Kona Aggressor Captain’s Log
July 9th - 16th 2016
Air Temp. 82-87 F
Water Temp. 82 F
Wetsuit Recommendation: 3mm
Captain: Colby Hawkins
2nd Captain: Matt Herwig
Instructor: Brent Goudreau
Photographer & Video Pro: Brian Foreman
Divemaster: Ashley Sheree
Chef: Kevin Bennett
Lynn, Richard, Morgan, Holly, Christie, Winfried, Curtis, Nancy, Meggie, Jeff, Donna & Ron
Sunday – The Hive, Never Neverland, Manuka Bay
Monday – Rainbow Reef, Ladders, Black Coral Forest
Tuesday – Walls Wall, Thompson’s Reef, Au Au Crater
Wednesday – Paradise Pinnacle, Rob’s Reef, Mantaville
Thursday – Amphitheater, Driftwood, Pelagic Magic
Friday – Kolokos Arches
Saturday July 9th
It’s beautiful, sunny afternoon in Hawaii as guests arrive at Kailua Pier and are greeted by crew as they board the Kona Aggressor II. There is time to settle in and set up dive gear before Captain Colby gives a boat briefing so everybody knows what to expect for the upcoming week. A savory barbeque dinner is served, then off we sail to begin our diving adventure!
Sunday July 10th
The week begins at The Hive, the perfect location for our checkout dive as it is fairly shallow with much to see. Divers have a chance to adjust buoyancy and get comfortable with photo equipment before venturing off to the winding lava tubes with Instructor Brent. The guests love the dive and now the bar is already set high for the rest of the week. Next we go to a magical place called Never Never Land, marked by a steep and narrow solitary pinnacle which comes straight out of the water to a height of approximately 80ft. Here divers enjoy an steeply sloped crevice where we spot a golden lace nudibranch and two white mouthed moray eels. Near the drop off on a pile of boulder like rocks we see a singular motionless lizard fish peering up at us, as if it’s not sure we can see him. We continue sailing south towards Manuka Bay where we stayed for two dives, one being a thrilling, lively night dive. Guests spotted raccoon butterfly fish, many shrimps, and a few massive lobsters. We return to the boat for a nice cup of hot coco, homemade parmesan cheese popcorn, and some late night relaxation. It was a beautiful day in paradise.
Monday July 11th
Another perfect, tropical morning in Hawaii and guests are enjoying a cup of coffee on the sundeck while watching the sunrise over the cliffs surrounding Rainbow Reef. We moor up, brief the site, then jump in. Immediately we find ourselves surrounded by a hundred black triggerfish, schooling at a depth from 5ft to 20ft below the surface. We move along the colorful reef observing Hawaiian pufferfish and longnose butterfly fish before coming across something a little bigger, yellowfin tuna! Several big ones about 4 ft long, accompanied by a few silver mackerel. Our next stop is a little further south at a point called Ladders. As we arrived, we were greeted by a family of about a dozen spinner dolphins, including two babies. Our snorkelers were able to jump in and swim with the dolphins and get some up close photos of them. How exciting! We stayed here for two dives and did not miss the chance to relish the fact that we were officially at the southernmost point of the United States. Our last stop was at Black Coral Forest, a site praised by both new divers and very experienced ones, due to its variety of marine life and the rarity of the massive amount of black coral found here. Some of the divers returned from the dive saying it was the best night dive they had every been on. Things seen include slipper lobsters, a Titan scorpion fish, several feeding moray eels, and an octopus. Not a bad way to end another awesome day of diving.
Tuesday July 12th
Guests wake up to a spectacular breakfast of macadamia nut pancakes and eggs Benedict, as well as assorted fruits and granolas as usual. After fueling up on a hearty breakfast, we dive at Wall’s Wall, a steep wall which teems with life at all depths. Today divers were happy to have seen some nudibranches, a porcupine pufferfish, a green crown of thorn starfish, and sea cucumbers. We then had a relaxing dive at Thompson’s Reef, where we saw many pairing butterfly fish, two Mu Fish aka big eyed emperor fish, and a colorful array of parrotfish. In the afternoon we head to Au Au Crater, believed to be our most dramatic landscape on the itinerary. The site is a steep wall of lively corals which leads to a massive lava crater, home to scorpion fish, dragon wrasse, and spotted eagle rays. After the dive we had an absolutely awesome, delicious dinner of grilled flank steak followed by Chef Brent’s famous Napolean custard and berries. For those still mobile after the huge dinner, we enjoyed another exciting night dive, then off to bed for another big day of diving tomorrow.
Wednesday July 13th
A lovely morning to be in paradise!.. Paradise Pinnacle that is. Our first dive around a 40ft pinnacle in 90ft of water made for some wall scoping and finding a Longnose Hawkfish in a black coral bush! Divers also swam through a 30ft crevasse where the coral reef has split in two with tons of fish waking up to this clear morning. Then it was a short hop over to Rob’s Reef, a gorgeous cove with a 100ft cave going into the Cliffside. To our surprise the cave had a white tip reef shark hiding in it. With probably the calmest waters we’ve ever seen in Hawaii, divers and snorkelers had a pretty good morning/afternoon at one of our favorite sites. After getting a little sun it was time to gather in the A/C cooled salon for a sizzling lunch. Egg drop soup, beef and broccoli stir fry, fried rice and egg rools. Yum! Then it was time for the famous Manta Dive. Not too surgy this time. A little rain but 3 beautiful Mantas for tonight’s show!
Thursday July 14th
Heading south at dusk we sail from Mantaville to Ampitheater where guests enjoyed seeing two spotted boxfish – one brightly patterned blue and orange male and also one modestly design brownish female, a flame angel fish, and a lemon butterfly fish which can only be found in Hawaii. We also noticed a golden trumpet fish hovering closely behind a coral-munching parrotfish in hopes of ambushing a small prey. After two dives at this site we enjoyed an all American lunch of cheeseburgers in paradise up on the sundeck with the company of the shining sun and a light breeze. We then moved to Driftwood for another two lovely, relaxing dives where we saw several goatfish grazing in the sand, a shiny tiger cowry, and a yellowhead moray eel. We then headed out to sea for our once in a lifetime blackwater night dive known as Pelagic Magic. This is a very special and unique dive meant for brave thrill seekers and adventurers. We cut the engines a few miles off shore above 3000 feet of open water and drift in the night. We drop several lines from the boat from the bow and the stern. Divers jump in, grab a line, and drift with the boat over the black water and just wait to see what shows up. Strange, alienlike creatures begin coming out of the blackness and pulsing past the divers as they observe in awe. The dive was very fun and unforgettable and guests were excited to have seen these new, intriguing creatures.
Friday July 15th
It is a bittersweet day as it is our last day of diving for this incredibly awesome week. We do two dives at Sharkfin Rock before cleaning and packing up our gear. The Chef prepares a lasagna and garlic bread lunch for guests as we dock at Kailua Pier. Our guests have a chance to roam and explore Kona by land before our farewell cocktail party at 5pm. We say our goodbyes and congratulate our iron divers for the week. A huge mahalo to all of our awesome guests for another great week onboard the Kona Aggressor II!
Until Next Time!
-The Kona Aggressor II Captain and Crew