Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
December 03 – December 10, 2016
Air Temp. 78-88 F
Water Temp. 78 F
Captain: Matt Herwig
2nd Captain: Cliff Muse
Engineer: Cliff Muse
Video Pro: Brian Forman
Instructor: Brent Goudreau
Divemaster: Cameron Smay
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Ralph, Pam, John, Sharon, Debra, Lyndsey, Lyle, Janis, Jan, Dan, and John S.
Sunday – Shark Fin Rock, Garden Eel Cove
Monday – Kolokos Arches, Turtle Pinnacle
Tuesday – Amphitheater, The Dome, Manta Night Dive at the Sheraton
Wednesday – The Meadow, Driftwood, The Hive
Thursday – Au Au Crater, Paradise Pinnacle, Lion’s Den, Pelagic Magic
Friday – Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday, December 03, 2016 Welcome Aboard Divers! As the pink and gold sunset spreads its self across the calm Pacific waters here in Kona, Hawaii, we welcomed aboard our guests for the charter week of December 03 – December 10. Welcome Ralph, Pam, John, Sharon, Debra, Lyndsey, Lyle, Janis, Jan, Dan, and John S. We stowed the dive gear away and loaded the luggage away, briefed the guests on the safety of the boat and the upcoming dive sites, and we were off to begin our charter week adventure. As we dined on a wonderful BBQ meal prepared by Chef Kevin we discussed our previous travels and what we would like to see on this trip. We all had a wonderful time, and turned in early as it had been a full day of travel and there was much diving to be had tomorrow. Until then, Aloha!
Sunday, December 04, Good Morning and Aloha! We awoke in Kona Harbor just in time to see the sun come up the mountain peaks and stream over the bay. What a wonderful site. We checked the boat, and soon were headed north towards our first dive site of the morning, Shark Fin Rock. Shark Fin Rock is exactly that, it looks like a giant shark fin sticking out of the water, but underwater it is a beautiful dive site. Lots of sloping walls, channels, and coral gardens to scuba over and plenty of sea life to see. We dove in right at 8:00 am and saw a White Tip Reef Shark right off the bat! Next we came across some Oceanic Trigger Fish swarming around the wall area, and the Hawaiian Turkey Fish, or Lion Fish. We explored further down this site on our second dive and found a Spotted Eagle Ray. What a great dive! We climbed on board and headed for the salon for lunch prepared by Chef Kevin of Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Homemade Clam Chowder, a Green Tossed Salad, and many other yummy foods to consume. We next headed towards our late afternoon and evening dive site, Garden Eel Cove, always a Guest and crew favorite. Garden Eel Cove is just north of the Kona Airport, and is a protected bay area where Mantas like to congregate for the night feeding. Our late afternoon dive had our divers venturing off the wall and spotted large schools of grouper and Pyramid Butterfly Fish. We dove in eagerly to see the Mantas on the night dive, but they were not around this time…. we did see many Trevally Jacks swimming around and Reticulated Eels and Moray Eels out and about for the evening hunt. A good time was had by all, and over hot chocolate and with warm towels we talked about all that we had seen today, and what was to come tomorrow. Good Night!
Monday, December 05, Good Morning Divers and Followers! Aloha! After a peaceful evening spent at the mooring site of Garden Eel Cove, we awoke to a beautiful island paradise sunrise, complete with dolphins spinning in the air just off our port bow. What a way to start the day! The coffee was on, the engines fired up, and everything was made ready to go to our first dive site of the morning Kolokos Arches. Kolokos Arches is just as it sounds, it is full of underwater arches to swim through, and today we found it with great conditions with warm water and great visibility! We dove in after our briefing on the site and immediately spotted a Ghost Pipe Fish along with a couple of Bird Wrasse! We next swam through the arches looking at all the many Cowery shells and Box Fish, and were even greeted by a small school of File Fish. Our Second Dive on Kolokos Arches brought sightings of Scrambled Egg Nudibranches and Jolly Green Giant Nudibranches. We next discovered some Red Day Octopus feeding around the crevices of the rocks below the boat and were surrounded by many Pyramid Butterfly Fish. A good time was had by all! After another wonderful lunch prepared by Chef Kevin, we pulled up the mooring and headed south to Turtle Pinnacle. There was much excited talk about possibly finding Laverne, our resident Tiger Shark that hangs out around here and also possibly seeing some Whale Sharks, and Humpback Whales, and even some Spinner and Bottle Nose Dolphins. That is the great thing about diving here, is that you never know exactly what will show up, but its always a great surprise. We arrived in time for our mid afternoon dive and jumped right in. Right away we were able to see some Green Sea Turtles. We were even visited by a pod of Bottle Nose Dolphins. Our next dives, the late afternoon and night dive, we discovered a huge Blue Ringed Slipper Lobster, a Manta fly by, and again visited by a large pod of Bottle Nose Dolphins. What a great dive day. Perfect weather, great water and plenty to see! Good Night to all!
