Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
November 18th, 2017 – November 25th, 2017 Air temperature: 72-84 °F
Guests: Heinz & Sabine, Don & Colleen, Kurt, Ran, Jim & Jane, Mark & Alice, Ash, and Monique
Saturday, November 18th, 2017 – Aloha from the Kona Aggressor II! This evening we welcomed our first charter in three weeks after finishing up a dry dock that happens once every three years. We are enthusiastic to finally be back in the water despite the last minute repairs that commonly happens during this sort of thing. It has felt too long without our underwater therapy, so we are ready to get wet again. Our twelve guests come from all over the U.S. including Germany and Canada.
Chef Kevin prepared a lovely Hawaiian dinner on the sun deck starting with a grilled pineapple salad. After our first course, our guests were served a seared mahi topped a fresh tropical salsa with a side of coconut rice and asparagus. No dinner would be complete without a chocolate mousse cake for dessert. Al fresco!
Sunday, November 19, 2017 – It’s a beautiful first dive at Driftwood today. The visibility is excellent and the conditions are calm. Over the course of our two dives here, we were able to show some of our guests their first lava tube and a couple of new endemic species they have yet to see. We also enjoyed a guest appearance by a day octopus, a cowfish, flame angelfish, a green turtle, and a peacock flounder during the dive.
In the afternoon, we made our way to Mantaville where we spent the rest of our day. The wind and swell picked up making the rest of our afternoon a bit choppy from the surface. Once we reached the underwater world, the conditions were mellow for the most part but also murky. We found some of the usual suspects along with another octopus and collectively quite a few snorkels and masks that gave our two dives more of a scavenger hunt feel.
Chef Kevin made a delicate poke complimented by sushi rolls for starters and then Cornish hens with garlic mashed potatoes and mixed veggies for dinner. We completed the evening with a tropical fruit cheesecake.
After dinner, we had a spectacular night dive with as many as four mantas showing up at the same time as other divers and snorkelers left the area. We had a couple of guests welcomed to Hawaii with sea urchin souvenir tattoos, but that’s the nature of this sometimes surgey dive. Everyone was in great spirits toasting the evening with either a hot chocolate or a glass of wine.
Monday, November 20, 2017 -
The morning swell is still a bit high but the wind has dropped giving us a pleasant first dive at Paradise Pinnacle. We showed our guests the underwater pinnacle landmark exploring some of the nooks and crannies for red stripe pipefish and octopus. We then showed our guests some of the last remaining black coral on this side of the island and our two resident long nose hawkfish at this dive site.
Afterward, we made our way to Never Never Land. The dive started off pretty exciting with a hammerhead right under the boat. As we headed north on the dive, we had two more sightings of hammerheads. The dive ended perfectly spotting a bandit angelfish above it’s usual depths at 65’.
We spent the rest of our afternoon at Manuka Bay exploring all the lava fingers spotting a baby white tip hiding in one of the lava cave crevices along with a decoy scorpionfish, peacock razorwrasse, and floating camera case at the surface.☺
For dinner, Chef Kevin grilled flank steak with a chimichurri sauce and a side of hericot verts and roasted red potatoes for dinner.
Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 –
The weather is absolutely gorgeous down south at Wall’s Wall. The visibility is excellent and the conditions are calm. We had a lot of fun exploring the wall spotting a red stripe pipefish, a spiny tailed lobster, and even a rare male Whitley’s boxfish.
It couldn’t be more beautiful mid-morning with crisp blue skies casting over the flat, nearly glassy waters at Ladders dive site. It was an enjoyable dive spotting the usual suspects and even a Tinker’s Butterflyfish.
We spent the rest of the day at Rainbow Reef where the sun stayed warm. Our guests were excited to discover a little hideout for a dragon moray. They even spotted an eagle ray at the end of the dive.
Chef Kevin made a Waldorf salad and grilled salmon with a roasted red pepper sauce, wild rice, and roasted mixed veggies for dinner. We settled the rest of the evening with a rich brownie sundae for dessert.
Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017 –
It’s another perfect day at Pohue Bay. The water is warm, the conditions are calm, and the visibility is excellent. It was an enjoyable dive exploring some of the beautiful reef here that meets a sandy drop-off. We found lots of white mouth morays tucked between the coral beds and a shy Flame angelfish.
We began making our way back north and stopped at Catacombs along the way. Catacombs is a staff favorite and we’re always excited to show our guests the dramatic rock formations at this site.
Our day couldn’t be more perfect than to end it at The Hive, another guest and staff favorite. We’re always discovering new things here and the swim-thru caves are always a lot of fun. The night dive here was even more exciting finding an ornate octopus, slipper lobsters, spiny tailed lobsters, ghost shrimp, tiger cowries, decoy scorpionfish, a pair of Therese’s sole, reef lobster, a sponge crab, and a pimpled basket snail. So many goodies!
Chef Kevin put together an amazing Hawaiian BBQ spread for lunch. For dinner, we enjoyed a caprese salad, a pork with a lilikoi mustard sauce, local purple sweet potatoes, and a squash medley.
Thursday, November 23rd, 2017 –
including our fun-spirited and easygoing guests.
We had a great day of dives lined up beginning at Rob’s Reef and Lion’s Den. Our guests enjoyed the unique lava cave at Rob’s Reef sighting some flat rock crabs and then the dramatic underwater canyons at Lion’s Den.
Unquestionably, The Dome dive site were their favorite dives today. Over the course of two dives we spotted three frogfish, two white tip sharks, a green turtle, a dragon wrasse, and a gold lace nudibranch.
Chef Kevin prepared a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It was a nice spread of turkey, sweet pineapple ham, green bean casserole, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and butternut squash. The evening was complete with his homemade apple crisp for dessert.
Friday, November 24th, 2017 –
It’s our last day with our guests and we’re so fortunate for the gorgeous weather we had this week. Our remaining two dives were at Turtle Pinnacle and it was the most epic of the week; completely loaded.
There were four sightings of a tiger shark circling around our boat. He was a good size...about 10 feet... and split the group right in half. Among the tiger shark was our resident barnacle turtle, octopuses, a titan scorpionfish, flame angelfish, and horned helmet.
We ended the evening with our end of week cocktail party and had one iron diver from the whole group. Congratulations, Colleen! You rock.
It’s been such a cool, fun, and relaxed group. Thank you all!