Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
Water Temperature: 74 – 78 °F
Visibility: 75 – 100+ ft
Captain: Randy Wright
Engineer: Jeremy Dick
Cruise Director: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Jenny Fink
Divemaster: Tristan Beasley
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Alan, Jessil, Val, Curtis, Deb, Bob, Diana, Carl, Priscilla, Bob, Mary, Pam, Sandy
Sunday: Aquarium, Garden Eel Cove
Monday: Kaloko Arches, Meadows, The Dome
Tuesday: Paradise Pinnacle, Catacombs, Manuka Bay
Wednesday: Wall’s Wall, Rainbow Reef
Thursday: Pohue Bay, Driftwood, Amphitheater
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday December 9th – Aloha and welcome from beautiful, sunny, Kona, Hawaii. At 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed thirteen guests from across the United States and Canada 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 seared swordfish and fresh tropical salsa, coconut rice and asparagus, topped with a birthday cake for Deb. As the sun set below the horizon, everyone retreated to the sundeck to enjoy the beautiful evening.
Sunday December 10th –For the first dives of the week, we made our way to Aquarium. 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 Potter’s angelfish, blue goatfish, and blue crown of thorns sea stars. After lunch, everyone got back into the water at Garden Eel Cove. Here, guests saw an Ewa fang blenny, spotted coral blenny, and cushion stars. In preparation for the Manta Mayhem night dive, everyone filled up on grilled flank steak topped with chimichurri, roasted red potatoes, broccolini, and chocolate mousse cake for dessert. The divers enjoyed a show put on by several mantas as they swooped through the lights, feeding on the plankton collecting there.
Monday December 11th – We continued the journey by heading to Kaloko Arches after a delicious breakfast. During the morning dives, guests were able to see rough-spined urchins, a dragon wrasse, and a Commerson’s frogfish. After filling up on lunch, divers returned to the water at Meadows and The Dome and were able to see Hawaiian dascyllus, supermale bird wrasse, and a gold lace nudibranch. For dinner, Chef Kevin served roasted Cornish hens with a pineapple ginger glaze, garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed mixed vegetables with cashew nuts, and cheesecake with tropical fruit. Those feeling adventurous enough returned to the water for the night dive and were not disappointed to see red pencil urchins, slipper lobsters, and peacock grouper. After some hot chocolate, guests were ready to retire for a good night of sleep.
Tuesday December 12th – Guests began the day by getting into the water at Paradise Pinnacle. During the dives, everyone was able to see flagtail tilefish, curious wormfish, and longnose hawkfish. In the afternoon, we arrived at Catacombs and finally Manuka Bay, and after mooring up guests were able to get into the water and see barracuda, sea urchin crabs, and flame angelfish. When divers returned topside after the second dive of the afternoon, grilled salmon with roasted red pepper sauce, wild rice, green beans, and key lime pie was waiting. Many divers returned to the water for the last dive of the day where they were able to see banded angelfish, an undulated moray eel eating a convict tang, and banded coral shrimp.
Wednesday December 13th – After breakfast, guests jumped into the water at Wall’s Wall and saw a Tinker’s butterflyfish, juvenile yellowtail coris, and a freckled nudibranch. After the busy morning, guests were ready to enjoy lunch and a nap on the sundeck before we arrived at Rainbow Reef to see a day octopus, saddle wrasse, and many Hawaiian whitespotted toby. After dinner, delicious grilled pork tenderloin with apricot cherry chutney, local purple sweet potatoes, roasted mixed vegetables, and macadamia nut brownie sundaes, those feeling up to the challenge entered the water for the fifth time for a great night dive to see a small octopus, a crowned toby, and Hawaiian garden eels. After a good day of diving, guests began to return to their cabins to get some sleep.
Thursday December 14th – As we began to head back north, guests got into the water for their first dives at Pohue Bay where they saw a green sea turtle, wire coral gobies, and Hawaiian cleaner wrasse. For the afternoon dives, we tied up at Driftwood and Amphitheater where divers were able to see lizardfish, Hawaiian sergeants, and Indo-Pacific sergeants schooling under the boat. Everyone enjoyed a final dinner prepared by Chef Kevin, beef tenderloin with mushroom béarnaise sauce, blue cheese mashed potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, onions, and white chocolate and coconut crème brulee. After dinner guests enjoyed a game of Jeopardy before retreating to their cabins for the night.
Friday December 15th – Our final site of the week was Turtle Pinnacle, a large coral garden, where divers saw redstripe pipefish, and huge green sea turtle, and many trumpetfish. On the way back to the dock, guests enjoyed cheeseburgers in paradise 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 Alan, Jessil, and Carl 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