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Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
July 22nd – 28th, 2017
Air Temperature: 75 – 90 °F
Water Temperature: 79 – 82 °F
Visibility: 75 – 100+ ft
Captain: Matt Herwig
2nd Captain/Video Pro: Brian Forman
Cruise Director: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Celia Corbin
Chef: Cam Smay
GUESTS: Nickie, Dan, Trish, Rachel, Lori, Derrick, Ed, Michelle, Mel, Jim, Hannah, Dan, Joanne
Sunday: Touch of Gray, Garden Eel Cove, Manta Mayhem
Monday: The Dome, Rob’s Reef
Tuesday: Never, Neverland, Catacombs, Manuka Bay
Wednesday: Stoney Mesas, Land of Oz, Au Au Crater
Thursday: Paradise Pinnacle, Lion’s Den, Driftwood, Pelagic Magic
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday July 22nd – Aloha and welcome from beautiful, sunny, Kona, Hawaii. At 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed thirteen guests from across the United States hoping to see some dolphins, manta rays, and frogfish. After making sure all their gear 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 of teriyaki short ribs and Korean Chicken.
Sunday July 23rd –For the first dives of the week, we made our way to Aquarium and Touch of Grey. Aquarium is ideal for a checkout dive as it is a shallow coral garden with little surge or current. During the dive here and at Touch of Gray, guests were able to see many yellow tangs, a small whitetip reef shark, and many Hawaiian dascyllus. After lunch, everyone got back into the water at Garden Eel Cove. Here, guests saw their first manta rays, a crown of thorns sea star, and black triggerfish. In preparation for the Manta Mayhem night dive, everyone filled up on seared tuna with a roasted red pepper coulis and topped by a chocolate chip cookie pie 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 July 24th – We continued the journey by heading south to The Dome after a delicious breakfast. During the morning dives, guests were able to see a couple large Commerson’s Frogfish, a pair of snow-goddess nudibranchs, and a green sea turtle. After filling up on lunch, divers returned to the water at Rob’s Reef and were able to see flame angelfish, Potter’s angelfish, and coral crouchers those feeling adventurous enough returned to the water for the night dive and were not disappointed to see some regal slipper lobsters, many whitemouth moray eels, and a dragon wrasse. After some hot chocolate, guests were ready to retire for a good night of sleep.
Tuesday July 25th – Guests began the day by getting into the water at Never, Neverland and Catacombs. During the dives, everyone was able to see a day octopus, schools of pyramid butterflyfish, and many Hawaiian dascyllus. In the afternoon, we arrived at Manuka Bay, and after mooring up guests were able to get into the water and see a Pustulose phyllidia nudibranch, great barracuda, and zebra moray. When divers returned topside after the second dive of the afternoon, a dinner of swordfish with mango mojo with a chocolate brownie sundae was waiting. Many divers returned to the water for the last dive of the day where they were able to see cucumbers feeding, a fried egg nudibranch, and a twospot lizardfish.
Wednesday July 26th – After breakfast, guests jumped into the water at Stoney Mesas and Land of Oz and saw a couple juvenile ornate wrasses, a yellow hairy hermit crab, 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 Au Au Crater to see several wire coral gobies, ghost shrimp, and a peacock razor wrasse. After dinner, Asian buffet and banana bread pudding, those feeling up to the challenge entered the water for the fifth time for a great night dive to see an ornate octopus, a small headshield slug, and redstripe pipefish. 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 dives at Paradise Pinnacle and Lion’s Den where they saw a couple flagtail tilefish, curious wormfish, and a blue dragon nudibranch. For the afternoon dives, we tied up at Driftwood where divers were able to see a couple leaf scorpionfish, a sculptured slipper lobster, and a yellow margin moray eel. As we set off for our anticipated Pelagic Magic night dive, everyone enjoyed a final dinner prepared by Chef Cam, prime rib au jus 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 – Our final site of the week was Turtle Pinnacle, a large coral garden, where divers saw a peacock flounder, spotted eagle rays, and even a tiger shark! On the way back to the dock, guests enjoyed Reuben and turkey sandwiches 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 Dan, Trish, Brian, Jim, and Rachel 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