Kona Aggressor II Captains Log
January 27th-Febuary 3rd 2018
Air Temp 70-80 F
Water temp 75-77 F
Chief/2nd Captain Eric
Dive Sites- Sunday- Sharkfin, Aquarium, Garden Eel Cove/Manta Mayhem
Monday- Kalokos Arches, Ampatheater, Rob’s Reef, Never Never Land, Land of Oz, Manuka Bay, Walls Wall, Black Coral Forest, Rainbow Reef, Pohue Bay, Catacombs, Peles Play Ground, Lions Den, Turtle pinnacle
Iron Divers Leah and Ryan
Saturday January 27th 2018- Aloha from the Kona Aggressor II. Our crew welcomed all the guests to the vessel and helped get their luggage to their individual cabins. After we got all the rooms squared away we helped the divers get their equipment set up and in working order. After all the customers gear was ready to go we took off for our mooring ball located in Kailua Kona harbor for the night. Then we conducted the intro/safety briefing where all the crew introduce themselves to the guests and the guests each introduced themselves and their diving history. Following the introductions we went over all the safety procedures and how the guests daily schedule would work. Then the divers enjoyed a fantastic meal prepared by chef. The meal consisted of seared swordfish local Hawaiian sweet potatoes and quinoa. After the phenomenal meal everyone went to bed early to prepare for a fantastic week of diving.
Sunday January 28th 2018- the guests woke up to the smell of blueberry pancakes and sausage which chef prepared for breakfast. Guests also had the option of eggs any style they wanted. Following breakfast we conducted the dive deck briefing at 7:30. This included how we would dive on the Kona Aggressor II and all the amenities we have on the back deck. Then we had our first/check out dive to get all the guests weighted properly and get the cobb webs of their gear. During the first dive at Sharkfin the divers saw an eagle ray, dragon wrasse, and a manta! After the epic checkout dive the guests snacked on fresh chocolate chip cookies. The second dive site was at the Aquarium. During this dive some of the guests found a leaf scorpion fish and a 6-7ft black tip reef shark swam by after it awoke from its nap under a ledge. The conditions were great. There was 100-foot visibility and slight surge with no current. After the dive the guests enjoyed From Aquarium we headed a little further north to a site called Garden Eel Cove right off the shore of the airport. On the third dive the guests saw fields off massive garden eels, peacock flounder, lizard fish and they saw a manta arriving a little early for the lightshow.
For the after noon snack chef made banana bread. On the 4th dive of the day we headed north at garden eels cove because of the boats starting to pull in for the manta night dive later that evening on the southern end of the site. During the dive we were surrounded by three mantas swimming in circles around us as we foraged the reef find various types of eels. Once everyone got showered and warmed up the group enjoyed flank steaks for dinner. After we let everyone digest their delicious meals we started the manta mayhem dive briefing and all the special considerations and what to expect under water. Once we got the divers all squared away we headed over to the fire pit where the manta light show was. On the swim over three mantas passed by the group feeding on plankton off of snorkel boats lights. Once we arrive at the fire pit the dive guide put the light box in the pit and the show began. We started out with three mantas at the beginning but by the end there were eight. It was a fantastic show watching the mantas swoop in over and over again. All the divers were good on their air so we were able to watch them for 60 minutes till some of the divers got cold and they headed back to the boat. When the divers got back on the Kona Aggressor II they were met with hot chocolate, hot showers, and the hot tube.
Monday January 29th- To start the day all the guests had macadamia nut pancakes. The first dive of the day was at Kalocos arches. The conditions were ideal and the divers found some awesome critters including nudibranchs, octopus, and dragon wrasse. There wasn’t that much surge this week so everyone was able to swim through the arches. After the dive the guests enjoyed freshly made cinnamon rolls baked by chef. We wanted to do the Dome for the second dive but there was another boat already there so we did the ampitheater instead. The current was a bit strong but the group handled it fine. The highlight of the dive was the coral walls covered in a wide variety of hard coral and some of the divers found the endemic red lion fish. After the dive chef prepared a delicious Italian lunch that consisted of mozzarella meatballs, pesto Cubase pasta, cheese basil tortellini, and mixed green salad. After lunch the guest dove Robs reef. The dive master took the group south and found an octopus, lizardfish, and the rare milkfish that is often mistaken for a shark. For a snack chief prepared quesadillas with guacamole for dipping. The fourth dive was also at Rob’s reef but this time the dive master took the group north from the stern mooring line. During the dive the guests swam through multiple lava tubes and found even more octopus. For dinner chef prepared some amazing seafood. We had salmon olive tomato ragout with fried scallion hash browns, snap peas, and a vegetable medley. For the final dive of the day we dove Robs reef after dark. During the dive the group found an abundance of crustaceans including monster lobsters, slipper lobsters, and 7/11 crabs. There was also an abundance of margin eels out hunting. It was a great way to end the day.
