Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
June 17th – 23rd, 2017
Air Temperature: 75 – 85 °F
Water Temperature: 79 °F
Visibility: 75 – 100+ ft
Captain: Randy Wright
2nd Captain: Cliff Muse
Cruise Director: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Celia Corbin
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Bill, Anne, Leslie, Jim, Cindy, Alissa, Craig, Donn, Gary, and Paul
Sunday: Aquarium, Garden Eel Cove, Manta Mayhem
Monday: Kaloko Arches, The Dome
Tuesday: Paradise Pinnacle, Au Au Crater
Wednesday: Land of Oz, Manuka Bay
Thursday: The Hive, Driftwood, Pelagic Magic
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday June 17th – Aloha and welcome from beautiful, sunny, Kona, Hawaii. At 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed ten guests from across the United States and Canada looking to see some dolphins, manta rays, and frogfish. 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 BBQ dinner served by Chef Kevin.
Sunday June 18th – Guests were greeted by the smell of Hawaiian bread French toast, bacon, and eggs as they woke up from their first night on the boat. For the first dive of the week, we made our way to Aquarium. 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, crown of thorns sea star, and a many Hawaiian dascyllus. After lunch, everyone got back into the water at Garden Eel Cove. Here, guests saw their first manta rays, a blue dragon nudibranch, and many yellow tangs. In preparation for the Manta Mayhem night dive, everyone filled up on grilled salmon and mixed vegetables before the final dive of the day. The divers enjoyed a show put on by upwards of a dozen mantas as they swooped through the lights, feeding on the plankton collecting there.
Monday June 19th – 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 titan scorpionfish, and had the opportunity to swim through several arches that characterize this site. After filling up on lunch, divers returned to the water at The Dome and were able to see a Commerson’s frogfish, white tip reef shark, and Potter’s angelfish. After a fantastic dinner of baked Cornish hens with brown rice and broccoli, those feeling adventurous enough returned to the water for the night dive and were not disappointed to see a slipper lobster, two Spanish dancers, and many white mouth moray eels. After some hot chocolate, guests were ready to retire for a good night of sleep.
Tuesday June 20th – This morning, guests woke up to a breakfast eggs, waffles, and ham, before getting into the water for two dives Paradise Pinnacle. During the dive, everyone was able to see a few peacock razor wrasse, longnose hawkfish, and flagtail tilefish. In the afternoon, we arrived at Au Au Crater, and after mooring up guests were able to get into the water and see a Pustulose phyllidia nudibranch, gold lace nudibranch, and a thornback cowfish. When divers returned topside after the second dive of the afternoon, a dinner of mahi mahi with coconut rice and mixed vegetables was waiting. Many divers returned to the water for the last dive of the day where they were able to see a zebra moray eel, fried egg nudibranch, and lizardfish.
Wednesday May 21st – After breakfast, guests jumped into the water at Land of Oz and saw a couple juvenile ornate wrasses, a leaf scorpionfish, 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 to see a flounder, barracuda, and some day octopuses. After dinner, pork chops with brown gravy and mashed potatoes, 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 green turtle, 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 22nd – As we began to head back north, guests got into the water for their first dive at The Hive where they saw a sculptured and regal slipper lobsters as well as a tiger cowry. For the afternoon dives, we tied up at Driftwood where divers were able to see a juvenile Commerson’s frogfish, titan scorpionfish, and a viper moray. As we set off for our anticipated Pelagic Magic night dive, everyone enjoyed a final dinner prepared by Chef Kevin, delicious prime rib with baked potatoes, and a crème brulee for dessert. As the sun began to set, everyone got ready for the once in a lifetime experience, Pelagic Magic. 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 night! 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 23rd – 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, peacock flounder, and one last manta ray. On the way back to the dock, guests enjoyed hotdogs and hamburgers 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 Jim, Alissa, Craig, and Cindy 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