Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
July 15th – 21st, 2017
Air Temperature: 75-90 °F
Water Temperature: 79 – 83 °F
Visibility: 75-100+ ft
Captain: Matt Herwig
2nd Captain/Video Pro: Brian Foreman
Cruise Director: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Casey Curland
Chef: Cam Smay
GUESTS: Murray, Jeanie, Laurel, Jim, Marci
Sunday: The Dome, Hammerhead, Driftwood, Pelagic Magic
Monday: Rob’s Reef, The Hive, Manuka Bay
Tuesday: Stoney Mesas, Catacombs, Land of Oz
Wednesday: Manuka Bay, Never, Neverland, Au Au Crater
Thursday: Paradise Pinnacle, Lion’s Den, Mantaville
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday June 10th – Aloha and welcome from beautiful, sunny, Kona, Hawaii. At 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed five guests from California and Hawaii, looking for an exciting week of diving. After setting up gear, to make sure everything was working and ready for the week ahead, we drove out to our mooring in the Kailua-Kona Harbor to enjoy the sunset and enjoy a delicious dinner of seared swordfish with olive tapenade and grilled short ribs with garlic gravy served up by Chef Cam.
Sunday June 11th –For the first dives of the week, we made our way to The Dome and Hammerhead. During the dives here, guests were able to see a blue dragon nudibranch, many yellow tangs, and white mouth moray eels. After lunch, everyone got back into the water at Driftwood. Here, guests saw three leaf scorpionfish, Hawaiian dascyllus, and a ghost shrimp. In preparation for the Pelagic Magic night dive, everyone filled up on pan roasted pork tenderloin with apple chutney, followed by a chocolate brownie sundae. As the sun began to set, everyone got ready for the once in a lifetime experience. During the Pelagic 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.
Monday June 12th – We continued the journey by heading south to Rob’s Reef and The Hive after a delicious breakfast. During the morning dives, guests were able to see a large Commerson’s frogfish, Pustulose phyllidia nudibranch, and many banded coral shrimp. After filling up on lunch, divers returned to the water at Manuka Bay and were able to see many Potter’s angelfish, a supermale bird wrasse, and spinner dolphins. After a dinner of seared tuna with soy lemon beurre blanc and banana bread pudding, those feeling adventurous enough returned to the water for the night dive and were not disappointed to see blue goatfish, many active sea cucumbers, and barracudas. 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 at Stoney Mesas and Catacombs. During the dives, everyone was able to see coral crunchers, two-spot lizardfish, and gold lace nudibranches. In the afternoon, we arrived at The Land of Oz where divers saw a two-spot octopus, peacock razor wrasse, and a few crown of thorns sea stars. When divers returned topside after the afternoon dive, a dinner of Nicoise tuna salad was waiting. After a good day underwater, everyone was ready to call it a night for some good sleep.
Wednesday May 10th – After breakfast, guests jumped into the water at Manuka Bay and Never Neverland to see many pyramid butterflyfish, fried egg nudibranch, and some trumpetfish. After the busy morning, guests were ready to enjoy lunch and a nap on the sundeck before we arrived at Au Au Crater. Here, divers spotted a large tiger cowry, wire coral gobies, and several flame back coral shrimp. After dinner, shrimp satay with peanut sauce and chocolate chip cookie pie. 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 dives at Paradise Pinnacle and Lion’s Den where they saw two long nose hawkfish in a patch of black coral, two flagtail tilefish, and many sea sapphires, a type of plankton (copepod) that reflects the sunlight like a jewel underwater. For the afternoon dives, we tied up at Mantaville, the original site of the Manta night dive and were able to see a couple Mantas during the day and feeding at the surface. For dinner, guests enjoyed grilled tenderloin with garlic jus with a dessert of poached pears with chocolate ganache.
Friday May 12th – For the final site of the trip, we arrived at Turtle Pinnacle. At this large coral garden, divers saw a couple redstripe pipefish, bottlenose dolphins, and eagle rays. On the way back to the dock, guests enjoyed BBQ chicken and ribs before having the opportunity to explore Kona by land. At 5:00 everyone gathered for the farewell cocktail party to celebrate the amazing week of diving. 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