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Kona Aggressor II
June 11-18/ 2016
Air Temp- 80F, 26C to 85F, 29C
Water Temp 77F, 25C to 80F, 26C
Wet Suit Recommendation 3-5 mil full wet suit
Captain & crew
1st Captain Ernie
2nd Captain Matthew
Instructor DM video Brent
Dive Master Ashley
Sunday – Paradise Pinnacle, Hive
Monday – Land of Oz, Catacomb, Manuka Bay
Tuesday – Au Au Crater, Rob’s Reef, Lions Den, Pelagic Magic
Wednesday – The Dome, Ampitheater, Mantaville
Thursday – The Meadow, Driftwood, Black Hole, Garden Eel Cove
Friday – Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday, June 11th
Yet another beautiful, tropical afternoon in Hawaii as guests arrive to Kailua Pier and board the Kona Aggressor II. Kona crew welcomes Anthony, Gilly, Wayne, Laurie, Matt, Chris, Koo, Mo, Mo, Kim, Melissa, Richard, Katherine, and Richard to the vessel. Guests are shown to their cabins, settle in, and set up dive gear before gathering on the upper deck for introductions and boat briefing. Chef Clint has prepared a savory bbq dinner that is enjoyed by all, then off to bed as Aggressor heads to sea. The diving adventure begins!
Sunday, June 12th
After a hearty French toast breakfast and Captain Ernie’s dive deck briefing, the divers proceed to do a check out dive with Instructor Brent at Paradise Pinnacle. The site ranges in depth from 15ft in the shallow, upper canyons down to 90ft at the edge of the drop off and centers around a large, vibrant pinnacle, hence the site’s name. As always, this pinnacle is teeming with life including spotted box fish, hawkfish, several spotted eels, and a variety of nudibranches. Divers enjoy two exciting dives here before we head to the next spot called The Hive. This dive is a dream for photographers wanting to capture dramatic images of other divers. From inside the cave, a diver on the outside is perfectly silhouetted against a peaceful blue background complete with soft, fanning rays of sunlight. The underwater image is so beautiful you’ll want to keep it for the family vacation album.
Monday, June 13th
Onward to The Land of Oz, Catacomb, and Manuka Bay! The first site is a beautiful place, which gets its name from a yellow, sandy path that leads divers through and around several lively, extravagant pinnacles. The sandy path is an excellent area to look for divided flatworms and domino damselfish. The pinnacles themselves are covered in a variety bright, healthy hard corals home to various butterfly fish often seen grazing along the corals in pairs. The Catacomb is a series of subaquatic domes etched into a long winding sea wall. Here divers were able to swim into shallow caves and marvel at a gallery of naturally formed indentations and rock formations by years of lava flow and water erosion. Today divers were happy to have seen a sea hare, two octopuses, a decorator crab, and a porcupine puffer fish. The night dive at Manuka Bay was especially exciting as many morays were out feeding, including a massive yellow-headed moray. There was also a large lobster rummaged in the corals, which patiently allowed divers to take its picture, many banded cleaner shrimp, and an intriquitley patterned hermit crab.
Tuesday, June 14th
It was a calm morning to head south to Au Au Crater. This site is one of our most dramatically designed landscapes with a shear sea wall that leads up to a massive open crater carved into the wall by volcanic activity many years ago. Then a short dive only a few hundred yards away to an awesome site called Rob’s Reef. Here there is a large 100ft cave that goes into the Cliffside. The sun made lighting great for photos and video and we had two great dives. Here we saw a scorpion fish, white mouthed morays and a green sea turtle. At the Lions Den divers were happy to spot a small lion fish, which is the normal size around here as lionfish are indigenous to the area and therefore have many natural predators such as grouper and eels. The big finale of this exciting day came as the well-known night dive called Pelagic Magic; also know as the black water dive. This thrilling, yet relaxing dive is where divers suspend by a line under the boat in up to a thousand feet of crystal clear dark water and see what floats by. It is a fascinating phenomenon to witness glowing invertebrates and jellies as they pulse gracefully through the blackness. The dive was unforgettable, as always.
Wednesday, June 15th
After a good nights sleep we made our way to The Dome where we saw snowflake eels, cornet fish, trumpet fish, fire worms, and a juvenile dragon wrasse. The visibility was close to 80ft. and looked like the inside of an aquarium. We continued to adventure at the Amphitheater and did a fantastic job staying together as a group through the meandering lava tubes. The last dive was the one we had all been waiting for, Manataville! Jumping into the water armed with dive lights attracts plankton, which in turn attracts feeding manta rays. Here we experienced close encounters with the mantas, sometime too close! Even the morays were in on the action, coming out of their rocky safe havens hoping for a late night snack. It was very exciting for divers, some of whom were seeing a manta for the very first time. What an amazing experience!
Thursday, June 16th
Started the day with a relaxing dive at The Meadow where divers enjoyed a healthy array of coral covered sloping reefs full of butterfly fish and angelfish. Little dancer fish poke shyly out of the rock to show off their vibrant colors before quickly darting back to the safety of a sheltering rock. Next it’s time for Driftwood, a dive for thrill seekers. 80ft. swim thru, arches, and a small swim thru that bend around corners and ends at 15ft. from the surface. Driftwood is known for its fabulous arches, specifically an arch at 60ft, which takes you out to sea with a fabulous view. Next we headed to Black Hole where divers barely have to leave the mooring as it has been completely grown over with corals fingers home to tiny triple fin blennies as well as banded cleaner shrimp. For dinner, guests enjoy a delicious flank steak and asparagus, then off to bed for another big day tomorrow.
Friday, June 17th
Nearing the end of our weeks diving adventure, guests wake up, have breakfast, and then relax as we fuel up at the pier. Today we go to Turtle Pinnacle where divers saw several nudibranches, a free swimming spotted eel, a spotted boxfish, and a flowery flounder. We now head back to our homeport to dock for some well-deserved rest. Guests go in to town to have dinner and enjoy Kona before returning for the cocktail party and award ceremony. We finalize travel arrangements for Saturday, and have a lovely last evening on board the Kona Aggressor.
Saturday, June 18th
We would like to congratulate our iron divers this week Matt, Chris, Koo, and Kim. A big MAHALO from the Kona captain and crew! Thank you everybody for the fabulous week. We will miss you and look forward to seeing you again on the Kona Aggressor!
Kona Aggressor II Captain & Crew, Mahalo