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Kona Aggressor II
August 13-20 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 Stanley
2nd Captain, Matthew Herwig
Instructor Jeremy Dick
Divemaster Ashley Sheree
Instructor Tim Ewing
Chef Kevin Bennett
Sunday-Meadows ,Dome, Lions Den
Monday-Land of Oz, The Maze, Au Au Crater
Tuesday-The Hive, Paradise Pinnacle, Rob’s Reef, Pelagic Magic
Wednesday- Driftwood, Ampitheatre, Garden Eel Cove, Manta Mayhem
Thursday – Black Hole, Turtle Pinnacle, Garden Eel Cove, Manta Mayhem
Friday – Sharkfin Rock, Predator
Saturday, Aug 13th
What a beautiful, sunny afternoon on The Big Island as guests Volker, Nicole, Manfred, Regina, Renate, Christiane, Christian, Christine, Barbara, Michael, Rob, Louis, and Troy arrive to the Kailua Kona Pier and board The Kona Aggressor II. Captain and crew are there to greet and take luggage on board. A mixed group this week makes for fun and interesting introductions with guests from Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Australia, and USA! We are looking forward to yet another wonderful diving adventure.. Welcome Aboard!
Sunday, Aug 14th
An early morning on the vessel as guests wake up anticipating their first dive of the week. This gives them an opportunity to enjoy the sunrise with a cup of coffee on the upper deck before breakfast. Captain Ernie gives the general dive deck briefing and by 8:00am divers are in the water. The checkout dive at Meadows went very smoothly as our experienced divers checked their buoyancy and equipment at the surface before descending into the beautiful Hawaiian underwater world. The next two dives were at the Dome, a site where divers swim into a large dome shaped cave filled with nudibranches and tangs, then out the other side. Here we spotted a Commersons frog fish, a white tipped reef shark, and an octopus. Needless to say, our guests were happy. The last spot for the day was at Lion’s Den, named for its rare resident green Hawaiian lionfish aka turkeyfish, which was in its usual place just under the ledge, giving photographers a great opportunity to get a clear shot for their album. After the night dive, we enjoyed a cup of hot coco, then off to bed to rest for tomorrow. The bar has been set high, but the best is yet to come..
Monday, Aug 15th
The day starts well with a delicious breakfast of eggs benedict, fresh fruits, orange juice, and bacon. We sail south to the Land of Oz where we start the day with a hammerhead siting! We finish the morning at The Maze where we spend two dives exploring the beautiful winding crevices full of peacock grouper, trumpet fish, boxfish, and several types of moray eels. In the afternoon we head back north to Au Au Crater, one of our most dramatic landscapes. We dive along a sloping coral reef pointing out a golden lace nudibranch and a Titan scorpianfish before reaching the massive steep crater. Many stars and urchins line the inside of the crater and swimming straight through the middle were two big eye trevally spying on the divers. As we make our way back shallow towards the boat we see a Triton’s trumpet and a very interesting green and white stocky hawkfish. At night, divers enjoy seeing the crater from a nocturnal perspective as the moray eels, slipper lobsters, and spiny lobsters come out to feed in the moonlight. Another perfect day in paradise.
Tuesday, Aug 16th
Aloha! What an exciting morning! We begin at The Hive, which is absolutely teeming with life today. Near the mooring we are only beginning the dive and we see several nudibranches, lizardfish, red spotted guard crabs, and a tiger cowery. As we make our way to the cave we find that it is guarded by a massive yellow frogfish! After taking many photos of the frogfish we head inside and see a porcupine pufferfish, a slipper lobster, several flatrock crabs, and near the surface are dozens of needlefish. The dive is so awesome that we decide to stay for another, which is equally as exciting. Our next two dives at Paradise Pinnacle and Rob’s Reef are very nice and we are able to spot a longnose hawkfish in its usual spot, as well as a juvenile white mouth moray, a medusa spaghetti worm, and a decoy scorpion fish. Our final dive of the day is one for the books. It is the once in a lifetime blackwater dive we like to call Pelagic Magic. During this dive, the boat free floats over 3,000 ft of open water at night. We drop lines below the boat and divers jump in, grab a line, and wait to see what shows up. We are mesmerized by the alien like creatures that come floating out of the darkness, pulsing by the divers and paying them no mind. This is the kind of dive that can only be experienced and cannot be described, and our guests absolutely love it.
Wednesday, Aug 17th
Wow, what an eventful day in water! The first two dives at Driftwood and Ampitheatre are very enjoyable as divers spend time exploring the vibrant reefs and massive overhangs. Guests spot a Whitley boxfish, dwarf moray eel, and a green sea turtle. Next we head to Garden Eel Cove where divers have, what one guest claims, some the most memorable dives of her life. We begin by descending to about 80ft to a black sandy bottom covered in hundreds of garden eels. While swimming along the field of eels, a giant moray shows up giving the photographers a great opportunity for close ups. Next an eagle ray comes passing through at close range, which is especially exciting for those seeing one for the very first time. Then, a pod of about a dozen dolphins shows up and puts on a show near the surface. As if all that isn’t enough for one dive, as we are doing our safely stop along comes a humungous monk seal, a rare endangered animal which is endemic to Hawaii and very fun to look at. Guests return to the boat ecstatic about what they had just experienced. In the evening, the dive deck is humming with excitement as we gear up for Manta Mayhem, a dive which does not disappoint. At the “campfire” we join the other groups of divers and add our own light to the cause. The lights attract zooplanktyn, which in turn attracts hungry mantas that come to feast. A least 10 mantas come in, swooping within inches of the divers, some with up to a 20ft wingspan. Today was such an amazing and unforgettable day for both guests and crew.
Thursday, Aug 18th
Good morning from Kona! It is yet another beautiful day as guests wake up to macedamia nut pancakes and a cup of fresh Hawaiian brewed coffee. We kick the day off with a dive at Black Hole where divers explore lava tube swim throughs surrounded by schools of brightly colored butterfly fish, peacock grouper, golden trumpetfish, and a variety of damselfish. The second dive at Turtle Pinnacle is also nice as there is a golden lace nudibranch and several moray eels. Chef Kevin prepares an all-American style lunch of cheeseburgers in paradise, homemade fries, potato salad and the works up on the sundeck. Captain Ernie takes a vote and guests unanimously decide to return to Garden Eel Cove for the rest of the day. The site is teeming with life again with even more spinner dolphins, and this time the monk seal has her baby with her! After a filet mignon diner, we embark on our second manta dive of the week, which is just as unbelievable and beautiful as the last.
Friday, Aug 19th
Sadly it is the last day of our diving adventure. The first dive at Shark Fin rock is very relaxing and we see a dragon wrasse, a male and female spotted boxfish, and a giant barracuda. Next we head to the wreck dive called Predator and are humored to find plastic skeletons hanging from the sunken vessel. After the dive guests disassemble their gear, it is cleaned and gathered on the sundeck for drying as we tie up the boat at Kailua Kona pier. The rest of the day is for exploring topside Kona until our farewell cocktail party at 5pm. Congratulations to our iron divers and thank you everybody for another awesome week of diving in Hawaii. Farewell and Mahalo from Kona Aggressor II Captain and Crew! See you next time!
From Captain Ernie And The Crew Happy Fishes
Captain Ernie Stanley