Tuesday January 30th- To start the day off the guests enjoyed sweetbread French toast with bacon and eggs. Our first dive was at Never Never Land and it was an epic dive. There was a bit of current so the dive master took the group into the current so they would be able to get back to the Kona Aggressor II with ease. On the dive a massive manta flew over the groups head and made another pass around. Shortly after that a huge scalloped hammerhead swam right by the group and got 10-20 feet away which is rare for the normally shy shark. After that the group headed into some shallower water where a juvenile green sea turtle swam with the group for several minutes. After the dive the guests enjoyed pineapple fruit smoothies made fresh right when the divers got out of the water. The second dive of the day was at Land of Oz. The dive master took the group south towards the arch that the site is known for. There some of the divers found rock mover wrasse and leaf scorpion fish. There was a lot of surge at the start of the dive but it died down significantly by the end. For lunch the divers enjoyed taco Tuesday up on the sundeck as we headed south the Manuka Bay for the rest of the night. On the first dive at Manuka the dive master took the group east into the shallows and found an abundance of life including schooling Moorish idols, hawks bill sea turtles, and dragon wrasse. After the dive the guests snacked on some ahi poke. For the second dive at Manuka the group headed into a little bit deeper water for the sight and ran into a pod of spinner dolphin swimming in the bay. The majority of the dive was spent with the dolphins. For dinner chef prepared, blackened rib eye with grilled asparagus, red bliss potato’s, and Caesar salad. For the night dive the group followed and scanned the coral fingers and caves and found a white tip reef shark, hawks bill seas turtle, and viper eels.
Wednesday January 31st- The divers woke up to a wonderful breakfast of eggs benedict with sausage and fresh fruit. The first dive was at Wall’s Wall. The current was strong and it was a tiresome dive. The highlight of the dive was a juvenile Hawaiian lionfish hiding in some cauliflower coral. For the midday snack chief baked chocolate muffins for the guests. The second dive was at Black coral forest. On this dive the group found several black coral bushes with hawk fish hiding in them. One of the divers even found a massive Commerson’s frogfish, which are a rare find. Following the second dive we headed south to rainbow reef which is a staff favorite site to spend the duration of the day. For lunch chef prepared a barbeque that included baby back ribs, sweet soy short ribs, fruit salad and coleslaw with butter corn. The first dive at rainbow reef the dive master took the divers south where they found amazing untouched coral gardens with plentiful green sea turtles swimming around. They also found rock scorpion fish and white mouth morays. After the dive the guests enjoyed 7 layer taco dip with chips. As the divers entered the water on the fourth dive a humpback whale surfaced 10 yards away from the boat and most of the divers were able to see it from the surface as they were descending. Also on the dive the guests found more turtles, milkfish, and margin morays. For dinner chef served watermelon goat cheese salad, stewed apple pork loin, wild rice, and zucchini and squash. For the night dive at rainbow reef the dive master took the group along the shallow wall just behind the stern mooring line. The divers found and outrageous amount of eels including conger, white mouth, viper, margin, yellow head, and margin morays out hunting.
Thursday February 1st- The divers woke up to delicious blueberry waffles prepared by chef. The first dive of the day was at Pohue bay. The conditions in the bay were fantastic and the dive was fantastic. The highlight of the dive was several turtles found swimming to the surface for air. Following the dive the guests enjoyed some freshly baked banana bread hot out of the oven. The Second site on our way back north was catacombs. There was a little bit of surge but that didn’t stop the divers from exploring all the caves and holes in the wall. The guests found an abundance of slipper lobsters and crabs all over the rock walls. For lunch chief made stewed mushroom soup with grilled sausages and peppers. There was also Mediterranean shrimp with coos coos and braised cabbage. The third dive was at Peles playground where the visibility was diminishing and the surface conditions were getting very ruff. Along the sloping volcanic walls the divers found wire coral goby’s, flame angles, and a magnificent snake eel. For the afternoon snack the divers enjoyed finger sandwiches that were fantastic. They were made up of steak and pulled pork. After the snack the guests dove at lions den. The surge had picked up as well as the wind for the fourth dive. The site is known for the volcanic walls in the shallows but the surge didn’t allow them to get to close. The group still managed to find numerous species of nudibranchs and octopus in deeper waters. After the dive the guests devoured chimmichuri lamb T-bones with potato crab croquettes. The meal also included grilled Brussels sprouts and for desert was pistachio butter mousse. By the end of dinner the wind had picked up significantly and forced us to call off the night dive for the safety of the guests and crew.
Friday February 2nd- the following morning we stopped at the dock to drop chef off and then we headed to turtle pinnacle for the last two dives of the trip. During the dive over the guests enjoyed corn beef and hash with eggs any style. The first dive at turtle pinnacle it was still a bit ruff but the divers found plenty of eels in the coral but no turtles. Following the dive the guests enjoyed freshly baked muffins for a morning snack. On the last dive of the trip the divers searched for the turtles with no luck but found some other rare creatures including day octopus and dragon wrasse. It was a great final dive to wrap up and epic week of diving. For lunch the guests enjoyed a cook out consisting of burgers hotdogs sweet potato fries and egg salad. We got back to the dock around 12:30 where the guests were free to leave up until the 5 o’clock cocktail party/ awards ceremony. At the party the divers enjoyed some adult beverages along with wings cheese and crackers. Our two iron divers “Ryan and Leah” were awarded their metals and certificates and then the guests were free to venture out in Kona. It was a fantastic week.