Kona Aggressor Captain’s Log
July 23rd – 30th 2016
Air Temp. 82-92 F
Water Temp. 80-82 F
Captain: Colby Hawkins
2nd Captain: Matt Herwig
Instructor: Brent Goudreau
Instructor: Jeremy Dick
Instructor/Video Pro: Brian Forman
Chef: Kevin Bennett
Timothy, Steve, Victoria, Clark, Rebecca, Michael, Lewis, Enid, Christian, Petra, Cody, Michael, Larry
Sunday – Turtle Pinnacle
Monday – Kolokos Arches, Driftwood, The Dome
Tuesday – Lions Den, Rob’s Reef, Au Au Crater
Wednesday – Pele’s Playground, The Hive, Pelagic Magic
Thursday – Paradise Pinnacle, Amphitheater, Aquarium, Garden Eel Cove
Friday – Sharkfin Rock
Saturday July 23rd
The calm before the storm gave us a very sunny and pleasant evening to greet our 13 guests. We’ve got several people with past trips on other aggressors, some new divers and a couple all the way from Sweden! Everyone gets a room orientation and then we gather for our introduction briefing. We cut to the chase and told everyone we had to gear up for this rare occasion of a tropical storm passing. By nightfall we had some swell coming from the southwest so we drove up to Garden Eel Cove for some protection from the wind and seas. Nothing our boat and crew couldn’t handle.
Some remnants of the passing storm made conditions for diving first thing in the morning unfavorable. So out of the best interest for everyones safety we called off the morning dives. Everyone was fine watching movies and taking naps instead. We had some hot breakfast with customized eggs and pork sausage. Fortunately the weather and sea conditions gradually got better through the day and we were back to diving by 14:30. While we figured the visibility and surge would be bad, they weren’t very bad at all. Once divers dropped down 25 ft it was if there never was a storm at all. We did our 2 afternoon dives and a night dive at Turtle Pinnacle. We saw green moray eels, Trunkfish, Titan Scorpionfish, a spotted eagle ray and lots of curious triggerfish. For dinner it we did sushi night. Chef Kevin and assistant Brent rolled some Hawaiian Poke in coconut rice. Then we had cornish hens topped with a pinapple ginger glaze and some mixed vegetables. A slice of ice cream cheese cake and day one was a wrap. Back at it full throttle tomorrow for 5 dives!
Monday July 25th
The winds and seas calmed down to lake-like conditions. Its was a pleasant surprise to wake up to flat calm waters and the sunrise peaking over the mountains. Kevin had eggs benedict and home fries ready to go as the guest got up and it was time to dive! We got everyone in for 2 morning dives at Kolokos Arches where we saw yellowmargin morays, raccoon butterfly fish and some blue striped snapper!
Then there’s nothing like coming up from a dive to walk into a taco bar with all the fixings!.. Pulled pork and pulled chicken tacos were a delicious lunch after a hot bowl of chicken soup. After a food comatos and a nap we were back in the water about 7 miles south of our homebase at a site called Driftwood. This site is known for its swim through and seeing the triton’s trumphet snail. For the late afternoon and night dive we moved just half a mile south to ‘The Dome’ where we were greeted but a pod of dolphins topside and down below. They were swimming all around the boat and jumping out of the water. I guess they were happy the storm had blown over too!
Tuesday July 26th
Making our way down south we stopped at two of our favs.. The Lion’s Den and Rob’s Reef! With a calm morning and sunny skies coming out at lunch we had a couple of great dives. Some of the fish we saw were longspine porcupine fish, whitemouthed morays, flatrock crabs, 3 lionfish (turkeyfish), conger eel and some yellow trumphet fish. Kevin had some ready to go turkey BLT’s with pasta salad for lunch. Divers enjoyed the sundeck and some relaxation after lunch. Then we headed over to Au Au Crater to check out a 90ft dome shaped drop off. Visibility seemed to be getting better and divers were pleased with the late afternoon dive. Up top you could smell the grill going. Kevin had flank steak with antipasto salad, cauliflower mash with roasted red potatoes, onions and bell peppers. He even made the dinner rolls from scratch! Well done Kevin! This might be our best dinner yet!
