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Kona Aggressor II
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
Divemaster Ashley Sheree
Videographer Brian Foreman
Sunday- Kalakos Arches, Black Hole, Garden Eel Cove, Manta Mayhem
Monday- The Dome, Ampitheatre, Driftwood, Predator
Tuesday- The Dome, Robs Reef, Au Au Crater
Wednesday- Catacombs, Stony Mesa, Manuka Bay, Pelagic Magic
Thursday –Land of Oz, Pele’s Playground, And The Hive
Friday – Aquarium, Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday, September 3rd
Aloha from beautiful sunny Kona, Hawaii! Kailua Kona Pier is buzzing with excitement as Aggressor Crew greets a group of 11 divers coming from Canada, Russia, and all over the United States. We would like to welcome Bob, Diane, Tim, Leah, John, Tracy, Mary, Roberta, Jane, Sergey, and Kevin on board the Kona Aggressor II. Guests settle in their cabins and set up gear on the dive deck before the boat safety briefing, then enjoy a hearty barbeque dinner prepared by Chef Cameron. The vessel heads to are nearby mooring where we tie up for the night and then off to bed for a good night’s rest after a long day of travel.
Sunday, September 4th
An early morning on the calm Pacific Sea. The guests wake up for coffee and breakfast. Captain Ernie gives the dive deck briefing and divers are in the water at Kalakos Arches by 8:00am. Divers have a chance to check buoyancy and camera equipment, and then descend into the beautiful underwater Hawaiian sea. The check out dive goes smoothly, and divers are happy to see a frogfish, an octopus, and a Whitley’s spotted boxfish. After lunch we head to Black Hole, named for its swim through lava tube which opens up over a beautiful lively sloping reef covered in pairs of butterfly fishes, curious porcupine puffers, and dozens of yellow tangs. Next we head to the world famous Garden Eel Cove, home of the Manta Mayhem. When the sun goes down we jump in and head to the underwater “campfire” where divers from other groups have already gathered and are sitting in a big circle. In the middle of the circle are everybody’s lights put together facing up. At the surface snorkelers have lights facing down, creating the “Campfire”. The campfire attracts zooplankton, which attracts hungry manta rays. Mantas swoop down and sometimes come within inches of our divers! Absolutely amazing dive!
Monday, September 5th
Today we head south to The Dome where we start the day with a super rare find of two leafy scorpion fish. Next we head north a bit to Amphitheatre, which is a very relaxing dive. At noon guests gather in the main salon for a Mexican fiesta lunch complete with build-it-yourself soft tacos as well as savory chicken enchiladas. Muy delicious! After a siesta we dive Driftwood and inside the swim through we see ghost shrimp, then along the wall a devil scorpion fish sits inconspicuously, undisturbed by divers, and then a tiny pencil moray eel. For the late afternoon dive we head to Predator, a wreck dive of what used to be a cattle ferry which now lies at a depth of 80ft and has now been reclaimed by the Pacific Ocean on the sandy sea floor. Here we find a big slipper lobster hiding under a rock, many colorful trumpet fish, and also several large unicorn fish that have made the wreck their home. At night we spot an elusive anemone crab and various other nocturnal hermit crabs, sleeping parrot fish, and creepy crawly brittle stars. This interesting night dive is immediately followed up with hot coco and Bailys on deck, hot tub, cocktails, and then bed.
Tuesday, September 6th
Another beautiful morning and guests wake up to the tropical Hawaiian sunrise with fresh brewed Kona coffee, fruits, yogurt, and granola to get the day started right. After fueling up with blueberry waffles and Portuguese sausage we return to the Dome where we are pleased to find crystal clear water and aquarium like conditions. This time we are able to go inside the dome and swim through to the other side, a very lovely photogenic swim through where turquoise waters framed by the Dome’s entrance are decorated by silhouettes of black triggerfish and tangs. At Rob’s Reed, dive guide Brent takes divers into a hundred foot cave home to hundreds of flat rock crabs and dozens of ghost shrimp. We stay here for two dives then head to Au Au Crater. At this site we swim slowly along a sloping reef spotting nudibranches and various moray eels before coming to the dramatic crater, dropping in, and checking out the inside walls. We cut over into the shallows and see a large green sea turtle, a couple of trevally, and a great barracuda. The night dive here is awesome and divers have a chance to photograph a red scorpion fish, anemone crab, and an octopus. Another perfect day of diving in paradise..
Wednesday, September 7th
Catacombs is a beautiful site, which gets its name from the hollowed out rocky formations which represent the catacombs found in under ground France. After a lovely earl morning diving we continue south to Stony Mesa for one dive and are excited to spot a peacock razor wrasse and a rare Hawaiian lionfish aka turkey fish. Guests enjoy a delicious salmon and chicken lunch and relax for a midday break before heading to Manuka Bay. The afternoon dives are very nice and we see a couple great barracuda, some pufferfish, cornetfish, and unicorn fish. The final dive of the day is one to be remembered. It is a dive for thrill seekers who are not afraid of the unknown.. Pelagic Magic. In the night, the boat drifts over 3,000 feet of open water. Eight lines are dropped below the boat and divers jump in, grab a line, and wait to see what shows up from the depths. Guests are mesmerized by the strange creatures that emerge, some with tentacles, some with mouths opening and closing, and some that are just too odd the describe. Divers return to the boat with huge smiles and stay up late sharing photos and memories from tonight’s unforgettable dive.
Thursday, September 8th
Guests wake up and Chef Cameron prepares a breakfast of eggs benedict, bacon, and fresh fruits. We start the day at Land of Oz with crystal clear waters and a fun swim through the sandy channel, aka the yellow brick road. Here we see many schooling black triggerfish, an octopus, and various pairs of colorful butterfly fish. Our next spot is at Pele’s Playground, a very nice clear site with bright colors and tons of fish. We swim along a steep crater reaching a depth of 80ft and find many small things such as nudibranches and dwarf moray eels. After lunch we head over to the Hive at the request of the guests. The Hive is full of life today including tiger cowries, red spotted guard crabs, and a sea hare! Divers also enjoy swimming into the cave and seeing its resident pufferfish and a couple of slipper lobsters. For the last two dives we head to Paradise Pinnacle, a large pinnacle home to a medusa spaghetti worm, spotted boxfish, dozens of garden eels, and two longnose hawkfish. In the evening, Brian shows the week’s video as guests enjoy a chocolate moose dessert. It’s a bittersweet evening as we reflect on the awesome memories from the trip.
Friday, September 9th
It is the last day of diving and we arrive at Aquarium. It is a very fun dive as we spotted two eagle rays, a dragon wrasse, and a very friendly octopus. Next we go to turtle pinnacle and divers have an awesome up close encounter with spinner dolphins! What a finale! After the dive we clean our gear and head to the pier. Guests have a chance to explore topside Kona, then return to the boat in the evening for our farewell cocktail party. A special congrats to our iron divers of the week, happy birthday to Tim, and thank you everybody for a memorable and amazing diving adventure. Thank you! Mahalo!
From Captain Ernie And The Crew Happy Fishes
Captain Ernie Stanley