We stayed the night on our home mooring in Kailua Bay.
Sunday April 24th 2016
We departed early and set a course for the dive site Meadows. We traveled south along the coast for approximately an hour and moored up at Meadows. This dive site offers coral gardens and fingers in addition to arches and lava tubes. Here we saw Moray Eels, Trunk Fish Filefish, and many different types of Triggerfish. We did two dives at this site.
Next up was The Dome. We untied from Meadows and traveled 10 minutes south. As soon as we moored up to this dive site Dolphins were seen circling the boat, a few of our guests had the privilege of snorkeling with them prior to their next dive. This dive site features a lava dome covered in coral with coral fingers that stretch out into the deep. Here we saw a giant Lobster as well as a Hawksbill Turtle cruising around, in addition there was Moray Eels and Nudibranchs scattered about along with all the common fish Hawaii has to offer. We did two dives at this site.
Last but not least was the Pelagic dive that we offer upon request. After untying at The Dome we traveled Norwest for approximately 1hr to a spot 3+ miles off shore that the ocean floor is at least 3000 feet deep or greater. We prepared hang lines for the divers to hold on to while the boat drifts casually, the divers were anxious to get in and see what types of sea life there is coming up from the deep. Many different types of invertebrates were seen and all the divers thoroughly enjoyed the experience. After the dive we headed to our mooring in Kailua Bay for the night.
Monday April 25th 2016
We departed our mooring early and set a course to Amphitheater. We traveled south along the coast for approximately 45 minutes and moored up at Amphitheater. This dive site features a long lava tube with a cave that has holes that which allows sun to shine through. Some of our guests saw a giant porcupine fish, along with many other types of fish that congregate among the reef. We did one dive at this site.
Next up was Shark Fin Rock. After untying at Amphitheater we traveled approximately 1.5 hours north along the coast to Shark Fin Rock. This dive site gets its name from the rock that sticks out just above sea level near the shore and that is shaped like a shark fin. The dive site also features coral gardens with fingers that lead out to sea along with a step drop off down to a sandy bottom. Here the divers saw octopus playing with each other, different types of triggerfish along with all the other common types of fish that live in the reef. We did two dives at this
Next up was Garden Eel Cove. After untying at Shark Fin Rock we traveled approximately 30 minutes north along the coast to Garden Eel Cove. This dive site features coral gardens along with steep walls along the shoreline, in addition there is a sandy bottom that we gather in a circle for the night dives with the mantas. On the first dive divers saw Dragon wrasse and many other types of fish that cruise the reef. The second dive here was the night dive, this is by far one of the most favored by guests. We waited until dark and got in with our lights and cameras ready. The divers and snorkeler all gathered in one area that has a sandy bottom. The dive guides setup the 8000 lumen light and the manta show began. At the end of the dive after everyone was already on board we had a rare encounter with a sea lion that was seen near the stern of the boat, it was definitely a sight to see. We stayed at this dive sight over night.
Tuesday April 26th 2016
We departed early and set a course for the dive site Aquarium. We traveled approximately 20 minutes south along the south and moored up to Aquarium. This dive site features a wide variety of fish and a couple octopus that hid out right by the mooring. The Orkin boys were the first ones in all day. Calm seas and a sunny morning made for some great conditions.
In the afternoon we headed to a close by site called Kalokos Arches. Kalokos means fish pond and is right off of Kaloko Honokohau National Historic Park. Here we saw a stone fish and and another turtle while we wandered through the maze-like dive site. Some divers liked this site the best for the week!
Wednesday April 27th
South again we go to a dive site called Driftwood. Divers enjoyed the blackhole-like structor that seems like a big tunnel going straight down. We had a visit from a green sea turtle and some barracuda! The sun stayed out for most of the morning and visibility was great! For the afternoon we checked out two favorites right next to each other.. The Lions Den and Rob’s Reef. The Lions Den has valleys between rock pinnacles that are fun to poke around and shine your light in the overhang structures. This site it is also common to see a spotted eagle ray cruising by which two divers saw at the end of their early afternoon dive here. The 16:30 dive was definitely the favorite site of the day at Rob’s Reef. A 100ft cave was lit up by a pack of eleven divers deep into the Cliffside!
When the divers got up we had a pig roast waiting for dinner!.. literally a full pig had been slow cooking all day and Toby was ready to carve that baby up! Another delicious meal up on the sundeck!
Thursday April 28th
Ending with an action packed day we visited Au Au Crater, Captain Cook’s Bay and Mantaville! Au Au Crater is a crew favorite and gave divers a relaxing aw feeling as they hovered over a 90ft drop off half dome crater. We all cruised along the side walls looking in the crevasses to see what fish and critters would come out for a peek at us. Kealakekua Bay also known as Captain Cook’s Bay is a place of tranquility and beautiful landscape. We found it to be a good place for lunch, an afternoon nap and a beautiful wall dive! We don’t have a mooring here so a live drop coordinated by the captain and crew was in place to put the divers in the perfect spot so they could swim along the edge underwater.
At Mantaville we prepped this divers on staying together and building our dive light campfire. We had to wait 10-15 minutes before any Mantas showed up but sure enough two beauties came along for their krill and plankton dinner! We got some help from lit up surfboards and snorkelers topside of our campfire and many great photos were captured! We were very happy for our guest to get to see some Mantas flying by.
Friday April 29th
A calm sunny morning to finish off a great week on the boat. We headed north to Turtle Pinnacle and the Predator wreck dive. The Predator is a small landing crft that used to transport cattle from the northern part of the island to other parts of the island.. We do this dive at 10:30 because that’s right when the Atlantis submarine is cruising by. Divers waved farewell to the passing sub and then headed back up to the boat. It was time to crack a beer and relax for the afternoon. Thanks to our guests for a great week!
Until Next Time!
-The Kona Aggressor II Captain and Crew