Kona Aggressor Captain’s Log
July 30th - Aug 5, 2016
Air Temp. 82-92 F
Water Temp. 80-82 F
Captain: Colby Hawkins
2nd Captain: Ernie Stanley
Instructor: Brent Goudreau
Instructor: Jeremy Dick
Instructor/Video Pro: Brian Forman
Chef: Kevin Bennett
Chris, Adam, Valerie, Everett, Michelle, Steve, Steven Jr., Trinity, Brian, Zachary, Jeremy, Stephanie, Andru, Allison, Yann
Sunday – Lions Den, Robs Reef, The Hive
Monday – Land Of Oz, Catacomb, Manuka Bay
Tuesday – Pohue Bay, Walls, Wall, Black Coral Forest
Wednesday –Stoney Mesa, Au Au Crater, Pelagic Magic
Thursday – Paradise Pinnacle, Driftwood, Black Hole, Garden Eel Cove
Friday – Sharkfin Rock
Saturday July 30th
Today we were greeted by another group from the Philadelphia area. A tightly knit shop of dutch spring divers again. Seems like this will be a fun group and fun week. We also have a father and son, Jeremy and Zachary all the way from England. We get everyone checked in at the dock and oriented with the boat and their cabins before heading out to the mooring for the night. For the briefing and introductions everyone had some good stories and comments to share. We had a few laughs and got ready for dinner while watching a beautiful sunset go down.
Sunday July 31st
After a decent night’s sleep we got underway to head 20 miles south for our first day of diving. Our first stop was at the Lion’s Den. This site features some maze like rock fingers that give several types of fish a place to hide out. The visibility was great to start the day with the sunrise peaking over the mountains. Everyone did a weight check and had a great first dive! Next we were off to Rob’s Reef. This is a beautiful site both topside and down below. Instructor Jeremy led the group on this dive and took people over to the 100ft cave tunnel that goes into the Cliffside. Divers enjoyed the terrain and identified some fish as they swam along this healthy coral reef. Next we were off to The Hive! Here were enjoyed the swim through and went along the steep wall only to come across two frog fish! It seems this is the only site we find them due to the similar colored coral. This time one was actually swimming, opening its mouth and posing for the camera! A very pleasant afternoon dive leading into sushi night freshly wrapped by chef Kevin and Brent. With calm winds we again enjoyed a calm night’s sleep.
Monday August 1st
Southbound we go to The Land Of Oz. Click your heels three times and say theres no place like home.. wait no we want to stay here.. The water is calm as a lake and we can see the bottom as we look over the side of the boat. We’ve got all we need for diving, diving and more diving! Next we’re off to Catacomb. A Beehive-like rock maze with some fingers that come right up to the wall. We’ve seen hammerheads here the last few weeks but none today. But we did see a zebra moray eel and a scorpionfish. For lunch we had a pulled pork and pulled chicken slow cooked to perfection taco bar with all the fixins!
After our team nap period we were back in the water at Manuka Bay for the rest for the afternoon. A scrambled egg nudibranch and a tiger cowry made for some little stuff investigation as we explored this very large dive site area. It was a nice calm afternoon up on the top deck. Some guest felt it was five o’ clock somewhere and cracked a couple cold ones early. The rest of us went down for a second dive at Manuka Bay with lots of fish left to identify. Kevin had been up on the grill while we were down and made a another delicious meal! Grilled Mahi Mahi with a light garlic paprika seasoning and a tropical salsa over mixed vegetables and a double stuff baked potato on the side. Yum!
Tuesday August 2nd
Our final day to work our way south before we turn back up the coast. We’ve got some beautiful secret dive sites down here that are only seen by us. The skies are sunny and we’re off to Pohue Bay to dive right off an isolated sandy beach with some nice palm trees. Divers pointed out the domino damsel fish and peacock razor wrasse at this site and then enjoy a hot tub, a light breeze and Bob Marley playing on the sundeck. Then were off to Walls Wall. A vertical wall with lush coral colors on the top shelf dropping from 35ft to 120+. The visibility got nicer as the sun came back out as divers cruised along the wall. To finish off the day we were at Black Coral Forest to see our infamous longnose hawkfish which is only found in black coral. Divers found one as well as a cool little cave we didn’t know about before. This site features a steep drop off with inlets of rock fingers in the shallows where lots of fish like to hide out.. Dinner was a feast tonight with Kevin and Captain Colby making a few things from scratch behind the galley. We had freshly made jalapeno cheddar rolls, antipasto salad with mozzarella. For the entry we had delicious grilled flanked stakes over cauliflower mashed and pan seared red potatos. To top it off we had vanilla, chocolate red velvet cake with kimi and blueberries. Another solid meal I’d say.
Wednesday August 3rd
We Fire up the engines to head towards two of our best sites Stoney Mesa and Au Au Crater. The morning had clear visibility but a bit of current. However we saw two turtles! Both of which came right up to the divers. The first green sea turtle was pretty large and had some big barnacles on its head. Good thing everyone brought their GoPro to capture this visit. For lunch today we had asian stir fry with house fried rice, egg rolls, teriyaki beef and broccoli with peppers, onions and egg drop soup. Its time to work our way back up north towards mantaville so we cruised 15 miles to Au Au crater. The afternoon dives were very calm and delight for the divers to drop into this large crater rock wall. On the second after noon dive our “big thing” to see was a spotted eagle ray! He cruised on by the wall right as divers were making their way to the safety stop. Pretty Cool!
For dinner we had grilled salmon over chopped seared bell peppers and penne alfredo. Then it was time for anticipated Pelagic Magic! We headed out 3 miles offshore into 3,000 feet of water and jumped in. We hung 7 or 8 lines off the side of the boat and see what sort of alien creatures come up from the depth! Tonight we had squid, box jellies and atleast 2-3 alien formations J Another solid day of diving!
Thursday August 4th
Waking up at Paradise Pinnacle made for a calm gradual breakfast and transition back into diving mode. We’ve had a great week so far but today is the grand finale. The Pinnacle is a pretty cool site with it 50ft rock pinnacle directly below the boat. Divers circled around it and then scoped out the other parts of the near by reef. They also had a hammerhead cruising by which had everyone trying to get a close up photo and video. Next we were off to amphitheater for a swim through some lava tubes! Our divers were all curious and followed Instructor Brian through the 45ft lava tube. The sun was shinning and our hungry divers were ready for some burgers and dogs right off the grill. Sides of chili, potato salad and Doritos definitely hit the spot! We have a long way to travel this afternoon making our way up to garden eel cove for the manta dive tonight. Divers saw some interesting fish including the titan scorpion fish, dragon wrasse and a red and green lizard fish.
As we claimed our spot at garden eel cove, several other boats started to show up. We however had a big meal lined up to end our dinners this week. Kevin prepared a shrimp, tomato & mozzarella appetizer then a grilled tenderloin over broccoli and potato gnocchi with a mushroom and red wine reduction sauce. Yum!.. Finally to top off the week we grouped together for Manta Mayhem! Fortunately this great group had a fantastic show with almost 20 mantas showing up tonight. There was some great excitement afterwards and a great time had by all!
Friday August 5th
A sunny calm morning to finish off this week. We head over to a local site with healthy finger coral and tons of fish call sharkfin rock. Some easy dives to find any last fish we haven’t seen. Some divers opted out of the dives and just relaxed on the sun deck. Its been a fun week for us and a fantastic group. Thanks for the laughs and we hope to you back on here someday. Mahalo!