Wednesday July 27th
A beautiful sunrise to start the day and we’re headed south to a site called Pele’s Playground.. It’s a playground for sure with lots of pinnacles and crevasses to investigate. Along with all the fish that gather around this place we happen to see a spotted eagle ray cruising by. The divers enjoyed two dives here going in different directions to explore the whole site. For lunch with had beef and broccoli stir fry over house fried rice and some egg rolls glazed with sweet and sour sauce. The afternoon remained calm as we checkout another great site called the hive. For the first dive there we went through the swim throughs not far from the boat. A few diverss also check out a small room cave that they came across while going through the swim through. We briefed the dive to look for frogfish as this site is cover with different colored corals that look just like the green frog fish we have seen here in the past. Unfortunately no frogfish this time but we did find a couple whitemouth morays and a cool looking spotted boxfish. For dinner we had salmon over brussel sprouts with bacon bits and penne alfredo. To top off that sweet touth we had crème brule and for some reason the whole crew wanted to play with the blow torch.. except Jeremy.. We keep fire away from him ;) After dinner it was time for PELAGIC MAGIC!!!.. 3 miles offshore in 2,800 feet of water we dropped divers for our anticipated black water dive. Divers saw all sorts of jellies and zoo plankton as well as some tape-worm looking creatures. They all said it was “super-cool” and a little scary. Its always neat to see the photos after this dive because we have different shaped and size critters come up from the depths every time we do this dive.
Thursday July 28th
Today we woke at Paradise Pinnacle.. A 45ft wide pinnacle that drops down to 90 ft. It’s a great swim around to check out the black coral bush where a longnose hawkfish lives. We also went through a crevasse where the rocks had split in two while checking out all the fish that were hiding out here. We had pyramid butterfly fish, bird wrasse, whitelined triggerfish and a couple curious mu fish. Next it was time for some lava tubes at the Amphitheater! We had almost all the divers swim through a 40ft lava tube. A fairly roomy tube but we still went single file.
At Lunch we kept making our way north and stopped at a site called the Aquarium. A beautiful site when the current isn’t too bad. We often see octopus here and happened to see two today! The sunny skies made for some improved visibility and more time to swim with the fish. Now its off to our famous Manta site up at garden eel cove! We better go get our mooring before it gets too crowded. We tied up for the 16:30 dive and got to scope out this bowl shaped dive site while also getting a glimpse of a passing manta in the daylight. While we had our dinner and surface interval 18 more boats decided to join in on the manta party tonight. By nightfall a manta party it was! We had 7 or 8 large mantas around our ‘fire pit’ tonight and they put on a great show for us. There were also some porcupine fish, Eeels and blue jacks around to check out the feeding action. I’d say this made for a pretty good end to the week after a stormy start to the week.
Friday July 29th
Two more morning dives before this week is officially done so we went to sharkfin rock. This is great site to end the week with its abundance of fish, coral structure and a shallower site to max out those bottom times. On the first dive we had a spotted eagle ray come cruising by and 3 octopus sitings. At this site divers like to mozzy around and check out the little hideouts all the fish have here. You never know what critters you haven’t checked off the ‘to-see’ list might be hiding out. After the dives we where back to the pier for the day so that everyone could get to take a walk on land for the first time in a week. We had our cocktail party in a very pleasant temperature and weather conditions while listening to some Hawaiian tunes and talking about all the cool stuff we’ve seen this week. Thanks to our guest for being troopers through the seas in the beginning of the week. We’re so glad that it went back to normal quickly for them and we had another great week of diving. Until next time.. Mahalo & Warmest Aloha!