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September 17th-24th 2016
Air Temp. 78-88 F
Water Temp. 80-82 F
Captain/Instructor: Matthew Herwig
Captain/Engineer: Cliff Muse
Instructor: Brian Forman
Instructor: Brent Goudreau
Divemaster: Cam Smay
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Catherine, Sidney, Theodora, Matt, John, Margaret, Nancy, James, David
Sunday – Kalokos Arches, Garden Eel Cove
Monday – Amphitheater, Driftwood, Mantaville
Tuesday – The Dome, Rob’s Reef
Wednesday – Au Au Crater, Manuka Bay
Thursday – Paradise Pinnacle, Meadows, Pelagic Dive
Friday –Turtle Pinnacle, The Wreck of the Pretator
Saturday September 17th – Welcome aboard our guests Catherine, Sidney, Theodora, Matt, John, Margaret, Nancy, James and David. We promptly left the dock at the Kona Pier at 6PM after receiving our excited and eager guest divers. There was much talk about the upcoming week, and the possibilities of seeing Mantas, White Tip Reef Sharks, and Hammerhead Sharks. We welcomed our guests aboard with a beautiful BBQ made from scratch from our Chef Kevin. The tables were loaded with homemade bread, smoked ribs, macaroni salad, BBQ Chicken and Sausages. All were very pleased with the meal. Most all of our guests retired early as it had been a long flight to Kona from the East Coast of the United States.
Sunday September 18th – A beautiful pink sunrise was viewed this morning with a clear view of the volcano summits visible as we left our mooring headed north towards our first dive site of the day at Kalokos.
Along the way to Kalokos we were joined by spinner dolphins in our wake. After arrival at the dive site and a thorough dive deck briefing, our guest began the process of getting ready for the first dive. Cameras and gear were double checked the divers started entering the water at 8:00 AM. The first dive lasted for nearly an hour with reports back of seeing Puffer Fish, Whitney’s Box Fish, White Mouth Eels, and Lobster. The water was calm and warm and everyone talked excitedly about the next dive coming up at Kalokos. A great second dive was had by all and our Chef Kevin again wowed our guests with a beautiful lunch buffet. As we had lunch we moved to our next dive location for the day at Garden Eel Cove. Our 2pm dive produced results of two Manta sightings, dolphins, and Red Day Ocotopus. Our late afternoon dive also produced the same results with additional sightings of Morray Eels and Flat Rock Crabs. The guests gathered for an amazing dinner from our galley and all guests prepared for the night dive with the Manta Rays. The guests and Dive Instructor Brian swam to the campfire location were all the local boats and divers place their underwater lights to attract the plankton that the Manta Rays feed on. Many Trevally fish were attracted to the light also. We waited only for a few moments underwater until the first Mantas started to appear. What a show. They arched, pivoted, and glided overhead as we were able to view them and take many great pictures of them. All guests and dive instructor returned safely and happy for experience of once again seeing our beautiful Mantas. Once everyone was on board we headed back to our mooring south at Kona Harbor.
Monday September 19th – Our day began early, heading South this time towards our next dive site which was the Amphitheater. Beautiful clear blue water flowed by as we cruised southward with lots of sunshine and few clouds. We arrived at the Amphitheater and began our preperations for the first dive. We splashed in righ at 8:00 AM and were greeted by huge pods of Black Surgeon Fish. As we dove down to 60 feet we were able to view the crystal clear coral gardens with all of inhabitants, including Eels, Tangs, and even a Triton’s Trumpet. We further investigated this dive sight on the next dive, and again viewed many Box Fish, Octopus, Decorator Crabs, and a Leaf Scorpion Fish. What a great dive. Lunch was served by Chef Kevin with a meal of roasted local Ono with Tomatoes, Onions, Olives, and garlic, along with Homemade Clam Chowder, and Buttermilk Biscuits. We moved to our next dive sight of Drift Wood during lunch and our next couple of dives involved swimming in and out of the many canyons along the coast that comprise Hawaii’s remarkable underwater landscape. The best viewing of a Frog Fish was found, along with many Cowerys. We soon afterwords began to travel north to our last dive spot of the day Mantaville in front of the Shearaton Hotel for a second night of Manta viewing. Captain Matt and Instructor Brent lead the group for the Manta night dive, and were able to view a few Mantas during the dive, but as luck would have it that was the only viewing of Mantas that night. We did get to view many Conger Eels, and Morray Eels hunting for the night along with many Trevally Fish.
