Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
March 25th – April 1st, 2017
Air Temperature: 70-80 °F
Water Temperature: 77-79 °F
Visibility: 40-80 ft
Captain: Cliff Muse
2nd Captain: Randy Wright
Instructor/Video Pro: Colin Gamez
Divemaster: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Celia Corbin
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Jim Wire, Cathy Hebrlee, Lindsey Elkin, Mark Loos, Brad Loos, Mark Beshears, Mary Beshears, Christoph Weber, Nicole Weber, Kiran Zaveri
Sunday: Land of Oz, Wall’s Wall
Monday: Black Coral Forest, Manuka Bay
Tuesday: Pele’s Playground, Paradise Pinnacle, Au Au Crater
Wednesday: The Hive, Driftwood, Mantaville
Thursday: The Dome, Amphitheatre, Pelagic Magic
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday March 25th – Aloha from beautiful and sunny Kona, Hawaii! Today at 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed 11 guests from around the United States and Austria looking for a fantastic week of diving and hoping to see some large animals, like humpback whales, dolphins, and manta rays. After claiming a spot on the dive deck, and setting up all gear to make sure everything was working and ready for the week of diving, Chef Kevin cooked a delicious dinner of pork spare ribs, BBQ chicken and smoked beef sausage. Everyone enjoyed his or her dinner as we drove into the harbor to spend the night at our mooring.
Sunday March 26th – To begin the week of diving, Chef Kevin prepared a breakfast of Hawaiian bread French toast, bacon, and eggs to get everyone started. The first day of diving began at the southern end of the island at Land of Oz. This site is a nice coral garden, giving guests a chance to become comfortable in the water with their equipment and the waters of Hawaii. Here, guests saw many Hawaiian dascyllus, crown of thorns sea star, and flame angelfish. For lunch, Reuben sandwiches and grilled cheese sandwiches were served to give everyone fuel for the afternoon and night dives. In the afternoon, at Wall’s Wall, divers saw a viper moray eel, raccoon butterflyfish, and several white mouth moray eels. After a dinner of grilled flank steak, mixed vegetables, and mashed potatoes, those daring enough got back into the water for the night dive where they encountered spiny lobsters, many sea cucumbers, and slipper lobsters. After a good first day in the water, everyone was ready to tuck in for the night!
Monday March 27th – Guests awoke to the sweet smell of macadamia nut pancakes and sausage, ready for another awesome day of diving. The first stop of the day was at Black Coral Forest. Here, divers were able to see Tinker’s butterflyfish, longnose hawkfish, and pyramid butterflyfish. After a delectable lunch of grilled tri tip and kalua pork and cabbage, we headed over to Manuka Bay. This sheltered cove gives guests a chance to go on some nice relaxing dives, where they saw several barracuda, a devil scorpionfish, and a couple flounders. Everyone was ready for the dinner Chef Kevin had prepared of grilled mahi mahi and asparagus with cookies and cream puff pastry for dessert. During the night dive at Manuka Bay, guests were able to see longnose butterflyfish, an octopus, and even a white mouth moray eel eating a yellow tang. After having the chance to stargaze at the gorgeous night sky, guests began retreating for a night of rest.
Tuesday March 28th – To continue the week of diving, we began to head back north toward Kona, after a fantastic breakfast of waffles, eggs and bacon. The day of diving began at Pele’s playground, named after the fire goddess, for the dramatic lava landscape at this site. During the dive, guests were able to see ornate lined butterflyfish, pacific trumpetfish, and even a green sea turtle. For lunch, Chef Kevin prepared a great lunch of Italian meatloaf and stuffed pasta shells with garlic bread. Ready to continue the day of diving, guests jumped back into the water after lunch at Paradise Pinnacle to see pyramid butterflyfish, a spotted boxfish and a couple tilefish hovering above the sandy bottom. After a tasty dinner of Cornish hens with piccata sauce and green beans, many divers decided to partake in the night dive at Au Au Crater. Those in the water were able to see a gold lace nudibranch, blue dragon nudibranch, and a titan scorpionfish. Those that did not choose to partake in the night dive played a game of high stakes bingo, where the winner took home a rash guard! Guests began winding down with a hot cup of coco before calling it a night.
Wednesday March 29th – As everyone started waking up, the smell of omelets and sausage began wafting through the galley. After fueling up for the morning dives, guests began at The Hive where they were able to explore a small cave and a beautiful archway that begins above water and continues below water. In addition to the dynamic structures, divers spotted a massive Commerson’s frogfish, peacock grouper, and spotted burrfish. For lunch, Chef Kevin served up BLT sandwiches and turkey wraps with Greek salad. The next dive of the day was at Driftwood where guests saw a yellow margin moray eel, purple boxfish, and albino yellow tang. A dinner of grilled salmon and mixed vegetable was served up, preparing everyone for the much anticipated manta mayhem night dive at Mantaville. During this experience, plankton accumulated in the light produced by the divers, allowing the mantas to take advantage of the easy food. The mantas did not disappoint and everyone was able to watch them feeding, swooping through the light for their favorite food. After the dive, many guests were excitedly talking about the fabulous experience while enjoying a cup of hot chocolate before getting some well-deserved sleep.
Thursday March 30th – As guests wake up on the final full day of diving, they are greeted by a breakfast of pineapple pancakes, bacon, and eggs. During the first two dives of the day at The Dome, named for the large cathedral-like structure close to shore, guests see another large Commerson’s frogfish and a couple horned helmets chowing down on their favorite meal, collector sea urchins. After a fabulous morning, everyone was ready for a lunch of grilled lamb, macaroni and cheese, and spaghetti squash, before getting into the water for two more dives at Amphitheatre. Here everyone was able to see huge trumpetfish and a dragon wrasse in addition to experiencing the power of the ocean from afar. The crashing waves could be seen through a lava tube, creating some amazing photo opportunities. As we set off for our anticipated Pelagic Magic night dive, everyone enjoyed a final dinner prepared by Chef Kevin of filet mignon, twice baked potatoes, and a desert of crème brulee. As the sun begins to set, everyone gets ready for this once in a lifetime experience. During this dive, the boat drives about three miles offshore, and in 3,000 feet of water, lines are dropped over the side for guests to hold onto. As the boat drifts, divers have the opportunity to glimpse the plankton making their daily migration into the shallows to feed at night. This is the largest migration of organisms in the world and it happens every day! After having the opportunity to watch these glowing organisms, guests begin to retire to their cabins to get some sleep.
Friday March 31st – The last day of diving is always bittersweet for everyone. The day begins with a breakfast of egg frittata and sausage before the final two dives of the week. Here guests are able to see a large green sea turtle with several barnacles on its back and a Hawaiian green lionfish. On our way back to the pier, a lunch of hamburgers and hotdogs was served before guests had the opportunity to explore Kona by land. At 5:00 PM everyone returned back to the boat for the final cocktail party to celebrate the amazing week of diving and award Kiran his much-deserved Iron Diver metal. A huge Mahalo to all of our fantastic guests for another wonderful week onboard the Kona Aggressor II.
Until next time!
-The Kona Aggressor II Captain and Crew