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
2nd Captain Matthew Herwig
Instructor Brent Goudreau
Videographer Brian Foreman
Chef Kevin Bennett
Sunday- Shark Fin, Kalakos Arches, Garden Eel Cove, Manta Mayhem
Monday- The Dome, Robs Reef, The Hive
Tuesday- Land Of Oz, Catacombs, Stony Mesa
Wednesday- Thompsons Reef, Pele’s Playground, Au Au Crater, Pelagic Magic
Thursday –Lions Den, Paradise Pinnacle, Mantaville
Friday – Aquarium, Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday, September 10th
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 Mike, Karen, Brian, Andrea, Richard, Jennifer, Donna, Robert, Vinceena, Rebecca, and Morgan 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 Kevin. 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 11th
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 Shark Fin 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 Kalakos Arch, named for its Arches 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 12th
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 south a bit to Robs Reef, 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 The Hive and inside the swim through cave 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 dive the hive. 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 area 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 13th
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 Land Of OZ where we are pleased to find crystal clear water and aquarium like conditions. The LOZ is a very lovely photogenic swim through where turquoise waters framed by the area is decorated by silhouettes of black triggerfish and tangs. The Catacombs are next on the dive schedule. This dive guide Ernie takes divers into the maze of caverns where flat rock crabs and dozens of ghost shrimp. We stay here for two dives then head to Stoney Mesa. At this site we swim slowly along a sloping reef spotting nudibranches and various moray eels before coming to the beautiful lava rocks and fabulous caverns. 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 14th
Thompson Reef is a beautiful site, which gets its name from the hollowed out rocky formations, which represent the beautiful Coral formation. After a lovely morning diving we continue south to Pele’s Playground. This beautiful site is a dive that brings in the beauty of many different and exciting spot there’s a peacock razor wrasse and a rare Hawaiian lionfish aka turkey fish. The divers return to KAII to enjoy a delicious salmon and chicken lunch and relax for a midday break before heading to Au Au Crater. 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 15th
Guests wake up and Chef Kevin prepares a breakfast of eggs, bacon, and fresh fruits. We start the day at Lion s Den with crystal clear waters and a River bed of stone we capture the rare sighting of the lion fish. There are also many schooling black triggerfish, an octopus, and various pairs of colorful butterfly fish. Our next spot is at Paradise pinnacle. This is a vey special site for two reasons. Paradise is our wedding pinnacle as Brian and Andrea secure life together in underwater vows. What a beautiful place to get married. Paradise, pinnacle with its very nice clear site with bright colors and tons of fish. We swim along the steep Pinnacle reaching a depth of 80ft and find many small things such as nudibranches and dwarf moray eels. Off we head over to Mantaville as requested by the guests. Mantaville is the oldest manta site in Kona. The guests have a private showing of Manta’s. Their grace and beauty underwater is just amazing. It’s a bittersweet evening as we reflect on the awesome memories from the trip.
Friday, September 16th
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