Kona Aggressor II
August 27 -September 3-2016
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- Shark Fin, Turtle Pinnacle, Garden Eel Cove, Manta Mayhem
Monday- The Hive, AuAu Crater, Paradise Pinnacle
Tuesday- Robs Reef, Lions Den, Pelagic Magic
Wednesday- The Dome, Ampitheatre, Mantaville
Thursday – Black Hole, Aquarium, Garden Eel Cove
Friday – Kalokos Arches
Saturday, Aug 27th
A gorgeous afternoon at Kailua Kona Pier with crystal clear waters accompanied by tropical palm trees and a sandy beach. Crew greets a group of 12 divers coming from all over the United States. We would like to welcome Doug, Greg, John, David, Chad, Tim, Steve, James, Don, Brad, Jeremy, and John, on board the Kona Aggressor II. Guests settle in their cabins and set up gear on the dive deck before the boat safety briefing, then enjoy a hearty barbeque dinner. The vessel heads to are nearby mooring where we tie up for the night and then off to bed.
Sunday, Aug 28th
After a good night’s sleep in the calm Pacific Sea, guests wake up early for coffee and breakfast. Captain Ernie gives the dive deck briefing and divers are in the water at Shark Fin by 8:00am. Divers have a chance to check buoyancy and camera equipment, then descend into the beautiful underwater world. The check out dive goes smoothly, as well as the next two dives at Turtle Pinnacle where we spot several moray eels, peacock grouper, and raccoon butterfly fish. Next we head to the world famous Garden Eel Cove, home of the Manta Mayhem. 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 zooplankyton which attracts hungry manta rays. Absolutely amazing dive!
Monday, Aug 29th
After a hearty breakfast of ham and cheese omelets, home fry potatoes, fresh fruits, and granola, we head to the dive deck for another exciting day of diving. The Hive was teeming with life as usual with creatures such as the beautiful tiger cowry, fried egg nudibranches, spotted box fish, and red guard crabs. Dive guide Jeremy then takes the group to a cave with a swim through where they were able to see a few slipper lobsters and a big porcupine pufferfish. Next is Au Au Crater where divers swim slowly along the sloping coral reef, then into a massive volcanic crater where we spot two trevally, and a variety of echinoderms including the brittle star, cushion star, and collector urchins. The last stop of the day is at Paradise Pinnacle, home to two rare long nose hawkfish, a medusa spagettie worm, banded coral shrimp, and lizardfish. Guest enjoy a scrumptious dinner of grilled salmon topped with a pineapple glaze, then have the nightdive on the pinnacle. We return to the boat for hot coco, then off to bed for another awesome day of diving tomorrow.
Tuesday, Aug 30th
Having heard news of a hurricane coming from the southeast, we decide to stay on the north western areas of the itinerary, where the seas are calm. Rob’s Reef is a great way to start the day and divers get to go into a 100ft cave filled with flatrock crabs, ghost shrimp, and a spiny lobster. Later at Lions Den, divers get a chance to see the rare, endemic, Hawaiian Lionfish, aka Turkeyfish and an octopus. 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 night time 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 depths. Guests are mesmerized by the strange creatures that emerge, some with tentacles, some with mouths opening and closing, and some that are just too odd the describe. Divers return to the boat with huge smiles and stay up late sharing photos and memories from tonight’s unforgettable dive.
Wednesday, Aug 31th
Aloha! Today we head to a site called The Dome where divemaster Shelby guides guests to an open swim through dome full of tangs, nudibranches, and banded coral shrimp. At noon guests gather in the main salon for a Mexican fiesta lunch complete with build-it-yourself soft tacos as well as savory chicken enchiladas. Muy deliciosa! After a siesta we dive the Ampitheater, another beautiful site and are lucky enough to see a spotted eagle ray. We stay at Amptheater for both afternoon dives, then head to Mantaville. When we drop into the water at Mantaville, there is already a manta ray waiting for us in the water. We enjoy the manta for about 60 minutes, then head back to the boat for hot coco, hot tub, and cocktails.
Guests wake up and Chef Cameron prepares a breakfast of eggs benedict, bacon, and fresh fruits. We start the day at Black Hole with crystal clear waters and a fun swim through carved into the rocky sea floor. Here we see many schooling black triggerfish, an octopus, and various pairs of colorful butterfly fish. Our next spot is at Aquarium, a very nice clear site with bright colors and tons of fish. We were happy to have spotted a flowery flounder resting inconspicuously in the sand and also a manta ray. Guests just can’t seem to get enough of the manta action and we decide to do yet another manta night dive at Garden Eel Cove. The “campfire” is full of action tonight as a big school of trevally gets in on the feeding actions. Swarms of zooplankton gather at the lights and are eaten by hungry jackfish and manta rays. Another awesome manta dive for the logbooks.
It is the last day of diving and we arrive at Kalokos Arches named for its swim through arches, and we see a yellow frogfish, a helmet shell, several cornetfish. 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!
From Captain Ernie And The Crew Happy Fishes
Captain Ernie Stanley