Tuesday, December 06, Welcome to another beautiful day here in paradise! We awoke to a beautiful sunrise over the water, and with coffee in hand we prepared to head to our next dive site the Amphitheater. We arrived to calm warm waters, and began our preparations for diving. Once briefed on this site, we jumped right in and were amazed at all the colors present with the fish and reef. The sun lit up the whole area and we were able to get some great pictures. We were gifted with another visitation of the Bottle Nose Dolphin Pod. As they made several circuits around us, we enjoyed their playing and curious behavior. We next pulled up the mooring and headed for the Dome, to the south. The Dome is a great place to dive on a sunny day, as it has a skylight that is brightly lit and allows us to see all the colorful reef fish, such as Whitney’s Box Fish, Red and Yellow Corvis, and the Yellow Tangs. Once we swam through the Dome we headed towards deeper water in search of Red Day Octopus, Trevally, and some Triton Trumpets, all of which we found. It was a great dive had by all. Our late afternoon and night dive was to be in front of the Sheraton Hotel, to do the Manta Night Dive there. Our late afternoon dive produced results of seeing a Manta and a pod of Spinner Dolphins. Our night dive was eagerly looked forward to and we were not disappointed. We were visited by several Mantas, and Bottle Nose Dolphins. Another great dive day in Paradise. We climbed on board, dried off, and relaxed on the sundeck under the stars, as we talked about the day’s adventures. Pleasant dreams to all.
Wednesday, December 07, Aloha and Good Morning. We awoke bright and early and pulled up the mooring and started to head south to our next dive destination The Meadows. The Meadows is a great dive site with many step drop offs and large canyon walls to go investigate. We arrived just as the sun was coming over the top of the mountain and it lit up our whole dive site. The water was super clear with visibility reaching upwards of 70 feet, so we jumped right in to see what we could find. We located a Male Whitney’s Box Fish, a Titan Scorpion Fish, many Lizard Fish, and even a few White Mouth Eels. We took our time investigating all the many different rocks and drop offs and were very happy with the dives at the Meadows. We next headed to a crew and guest favorite, Driftwood. Driftwood also offers many places to explore with several resident White Tip Reef Sharks to be seen along with many large Pelagic Animals that swim by the wall. We jumped into Driftwood for the mid afternoon and late afternoon dives and were pleasantly surprised by the amount of sea life that we saw. We spotted many types of Wrasses, including the Bird, Razor, and Orange Tail. We also were able to find several Moray Eels throughout the Coral Gardens, and even spotted a Triton Trumpet. Our big find for this spot was a Yellow Hairy Leg Hermit Crab that was quite sizeable that had made its home within the Triton Trumpet. We next headed for the Hive with much eager anticipation as we had hopes of seeing the famed resident Frog Fish of the Hive…. and we were not disappointed. After much searching around at 35 feet of depth near the opening of the Hive cavern we were able to spot not one by two large Frog Fish, one Yellow and the other Brown. Our divers were able to make some great video and take some great pictures of the Frog Fish, as the conditions were calm and clear. We had a tremendous night dive on the Hive and couldn’t wait to get on board again to see our pictures and video we had taken. Good Night to all.
Thursday, December 8th, Good Morning from the Hive! We could hear the surf pound against the shore line all night last night and it was so peaceful, we really did get some good sleep. We were eager to start heading north to our next dive site, Au Au Crater, always a favorite dive spot. We arrive early in the morning above Au Au Crater, which is an underwater blown out half volcano crater that has a base at about 185’ feet deep. It is so beautiful with its steep walls, sandy slopes toward the bottom, and all the abundant sea life that calls this Crater home. We dove right in and found a Dragon Wrasse in the sand field just north of the Crater, of which the divers were able to get some good pictures of. We next were visited by a family of Bottle Nose Dolphins, which circled us many times and even stopped to play in front of us. How cool! After a beautiful lunch prepared by Chef Kevin, we moved next to Paradise Pinnacle, in hopes of seeing the resident Hammerhead Shark that lives there. The Pinnacle sits at a depth of 85 feet surrounded by a sand patch full of Garden Eels. We spotted a Hawk Fish just off to the side of the Pinnacle and were able to get some good pictures of it. What a great dive! Before we finished our dive here we were also visited by a large Spotted Eagle Ray and a small pod of Bottle Nose Dolphins. Next we were off to do the Pelagic Dive about 2 miles off shore from the Kona Harbor. The Pelagic Dive is always a favorite dive as it brings so many alien creatures up from the deep that you wouldn’t normally see. There were all kinds of Jelly Fish, Glowing creatures, Translucent, and just plain bizarre. What a fantastic way to end the day’s diving.
Friday, December 9th, Good Morning Divers! We awoke on our mooring site in the Kona Harbor, and after a good night’s rest we pulled up the mooring and headed towards our last diving destination for the charter, the Aquarium. The Aquarium is named just for that fact that it looks just like an aquarium, complete with all the reef fish and pelagic animals you would expect to see. We jumped in right away and immediately spotted several Moorish Idols, along with a pretty hefty size White Tip Reef Shark. Our special surprise today was a large Manta Ray just swimming off to the port side of the boat. The water was very calm and flat and we were able to see her from above and below very clearly. What a special treat! She swam with us for a good 20 minutes! A great way to end another great charter week on the Kona Aggressor II!
Saturday, December 10th, Good Morning All! We are sad to see our guests leave, but they all had so much fun and excitement, many of them mentioned that they would see us again soon. So until then Happy Bubbles and Safe Travels!
The Captain and entire crew of the Kona Aggressor II