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Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
September 30th– October 6th, 2017
Air Temperature: 75-85 °F
Water Temperature: 77-79 °F
Visibility: 75 – 100+ ft
Captain: Randy Wright
2nd Captain/Video Pro: Brian Forman
Engineer: Jeremy Dick
Cruise Director: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Casey Curland
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Tom, Dan, Judy, Alyssa, Anthony, Leo, Rob, Ben, Nikki, Sarah, Mark, Randy, Brett
Sunday: Kaloko Arches, Garden Eel Cove
Monday: Aquarium, The Dome
Tuesday: Paradise Pinnacle, Never, Neverland, Manuka Bay
Wednesday: Catacombs, Land of Oz, The Hive
Thursday: Au Au Crater, Amphitheater, Driftwood, Pelagic Magic
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday September 30th – Aloha from warm and sunny Kona, Hawaii! Today at 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed 13 guests from across the United States, Australia, and China, excited to see dolphins, manta rays, and frogfish. After everyone had the opportunity to choose a location on the dive deck and make sure all their equipment was working and ready for the week ahead, Chef Kevin prepared a delicious dinner of grilled pork loins with lilikoi mustard sauce, mashed local purple sweet potatoes, and asparagus. As the sun set over the horizon, we drove to our mooring in the Kailua-Kona Harbor to spend the night before getting started bright and early the next morning.
Sunday October 1st – To start off the week of diving, we began with our first dives at Kaloko Arches, allowing everyone to become comfortable with his or her gear and buoyancy. Guests were able to see crown of thorns sea stars, a day octopus, and a fried egg nudibranch. In the afternoon, we went to Garden Eel Cove where we saw several cushion stars, Hawaiian garden eels, and yellowtail coris. For dinner, roasted Cornish hens with a pineapple ginger glaze, coconut rice, and sautéed mixed vegetables with cashew nuts, was served before the Manta Mayhem night dive. Divers were able to see several manta rays dancing in the water, feeding on the plankton accumulating in the lights. After a good day in the water, everyone was ready to tuck in for a night of well-deserved sleep.
Monday October 2nd – After getting a good night sleep on the boat, divers jumped into the water at Aquarium to see a gold lace nudibranch, Hawaiian sergeant majors, and Indo-Pacific sergeant majors. In the afternoon, we drove to The Dome and were able to see a couple large Commerson’s frogfish, a whitetip reef shark, and a green linckia sea star. To fuel up for the night dive, dinner consisted of seared swordfish and fresh tropical salsa with blue cheese mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. Divers were able to see many spotted brittle stars, a guard crab, and a broad fronted crab.
Tuesday October 3rd –At the first dive sites of the day, Paradise Pinnacle and Never, Neverland, divers came across a flagtail tilefish, longnose hawkfish, and a peacock razor wrasse. For the afternoon dives, we moored up at Manuka Bay, where guests saw a blue dragon nudibranch, Spinner dolphins, and a leaf scorpionfish. As divers came out of the water, they were greeted by the smell of dinner; grilled flank steak topped with Chimichurri, roasted red potatoes, and steamed green beans, followed by apple crumble al a mode. Divers who chose to go back into the water were able to see several whitemouth moray eels, marbled shrimp, and a seven-eleven crab. After the dive, and a nice cup of hot chocolate, everyone went to bed early, eager for the next day of diving.
Wednesday October 4th – For the first dives of the day, we went to Catacombs and Land of Oz. Here guests enjoyed seeing a green sea turtle, Hawaiian lionfish, and several crowned Toby. After lunch, we went to The Hive and those in the water were able to see a hairy yellow hermit crab, sculptured slipper lobster, and a Triton’s trumpet. For dinner, everyone filled up on grilled salmon with red pepper sauce, mashed cheese cauliflower, roasted mixed vegetables, and key lime pie for dessert. During the night dive, divers saw a Titan scorpionfish, spotted coral blenny, and a reticulated cowry.
Thursday October 5th – For the last full day of diving we began by heading to Au Au Crater. During the dive, everyone was able to see a freckled nudibranch, pyramid butterflyfish, and many black triggerfish schooling. In the afternoon, we dove at Amphitheater and Driftwood. Here guests were able to see a juvenile psychedelic wrasse, several rock mover wrasses, and a Hawaiian swimmer crab. As we set off for our anticipated Pelagic Magic night dive, everyone enjoyed a final dinner prepared by Chef Kevin, delicious grilled beef tenderloin with mushroom béarnaise sauce, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and white chocolate and coconut 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 jellies and fish, guests begin to retire to their cabins to get some sleep.
Friday October 6th – As the week comes to a close, guests prepared for their final dives at Turtle Pinnacle. Guests were able to see a orangespine unicornfish, many Spinner dolphins, and a horned helmet eating a collector sea urchin. During the drive back to the pier, guest enjoyed a lunch of hamburgers and hotdogs before having the opportunity to explore Kona by land. At 5:00 everyone returned to the boat for the final cocktail party to celebrate the amazing week both on the boat and underwater. At the event, Nikki, Mark, Alyssa, Judy, and Tom were all awarded their Iron Diver metals, having completed every dive offered during the week! A huge Mahalo to all our wonderful guests for another amazing week onboard the Kona Aggressor II!
Until next time!
-The Kona Aggressor II Captain and Crew