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Kona Aggressor II
August 20-27 2016
Air Temp- 80F, 26C to 85F, 29C
Water Temp 77F, 25C to 80F, 26C
Wet Suit Recommendation 3-5 mil full wet suit
Captain & crew
1st Captain Ernie Stanley
Instructor Jeremy Dick
Divemaster Ashley Sheree
Videographer Brian Foreman
Sunday- Turtle Pinnacle, Aquarium, Garden Eel Cove, Manta Mayhem
Monday- Kalakos Arches, Sharkfin Rock, Dome, Driftwood, Pelagic Magic
Tuesday- Paradise Pinnacle, Au Au Crater, Garden Eel Cove, Mantaville
Wednesday- Meadows, Kealakekua Bay, Robs Reef, Lions Den
Thursday – Amphitheater, Turtle Pinnacle, Mantaville
Friday – Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday, Aug 20th
A perfect view from the pier framed by tropical palm trees and a sandy beach sets the tone as crew greets a group of 13 divers coming all the way from Thailand. We would like to welcome Kittiwan, Pathamawan, Kalayarat, Angkana, Theerachai, Supawee, Nattharee, Suwanee, Phairoj, Supachai, Budsaba, Kanokwan, Pinjai on board the Kona Aggressor II. Guests settle in their cabins and set up gear on the dive deck before the boat briefing, then enjoy a hearty barbeque dinner. The vessel heads to a nearby mooring where we tie up for the night and then off to bed.
Sunday, Aug 21th
After a good night’s sleep in the calm Pacific Sea, guests wake up early for coffee and breakfast. Captain Ernie gives a dive deck briefing and divers are in the water at Turtle Pinnacle by 9:00am. Divers have a chance to check buoyancy and camera equipment, and then descend into the beautiful underwater world. The check out dive goes smoothly, as well as the next two dives at Aquarium where we spot a porcupine pufferfish, a helmet shell, and a flame angelfish. Next we head to the world famous Garden Eel Cove, home of the Manta Mayhem. The site is like a dream, even at the surface. Guests grab their snorkels and jump in to swim with friendly spinner dolphins that enjoy playing in the water. A monk seal shows up with her pup and hang around the boat, giving a guests some great opportunities for photos. When the sun goes down we jump in and head to the underwater “campfire” where divers from other groups have already gathered and are sitting in a big circle. In the middle of the circle are everybody’s lights put together facing up. At the surface snorkelers have lights facing down, creating the “Campfire”. The campfire attracts zooplankton, which attracts hungry manta rays. Absolutely amazing dive!
Monday, Aug 22nd
What a busy and exciting day we have ahead of us with five different dive sites! After a hearty breakfast of ham and cheese omelets, home fry potatoes, fresh fruits, and granola, we jump in for the morning dive at Kalokos Arches, a beautiful dive site with weaving trenches and swim through archways. Next is Shark fin Rock where we are greeted by a curious spotted eagle ray. After lunch divers get a chance to check out The Dome, an underwater cavern lit in a turquoise glow by natural sunlight and filled with squirrelfish and black triggerfish. Most divers are too tired to do the fourth dive at Driftwood, but three guests join Divemaster Ashley and swim through the under water lava tubes, spotting several moray eels, and spotted boxfish. The final dive of the day is one to be remembered. It is a dive for thrill seekers who are not afraid of the unknown. Pelagic Magic. It is nighttime and the engines are switched off as the boat drifts freely over 3,000 feet of open water. Eight lines are dropped below the boat and divers jump in, grab a line, and wait to see what shows up from the abysmal depths. Guests are mesmerized by the strange creatures that emerge, some with tentacles, some with mouths opening and closing, and some that were just to odd the describe. Divers return to the boat with huge smiles and stay up late sharing photos and memories from tonight’s unforgettable dive.
Tuesday, Aug 23th
Having had a late night, most guests decide to sleep in this morning. The few that do the morning dive enjoy Paradise Pinnacle where they get to see the two resident, rare longnose hawkfish, as well as a red stripe pipefish and a green sea turtle. Next we move to Au Au Crater, possibly the most dramatic landscape on the itinerary. Divemaster Shelby guides divers along a sloping coral reef pointing out nudibranches and eels before reaching the huge crater. Divers swim over the edge of the crater and free fall to their desired depth checking out the inside walls. Afterwards, guests take a vote and decide they want to go see the mantas again, so crew pulls in the lines and we sail north to Mantaville. Chef Cameron prepares a delicious flank steak dinner before we head out for our night dive. At least a dozen mantas show up and put on a show for our guests, sometimes swooping within inches of the divers. Some mantas even follow our divers back to the boat after the dive, giving them a private show under the vessel. Another perfect day in paradise!
Wednesday, Aug 24th
Aloha from Kealakekua Bay, the most beautiful topside landscape on the itinerary! Massive sheer rocky walls plummet into crystal clear Hawaiian water, all surrounded by lush emerald shoreline. Kayakers and paddle boarders paddle by also admiring the view. After lunch, we continue north to Rob’s Reef where divers swim into a 100ft cave lined with flatrock crabs and slipper lobster. Coming out of the cave we are dazzled by the view of a large school of black triggerfish against a turquoise background framed by the cave entrance. For our last dive we head to the Lions Den, named for its resident lion fish. The Hawaiian lionfish, aka turkeyfish, is endemic to Hawaii and smaller than most other lion fish species. It’s length once full grown is only about 8 inches and it is actually quite rare. We also spot a few banded cleaner shrimp, a female spotted boxfish, and a golden lace nudibranch. Geusts opt to not do a night dive, and instead enjoy wine with dinner and have a Sharknado movie night marathon.
Thursday, Aug 25th
Wow, just wow! What an unbelievable day! After a morning dive at Amptheatre we head back to Turtle Pinnacle as requested by guests. A rumor has been circling around the island that there is a tiger shark in the area.. Divers gear up, jump in, and we head to the sandy channel near the harbor. We wait.. Soon a shadow emerges from the blue, then another, and another. A pod of at least 20 spinner dolphins has joined the divers and is swimming around them, checking out each diver individually and playing! The spinners stayed with the group for the whole dive and again for a second dive. As divers are unsuspectingly photographing the dolphin pod, the tiger shark arrives! The shark swims in a loop around the divers coming within a couple feet of them. Today, Turtle Pinnacle has truly made a name for itself. To finish the day off right we head to Mantaville for another manta night dive. Dolphins, tiger shark, and mantas all wrapped up into one epic day of diving. It doesn’t get better than this!
Friday, May 26th
It is the last day of diving and we return to Turtle Pinnacle where divers enjoy another morning of swimming with dolphins. After the dive we clean our gear and head to the pier. Guests have a chance to explore topside Kona, then return to the boat in the evening for our farewell cocktail party. A special congrats to our iron divers of the week and thank you everybody for a memorable and amazing diving adventure. Thank you! Mahalo! Kop Kun krab!
From Captain Ernie And The Crew Happy Fishes
Captain Ernie Stanley