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Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
September 16th – 22nd, 2017
Air Temperature: 75 – 85 °F
Water Temperature: 77 – 81 °F
Visibility: 75 – 100+ ft
2nd Captain: Brian
Video Pro: Kenji
Cruise Director: Shelby
GUESTS: Diane, Don, Joe, Natasha, Jerome, Sergey, Steve, Kate, Tom, Eli, Margo, Nancy, Deb, Monica
Sunday: Driftwood, Mantaville
Monday: The Dome, Au Au Crater
Tuesday: Never, Neverland, Land of Oz, Catacombs, Manuka Bay
Wednesday: Stoney Mesas, Pele’s Playground, The Hive
Thursday: Paradise Pinnacle, Lion’s Den, Amphitheater, Pelagic Magic
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday September 16th – Aloha and welcome from beautiful, sunny, Kona, Hawaii. At 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed fourteen guests from Maryland and New York hoping to see some dolphins and manta rays. 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 grilled pork loins with lilikoi mustard sauce, mashed local purple sweet potatoes, and asparagus. As the sun set below the horizon, everyone retreated to the sundeck to enjoy the beautiful evening.
Sunday September 17th –For the first dives of the week, we made our way to Driftwood. This site is ideal for a checkout dive as it is a shallow coral garden with little surge or current. During the dive, guests were able to see a day octopus, ghost shrimp, and a regal slipper lobster. After lunch, everyone got back into the water at Mantaville. Here, guests saw their first manta rays, a white tip reef shark, and crown of thorns sea stars. In preparation for the Manta Mayhem night dive, everyone filled up on roasted Cornish hens with a pineapple ginger glaze, coconut rice, and sautéed mixed vegetables with cashew nuts before the final dive of the day. The divers enjoyed a show put on by upwards of eight mantas as they swooped through the lights, feeding on the plankton collecting there.
Monday September 18th – We continued the journey by heading to The Dome after a delicious breakfast. During the morning dives, guests were able to see a couple large Commerson’s Frogfish, a blue dragon nudibranch, and a porcupine fish. After filling up on lunch, divers returned to the water at Au Au Crater and were able to see redstripe pipefish, square-spot goatfish, and the egg sack of a Spanish dancer. For dinner, Chef Cam served seared swordfish and fresh tropical salsa with blue cheese mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli Those feeling adventurous enough returned to the water for the night dive and were not disappointed to see many whitemouth moray eels, fried egg nudibranch, and gold lace nudibranch. After some hot chocolate, guests were ready to retire for a good night of sleep.
Tuesday September 19th – Guests began the day by getting into the water at Never, Neverland and Land of Oz. During the dives, everyone was able to see Tinker’s butterflyfish, two green sea turtles, and a large hairy yellow hermit crab. In the afternoon, we arrived at Manuka Bay, and after mooring up guests were able to get into the water and see great barracuda, a dragon wrasse, and even some friendly Spinner dolphins. When divers returned topside after the second dive of the afternoon, grilled flank steak topped with Chimichurri, roasted red potatoes, and steamed green beans, followed by apple crumble al a mode was waiting. Many divers returned to the water for the last dive of the day where they were able to see dwarf moray eels, pyramid butterflyfish, and pennant butterflyfish.
Wednesday September 20th – After breakfast, guests jumped into the water at Stoney Mesas and Pele’s Playground and saw a couple juvenile ornate wrasses, a a supermale bird wrasse, and a pink leaf scorpionfish. After the busy morning, guests were ready to enjoy lunch and a nap on the sundeck before we arrived at The Hive to see several wire coral gobies, teardrop butterflyfish, and a white-margin nudibranch. After dinner, grilled salmon with red pepper sauce, mashed cheese cauliflower, roasted mixed vegetables, and key lime pie for dessert, those feeling up to the challenge entered the water for the fifth time for a great night dive to see a spotted puffer, dragon moray eel, and a viper eel. After a good day of diving, guests began to return to their cabins to get some sleep.
Thursday September 21st – 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, peacock razor wrasse, and Hawaiian garden eels. For the afternoon dives, we tied up at Driftwood where divers were able to see a Hawaiian conger eel, Triton’s trumpet, and spawning sea urchins. As we set off for our anticipated Pelagic Magic night dive, everyone enjoyed a final dinner prepared by Chef Cam, prime rib au jus. 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 September 22nd – Our final site of the week was Turtle Pinnacle, a large coral garden, where divers saw Potter’s angelfish, yellow tangs, and lobsters. On the way back to the dock, guests enjoyed hamburgers and hotdogs 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 Joe, Tom, Don, Nancy, and Deb 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