Kona Aggressor II Captains Log July 27, 2019 – August 3, 2019 Air Temp: 67-80 F
Visibility: 60-90 ft
Sunday: Amphitheater, Mantaville
Saturday, July 27
Aloha from the Kona Aggressor II. Today, we welcomed nine guests from Washington, Colorado, Texas, and Australia. Everyone is enthusiastic about setting up their dive gear as we disembark to our Kona mooring line. Captain Shea gives the introductory Coast Guard briefing, and we wind down the evening with a delicious Hawaiian-themed dinner serving a pineapple salad, local grilled fish with tropical salsa, mashed local purple sweet potatoes, and roasted asparagus with mushrooms. For dessert, we had a custard pie.
Sunday, July 28
We wake up to a sunny and warm morning after overnight showers at Amphitheater. It was an exciting two dives exploring the two lava tubes at this dive site. Over the course two dives, we found five white margin nudibranchs, a fried egg nudibranch, a sponge crab, a day octopus, and a white mouth moray.
For lunch, Chef Matt served roasted tomato and bell pepper soup, kalua pork, grilled ono, tuna poke, macaroni salad and white rice on the buffet.
We make our way farther south to Mantaville, where we spent the rest of the day. In the afternoon, we went on a treasure hunt for prizes. We also saw sea urchins spawning and a Titan scorpionfish.
For dinner, Chef Matt made a classic Caesar salad, grilled flank steak with Chimichurri sauce, roasted potatoes, and broccolini. We had a rich tuxedo cake for dessert.
After dinner, we had a great manta show for our night dive. Two mantas were putting on a great show for 15-20 minutes. We also saw a cornetfish hunting which is unusual to witness but kept us busy until the mantas showed.
Monday, July 29
After more overnight showers, the morning started off with clear blue skies and warm weather. The visibility is pretty nice for our first two dives at The Dome. At The Dome, we saw orange cup coral and white margin nudibranchs in the dome structure, a white tip reef shark, a turtle, and a day octopus.
We head south to Lions Den after lunch for a single dive. Dolphins welcomed us from the surface and while we were exploring the canyons this dive site has to offer, we found dragon wrasse, and the usual suspects.
Chef Matt put together a delicious Indian-inspired lunch buffet. We had a choice between lamb, chicken, and veggie curries served with rice, naan, and raita and mango chutney dips.
After lunch, we spent the afternoon and evening at The Hive. We had an incredible afternoon and night dive finding a frogfish, lionfish, ornate octopus, sponge crab, conger eels, cusk eels, tiger cowrie shells, and lobsters galore (i.e. spiny lobsters, regal slipper lobsters, sculptured slipper lobsters, and reef lobsters).
For dinner, Chef Matt started us off with a delicious arugula salad with marcona almonds and blue cheese and then finished us off with comforting Cornish Hens and cashew nut mixed vegetables. For dessert, we had trifle dessert.
After the night dive, we go to bed early enough so some of us can watch the double meteor shower in the middle of the night after a hearty dinner.
Tuesday, July 30
Good morning from Land of Oz! It was a very relaxing way to start our day with a yellow frogfish on the dive and observing fish behavior such as the rockmover wrasse moving giant rocks. Other notable fish we found was a dragon wrasse, endemic spotted toby, and a white tip reef shark.
For our second dive, we head over to Stony Mesas. Visibility was excellent. During the dive, we found a snowflake moray, viper moray, red stripe pipefish, and several flame angelfish.
Its Taco Tuesday on the lunch buffet. Chef Matt prepared a taco and burrito bar with classic toppings, chips and salsa. We planned to have a nice lunch on the sundeck but showers came pouring down right before lunch.
After our guests had a nice, long nap after lunch – we spent the rest of the day at Manuka Bay. Over the course of the afternoon and and night dive, we found bi-color anthias, redstripe pipefish, Hawaiian garden eels, auger shell, a large yellowmargin moray with a hook in its mouth, jeweled anemone crab, ornate octopus, spotted eagle ray, ornate octopus, and tons of hunting moray eels eating yellow tangs.
Wednesday, July 31
Good morning from gorgeous Catacombs. We finally got a break from the overnight rain and woke up to a dry and beautiful sunrise. Our guests enjoyed the chimneys, chambers, and swim throughs this dive site offers. Besides the usual suspects, there was a very pretty yellow-green leaf scorpionfish worth mentioning.
Afterward, we spent our second dive at Never Neverland. Our guests enjoyed the sloping boulders and the hard-to0-find Tinkers Butterflyfish.
We continued over to Au Au Crater for the rest of the day. Our guests enjoyed the topography of the crater at this dive site. We also found Tinkers butterflyfish and wire coral gobies.
Thursday, August 1
We start the day at Robs Reef. Despite the big swells and surge, we had great visibility. Over the course of two dives, we found green gobies, a spotted eagle ray, and a leaf scorpionfish.
For lunch, Chef Matt prepared an Italian-themed lunch with lasagna, penne pasta, garlic ciabatta bread, and roasted vegetables.
Later we cruised over to Driftwood where we spent the rest of the afternoon. We were excited to find several slipper lobsters, a magnificent snake eel, frogfish, and a white tip reef shark.
For dinner, Chef Matt prepared his best crab cakes, rib-eye steak, blue cheese mashed potatoes, and vegetables. For dessert, we completed the evening with a kafir lime crème brulee.
Friday, August 2
It is the final day of diving as our guests enjoy biscuits and gravy breakfast by Engineer Jeremy before jumping into the water. We head to Turtle Pinnacle first thing in the morning for our final two dives of the trip. It is another beautiful, sunny, and warm Kona day as we arrive at our site and enjoy our dives.
We spend our last dive day at Turtle Pinnacle and had two excellent dives! We saw a tiger shark cruise alongside of us on both dives, a dragon moray, zebra moray, leaf scorpionfish, red stripe pipefish, a giant trevally, frogfish, and cooperative hunting between the moray eels and Bluefin trevally.
After the dives we all enjoy an excellent grilled lunch together, our guests cheers to a great week of diving, and we make our way back to harbor. After our return, our guests spend the afternoon relaxing, exploring Kona, and packing for the journey home. Guests go out on the town and have dinner on their own off the boat, but return for a night of last night sleep.
Saturday, August 3
Guests arise early this morning and eat a hearty continental breakfast onboard. Packed and ready for departure, guests disembark, and we wish them safe travels. Thank you for a fantastic week, we hope youve enjoyed our beautiful Kona Coast and the diving here. Without you, none of this would have been possible, and as much as we love our jobs its you, our guests, which made this all possible and many thanks or as we say in Hawaii, mahalo nui loa!