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Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
June 10th – 16th, 2017
Air Temperature: 75-85 °F
Water Temperature: 77-79 °F
Visibility: 75-100+ ft
Captain: Randy Wright
2nd Captain: Cliff Muse
Cruise Director: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Celia Corbin
Chef: Cam Smay
GUESTS: Grant, Danielle, Steve, Susan, Rick, Bev, Miranda, Rob, and Jude
Sunday: Shark Fin Rock, Garden Eel Cove
Monday: Kalakos Arches, The Dome
Tuesday: Paradise Pinnacle, The Hive
Wednesday: Land of Oz, Manuka Bay
Thursday: Au Au Crater, Driftwood
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday June 10th – Aloha and welcome from beautiful, sunny, Kona, Hawaii. At 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed nine guests from Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia, and Connecticut, looking for an exciting week of diving. After setting up gear, to make sure everything was working and ready for the exciting week ahead, we drove out to our mooring in the Kailua-Kona Harbor to enjoy the sunset and enjoy a delicious dinner served up by Chef Cam.
Sunday June 11th – As guests woke up after their first night on the boat, they were greeted by the smell of Hawaiian bread French toast, smoked sausage, and eggs. For the first dive of the week, we made our way to Shark Fin Rock. This site is ideal as it is a shallow coral garden with little surge or current. During the dives here, guests were able to see a blue dragon nudibranch, spotted eagle ray, and a tiger shark eating a sea turtle at the surface. After lunch, everyone got back into the water at Garden Eel Cove. Here, guests saw a spotted eagle ray, Hawaiian monk seal, and a male Whitley’s boxfish. In preparation for the Manta Mayhem night dive, everyone filled up on whitefish with a liliquoi sauce before the final dive of the day. The divers enjoyed a show put on by upwards of mantas as they swooped through the lights, feeding on the plankton collecting there.
Monday June 12th – We continued the journey by heading south to Kalokos Arches after a delicious breakfast. During the morning dives, guests were able to see a pair of Milletseed butterflyfish, a devil scorpionfish, and scrawled filefish. After filling up on lunch, divers returned to the water at The Dome and were able to see domino damselfish, many Potter’s angelfish, and a large Commerson’s frogfish. After dinner, those feeling adventurous enough returned to the water for the night dive and were not disappointed to see blue goatfish, Hawaiian dascyllus, and yellow tangs. After some hot chocolate, guests were ready to retire for a good night of sleep.
Tuesday June 13th – This morning, guests woke up to a breakfast of Hawaiian sweet bread French toast, ham, and eggs before getting into the water for two dives Paradise Pinnacle. During the dive, everyone was able to see peacock razor wrasse, longnose hawkfish, and flagtail tilefish. In the afternoon, we arrived at The Hive, and after mooring up guests were able to get into the water and see a Pustulose phyllidia nudibranch, leaf scorpionfish, and a tiger cowry. When divers returned topside after the second dive of the afternoon, a dinner of chicken Milanese and herb and garlic mashed cauliflower and mixed vegetables was waiting. Many divers returned to the water for the last dive of the day where they were able to see many flat rock crabs, a Hawaiian red lionfish, and a conger eel eating a black tang.
Wednesday May 10th – After breakfast, guests jumped into the water at Land of Oz and saw blackside razor wrasse, juvenile ornate wrasse, and a supermale bird wrasse. After the busy morning, guests were ready to enjoy lunch and a nap on the sundeck before we arrived at Manuka Bay where Spinner dolphins greeted us before going underwater to see a gosline’s fang blenny, a dragon wrasse, and a flowery flounder. After dinner, those feeling up to the challenge entered the water for the fifth time for a great night dive to see several spotted coral blennies, a giant porcupinefish, and many active and feeding sea cucumbers. After a good day of diving, guests began to return to their cabins to get some sleep.
Thursday May 11th – As we began to head back north, guests got into the water for their first dive at Au Au Crater where they saw a bandit angelfish, many two-spot lizardfish, and a fried egg nudibranch. For the afternoon dives, we tied up at Driftwood where divers were able to see a juvenile Commerson’s frogfish, a day octopus, and a small leaf scorpionfish. As we set off for our anticipated Pelagic Magic night dive, everyone enjoyed a final dinner prepared by Chef Cam. As the sun began to set, everyone got 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, squid, and fish, guests begin to retire to their cabins to get some sleep.
Friday May 12th – For the final breakfast, guests enjoyed egg frittata with bacon and fruit before we arrived at our last site of the trip, Turtle Pinnacle. At this large coral garden, divers saw redstripe pipefish, a crown of thorns sea star, and a couple cornetfish. On the way back to the dock, guests enjoyed Kalua pig and cabbage with Char Siu baked chicken before having the opportunity to explore Kona by land. At 5:00 everyone gathered on the sundeck for the farewell cocktail party to celebrate the amazing week of diving and award Rob, Grant, Danielle, and Steve with their Iron Diver medals. A huge Mahalo to all of our wonderful guests for another great week onboard the Kona Aggressor II!
Until next time!
-The Kona Aggressor II Captain and Crew