Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
December 2nd – 8th, 2017
Air Temperature: 70 – 80 °F
Water Temperature: 74 – 78 °F
Visibility: 75 – 100+ ft
Captain: Matt Herwig
Engineer: Jeremy Dick
Cruise Director: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Tristan Beasley
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Margo, Jordi, Cheryl, Tom, Paul, Carol, Paul, David, Dan, Jill, Tim, Gary, Sako, Sheila
Sunday: Aquarium, Garden Eel Cove
Monday: Kaloko Arches, Amphitheater, The Dome
Tuesday: Paradise Pinnacle, Land of Oz, Manuka Bay
Wednesday: Pohue Bay, Rainbow Reef
Thursday: Wall’s Wall, Catacombs, Rob’s Reef, Driftwood, Pelagic Magic
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday September 9th – Aloha from warm and sunny Kona, Hawaii! Today at 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed 14 guests from California, excited to see frogfish, manta rays, and dolphins. 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 of diving, Chef Kevin prepared a delicious dinner of seared swordfish and fresh tropical salsa, coconut rice, asparagus, and a cake to celebrate Deb’s birthday. 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 September 10th – To begin the week of diving, we began by heading to Aquarium. This site is a shallow coral garden that allows guests to become comfortable in their gear and buoyancy. Underwater, guests were able to see a Potter’s angelfish, a crowned toby, and a several saddle wrasse. In the afternoon, we made our way to Garden Eel Cove where guests saw Hawaiian garden eels, cushion stars, and Hawaiian cleaner wrasse. To prepare for the manta mayhem night dive Chef Kevin made grilled flank steak topped with chimichurri, roasted red potatoes, broccolini, and chocolate mousse cake for dessert. The night dive did not disappoint, and the mantas feasted on the plankton collecting in the torch light and seemed to dance through the water, keeping all those watching mesmerized. As the divers surfaced, they excitedly shared their photos and videos with one another, reliving the fantastic experience together.
Monday September 11th – The first dives of the day took place at Koloko Arches and Amphitheater, where guests were able to see a female Whiteley’s boxfish, a pair of milletseed butterflyfish, and a green sea turtle. In the afternoon, we tied up at Amphitheater before spending the night at The Dome. Guests enjoyed seeing a large Commerson’s frogfish, fried egg nudibranch, and a juvenile yellowtail coris. For dinner, Chef Kevin cooked up roasted Cornish hens with a pineapple ginger glaze, garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed mixed vegetables with cashew nuts, and cheesecake with tropical fruit. After the long day, divers were ready to get a good night of well-deserved sleep.
Tuesday September 12th – Our first stops of the day were at Paradise Pinnacle and the Land of Oz. Here, guests had the opportunity to see flagtail tilefish, a day octopus, and a whitemouth moray eel. In the afternoon, we arrived at Manuka Bay where divers were able to see barracuda, spotted boxfish, arc-eye hawkfish. After a good day of diving, guests were excited to eat a dinner of grilled salmon with roasted red pepper sauce, wild rice, green beans, and key lime pie. After an exciting day, and a night dive to see a Spanish dancer, gold lace nudibranch, and several slipper lobsters, everyone was ready to get a good night sleep.
Wednesday September 13th – We began the day of diving at Pohue Bay where guests had the opportunity to see several Hawaiian dascyllus, a dragon wrasse, and a Supermale bird wrasse. After lunch, we arrived at Rainbow Reef and were able to see a huge pod of spinner dolphins, hundreds of Hawaiian garden eels, and a Tinker’s butterflyfish. Kevin served up delicious grilled pork tenderloin with apricot cherry chutney, local purple sweet potatoes, roasted mixed vegetables, and macadamia nut brownie sundaes. During the night dive, those underwater saw massive spiny lobsters, Hawaiian sergeants, and Moorish idols. After the night dive and some hot chocolate, everyone returned to their cabins happy to climb into bed.
Thursday September 14th – The last full day of diving began at Wall’s Wall, followed by Catacombs, where divers saw Redmargin Spanish dancer eggs, Bluespine unicornfish, and a Hawaiian whitespotted toby. In the afternoon, we went diving at Rob’s Reef and Driftwood where guests were able to see a Hawaiian red lionfish, ghost shrimp, and undulated moray eels. For dinner, Chef Kevin served up delicious beef tenderloin with mushroom béarnaise sauce, blue cheese mashed potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, onions, and white chocolate and coconut crème beulee. 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 September 15th – As the week came to a close, guests prepared for their final dives at Turtle Pinnacle. Divers were able to see redstripe pipefish, several peacock groupers, and a rough-spined 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, Tim, Paul, and David, 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