Log Date: Saturday, May 20, 2017
Entry By: Kona Aggressor Crew
Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
May 20th – 26th, 2017 Air temperature: 70- 80 °F Water Temperature: 78°F Visibility: 50 -100+ ft.
Captain Matt Herwig
2nd Captain/Video Pro: Brian Foreman Divemasters: Celia Corbin & Cameron Smay Chef: Kevin Bennett
Norman and Michael Howard, Michael and Marsha Cover, Connie and Doyle Stewart, Llana Leikin, Louis Musinski and Alexandra Feng, David Massey, Kurt Stephen Rensink, and Russell Todd
Sunday: Amphitheater, Mantaville
Monday: Driftwood, Paradise Pinnacle, Au Au Crater
Tuesday: Catacombs and Pohue Bay
Wednesday: Wall’s Wall, Stoney Mesas, and Manuka Bay
Thursday: Land of Oz, Never Neverland The Dome, Pelagic Magic
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday May 20th, 2017 – Aloha from the Kona Aggressor II. Today we welcomed 12 guests on board around 5PM. A lively group all from different parts of America and one guest from Canada. seemed very excited to enjoy our warm Hawaiian sunshine. After setting up dive gear, Captain Matt led us through a safety briefing and made introductions. The guests seemed very eager to see their share of marine life ranging from whales and dolphins to frogfish and nudibranchs. Afterwards Chef Kevin prepared a delicious meal of ribs, chicken, and Italian sausage followed by a delicious cheesecake for dessert. We moored the boat in the Kailua-Kona bay and enjoyed the sunset; our week long voyage now underway.
Sunday May 21st, 2017 – Waking to a Kona sunrise, our guests filled up and a hot breakfast and proceeded to the dive deck for a briefing on how the diving will go this charter. Our first dive known as a “check-out dive” takes place at Amphitheater. The guests all get their gear and weights squared away for the week ahead on this first dive. We stayed at Amphitheater for our second dive and the guests were able to see assorted nudi branchs, a Moa trunkfish, a turtle, and an octopus. Lunch came around and the guests filled their bellies in anticipation for our next three dives at Mantaville right near Keauhou Bay. Hunting the coral gardens on dives three and four, our guests were able to see many assorted eels, and numerous species of reef fish. After dinner everyone went in to see the dazzling ballet of feeding mantas. We were not let down as the mantas came and rolled and danced to the pleasure of our guests. Not a bad first day here in Kona.
Monday May 22nd, 2017 – Firing the boat up early in the morning, Captain Matt takes us a bit further south to the dive site called Driftwood. Here, during two dives, we were able to find frogfish, octopus, and many other wonderful creatures. Having a nice lunch and a bit of a rest the group was ready to dive. We headed next to Paradise Pinnacle. Here the guests were able to see a rare black coral “bush.” Dragon wrasse, peacock razor wrasse, and a stocky hawkfish were on display here. Next the boat moved down to Au’Au Crater. This dive site has an immense underwater crater. In the crater we were able to see spiny lobsters, ghost shrimp, wire coral gobies, as well as a very large sponge crab as well as a titan scorpion fish on the night dive.
Tuesday May 23rd, 2017 – Waking extra early, the crew and Captain started off the day by heading down south of the Big Island to the dive site Catacombs. Here we enjoyed two wonderful dives the the guests truly enjoyed. On these dives we were able to spot such creatures as giant eels, a turtle as well as being able to swim with a pod of spinner dolphins after the second dive. Chef Kevin prepared a wonderful Italian inspired lunch for the guests that included, stuffed shells, big delicious meat balls, and some of the best garlic bread on earth. After lunch we headed down to Pohue Bay just below the town of Ocean View. A beautiful palm lined beach was our back drop for the next three dives. This dive site it teeming with cauliflower coral as well as hiding a ton of different types of eels, lobsters, as well a dancing dragon wrasse. After dinner, the guest headed out on the night dive here and had a wonderful time watching the nocturnal hunting and feeding of the Moray eels. Also catching a few glimpses of spiny lobsters with all of their multiple colors. A very good night dive was had by all. After hot chocolate and a nice hot shower the guests turned in for the night, anticipating what lies ahead for them underwater.
Wednesday May 23rd, 2017 –Today we started just a little bit back in a northern direction to a dive site called Wall’s Wall. During the dive we spent here we were able to spot a flame angelfish, flounder, and other endemic species of fish. We moved up to the site known as Stoney Mesas for the next dive. This is a unique place as there are literally mesas of volcanic rock all over the dive site. Here we found a viper eel, reticulated butterfly fish, and a zebra eel. Moving up to the beautiful Manuka Bay for the fourth and night dive the guests were treated to one of the most beautiful beaches and places on the Big Island. A historic place, Manuka Bay is a peaceful calm area that is known for dolphins nursing their young. The diving here was fantastic as visibility was incredible and the calm conditions allowed the divers to explore from the deep to the shallows. We spotted such things as sponge crabs, dragon wrasse, and even a lonely barracuda swimming around. After a fabulous dinner of roasted game hens in piccata sauce, we headed off to the night dive. It was feeding time for the eels tonight. Guests loved to see the eels out hunting and in some cases catching their dinner.
Thursday May 24th, 2017 – The last full day of diving on this week’s charter brought us to four different dive sites. After a breakfast of “huevos rancheros” we hit the site called Land of Oz. During this dive the guests found octopus and dragon wrasse, very excited group. We next headed to Never Neverland. This dive was great as we found not one, but two leaf scorpion fish, nudi branchs, cowrie shells, and a giant lizard fish. After a lunch of grilled lamb and homemade mac and cheese we spent the next two dives at The Dome. During the two dives we found a total of four different frog fish as well as another beautiful dragon wrasse. Chef Kevin made a wonderful dinner of Filet Mignon, with twice baked potatoes, as well as a rich chocolate creme brulee. After watching the weekly video put together by Brian, the guests headed to the black water dive known as Pelagic Magic. To sum up the dive, guests were heard saying things such as, “I could do that all night!”, “Wow!”, and “that was incredible.” Watching the migration of the tiny animals was a big hit.
Friday May 25th, 2017 – Our last dives were spent at Turtle Pinnacle just outside of Honokohau Harbor. During the two dives here everyone enjoyed sighting a giant sea turtle. The eels, nudibranchs, and all the wonderful reef fish highlighted these dives. After the second dive the guests washed, rinsed, and started the drying process of their gear. A lunch of teriyaki beef, Korean pork belly, and shrimp curry finished off the meals for the week. Everyone was happy and relaxed at this point. After a few hours of wandering Kona and just enjoying the sunshine, the crew and guests met on the sun deck of the boat to have a cocktail party and talk about the events of the charter. During the party we handed out the prestigious Iron Diver Award. This week four of our guests completed the journey. Louis, Mike, David, and Llana all were decorated for finishing all 27 dives offered during the trip. Great job!!! After the party the guest went to shore to try out some of the local eateries. A wonderful way to spend the last night of the trip.
Saturday May 26th, 2017. Morning has come and the guests have to say their bittersweet goodbyes. Their trip was a success and the crew will miss them all. We hope they will return to the Big Island and enjoy another week on the Kona Aggressor II. Aloha