Tuesday September 20th – We kicked off this morning at a crew favorite called The Dome. This site features an underwater Dome structure with two openings including a skylight. We were able to see some unicorn fish, cowry, and hermit crabs, a solid start to the day… Then we were off to Rob’s Reef. There was an incredible amount of fish at this site. The main attraction of this site is the Lava Tube swim through that divers can swim into about 75 feet and view all kinds of sea creatures from Sea Turtles to White Tip Reef Sharks. Every type of schooling fish from yellow tang to purple damsels, peacock groupers and bird wrasses. Our afternoon dives were enjoyable for the warm and calm waters we’re enjoying in September. Divers were exciting about some of the small stuff we were seeing such as the fried egg nudibranch , the pillow starfish, the golden lace nudi, a zebra eel and a female trunkfish! Our afternoon and night dive were at the same location.. There’s a lot to explore here. Last night on our night dive we even found a walking Pencil Urhin in the middle of the sandbar and a large blue spotted Cowry feeding under a reef head.
Wednesday September 21st – We had a wonderful overnight stay at Rob’s Reef, and were even visited by Spinner Dolphins overnight. The sun came up bright and clear and we made our way further south to Au Au Crater. A favorite dive spot for guests and crew alike. In the water by 8am we soon discovered Dragon Wrasse under the boat in a sandy patch, a yellow frog fish near the lip of the Crater and scores of schooling fish on the backside of the crater as the nutrient rich water pools on the backside of the crater. On our second dive of the morning we swam to the shallows above the crater and found many different types of fish including a Ball’s Pipe fish. We even found an old historic boat anchor (probably late 1800s) that was in 15 feet of water and made for a great exploration. We wish we had more time to explore this site. Next Chef Kevin delivered an amazing masterpiece for lunch….. a selection of Roast Lamb, fresh salads, locally grown fruit , and brownies for dessert. What a great meal. We then pulled of the mooring and headed towards Manuka Bay to look for Green Sea Turtles. Upon arriving at Manuka Bay, we were greeted by a dinner plate size Peacock Flounder that circled us many times and provided us with great photo opportunities. The night dive concluded our day with sightings of a Tiger Snake Moray, a Red Swimming Crab, and many lobsters.
Thursday September 22nd – We left our mooring at Manuka Bay early in the morning and headed north
to Paradise Pinnacle, in high hopes of seeing hammerhead sharks. Our first dive produced sightings of a
spectacular Blue Dragon Nudibranch, a Black Coral Hawkfish, a Tile Fish, and many Pyramid Butterfly
fsh. Our second dive is set at Paradise Pinnacle. Paradise Pinnacle produced some great sightings of a
White Snake Moray, File Fish, and many Pyramid Butterfly Fish. There is much excited talk about the Pelagic dive set for tonight. After having another wonderful
Culinary treat prepared by Chef Kevin, we began our travel two miles out from the Hawaiian Big Island
For our Pelagic night dive. Many brightly colored and translucent creatures were spotted along with schools of
Hunting squid. Everyone was really pleased with the dive and we motored back to our mooring in Kona
Harbor for the night.
Friday September 23rd – Good Morning Divers! We awoke to a clear view of the summit of Mona Kea
Volcano, and started our daily dive journey this time headed north to Turtle Pinnacle. We were going to
View the Green Sea Turtles at the cleaning stations that surround this area along with looking for all the
Eels that dwell in the rocky underwater terrain. Many Eels were spotted on the dive along with Angel
Fish, and Brown Spotted Puffer fish. Our last dive of the day and trip was scheduled for the Predator
Wreck that sits at 80 feet of depth in the harbor of Kona. Captain Cliff brought along some plastic
Skeleton friends to attach to the wreck for the divers amusement and enjoyment. The divers also
Received a special surprise, as the Atlantis Submarine made an underwater show and cruised by the
Predator wreck. The divers were able to wave to the Submarine guests. How cool is that?
We lunched at the dock in Kona Harbor and then the guests were invited to view the town until 5PM
When we had our cocktail party.
Three Guests: Catherine, John, and David received the coveted Iron Diver Award for completing all
27 of the dives we did aboard the Kona Aggressor II this week. Congratulations to them all for a
Job well done!!!!
Although we are sad to see our guests leave at the end of this week, we know that there was much joy,
Laughter, and Fun had by all and some wonderful diving memories were made. We look forward to
Having them all on board again soon.
Until Next Time..
The Kona Aggressor II Captain and crew