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Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
October 01 - October 08, 2016
Air Temp. 78-88 F
Water Temp. 80-82 F
Captain/Instructor: Matthew Herwig
Captain/Engineer: Cliff Muse
Instructor: Jeremy Dick
Instructor: Brent Goudreau
Dive master: Cam Smay
Chef: Kevin Bennett
Haobin Wang, Lijun Chen, Quanmao Wang, Lu Yin, Cixiang Feng, Xiqiang Ling, Heng Dong,
Xu Xiou Jun, Ming Ming, Wu Xiao bo.
Sunday – Kalokos Arches, Garden Eel Cove
Monday – Aquarium, The Dome, Pelagic Dive
Tuesday – The Dome, Au Au Crater
Wednesday – Paradise Pinnacle, The Hive
Thursday – Pele’s Play Ground, Pilot Whale Cruise
Friday – Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday October 1st– The Kona Aggressor II would like to welcome aboard our guests visiting from
China this week: Haobin, Lijun, Quanmao, Lu Yin, Cixiang, Xiqiang, Heng, Xu Xiou, Ming, and Wu Xiao. Welcome Aboard and huānyíng guānglín! After our very excited divers arrived safely on board the Kona Aggressor II after a very long flight, we traveled to our overnight mooring site in Kona Harbor.
The guests were very pleased to have Chef Kevin prepare an authentic Western culture BBQ. Our
guests retired early to their cabins, after such a long day of travel, and dreamed of all the beautiful sights and creatures to be seen the next day of diving, to be sure.
Sunday October 2nd – We begin our adventure at Kalokos Arches, just North of our mooring sight in
Kona Harbor. After the deck and safety briefing, the guests quickly put on their dive gear and began
Entering the water promptly at 8:00 am. The waters at Kalokos Arches were warm and clear with a
visability of 60+ feet and 82 degrees. Kalokos Arches offers many opportunities to explore the rugged
underwater landscape of the Hawaiian Big Island. With its many swim throughs, slot canyons, walls,
Sandy bottoms, it offers a very diversified view of the Hawaiian aquaculture. Our divers reported seeing
Whitney’s Box Fish, Triton Trumpets, Horned Helmut, Green Moray Eels, and Snow Flake Eels. After
two dives at this site we were very hungry, and Chef Kevin came through again with delicious lunch
buffett of Kalua Pork, Steamed Rice, fresh fruit, and many more culinary delights. We next travelled
to Eel Garden Cove for our late afternoon and night dive with the Mantas . Our late afternoon dive
brought back reports of sightings of the Hawaiian Monk Seal, a very rare creature indeed , to be seen
along the coast of the Big Island. Our Manta Dive was visited upon two very large Mantas that were
seen in the distance, but due to having a Dark Moon Eclipse occur this night, we were not able to see
more Mantas than that. Instead we turned our attention to doing an improve night dive exploration of
The dive site which turned up results of seeing many Undulated Moray Eels, Brittle Stars, Goat Fish,
Giant Trevally, and Ghost Pipe Fish. A fun time was had by all.
Monday October 3rd - Our morning started with a bright pink sunrise appearing over the volcano
Mona Kea reflected in the calm waters of Eel Garden Cove. We pointed our bow towards the Aquarium
Dive site, due south, and were eager to see what the waters of the Big Island would offer us today.
Our hopes did not go unheard as we were able to see at the Aquarium dive site……Upon jumping in we
we were greeted by a Spotted Eagle Ray, and were able to find Yellow Tail Coris, Spotted Burr Fish,
and Black Blotched Porcupine Fish. Our second dive produced viewings of Rock Mover Wrasse,
Zebra Morays, and Red Day Octopus. We pulled up the mooring and next headed to the Ampitheater.
The Ampitheater is a beautiful dive site with many finger coral gardens, and a large bowl area full of
Dragon Wrasse, Triton Trumpets, and Nudibranchs, all of which we enjoyed seeing. Our last dive for
the night was the Pelagic Dive, 2 miles off the coast of Kona. We were not disappointed. In addition to
seeing large schools of hunting squid float by, we also say many alien sea creatures with all kinds of
internal lights, with many shapes and colors. What a beautiful sight at night. We all returned safely from
our dive and headed to our mooring sight in Kona Harbor, for some much needed rest from a fantastic
day of diving.
Tuesday October 4th – Pink skies over the Volcano of Kona Harbor greeted us in the morning as we
prepared to head for our first dive site of The Dome. The Dome is an underwater structure of immense
beauty. Two giant arch ways are on each side of The Dome and a skylight is present, allowing the sun
to filter down from the top and light up the azure blue waters. Many sea creatures of all types call the
Dome home including large Nudibranchs, Cusk Eels, Tiger Cowrys, and Hawaiian Lobster. We
prepared to dive in promptly at 8am and were not disappointed by the amount of variety of sea life
we found. Including what has been mentioned above, we also found Hawaiian Lion Fish, Whitney’s Box
Fish, and even a White Tip Reef Shark. What a joy it was to dive this site. We liked it so much we
opted to dive it again for the second dive. Chef Kevin prepared a special lunch of Pad Thai, Coconut
Curry, Grilled Shrimp, Ahi Poke, and a Garden Fresh to our Guests delight. We next pushed further
South to Au Au Crater, one of the dive sites the Crew likes the best for its physical underwater
structures. Au Au Crater offers shallow sandy dives, mid range depth boulder dives to look for Eels and
crusteceans, and deep water dives within the Crater itself. Inside the Crater we found a Magnificient
Eel on the sandy bottom hunting prey, and among the boulders we found a juvenile Dragon Wrasse,
and a Triton Trumpet having a lunch of a Crown of Thorns. We were even able to locate a historic
Sea Anchor, like the type of the old sailing ships of Captain Cook, in the sandy shallows. A terrific
time of diving was had by all, and we told many stories through the night about our many adventures
of the day spent diving the bountiful waters of the Big Island of Hawaii.
Wednesday October 5th – We awoke to crystal clear waters and flat calm seas at our overnight mooring at Au Au Crater. Two Bottle Nose Dolphins came to play around the boat early in the morning and say their hellos as we pulled up the mooring and headed further South to our next dive site Paradise Pinnacle. Paradise Pinnacle top sits in 35 feet of water and extends down to 85 feet at its base surrounded by a sandy bottom full of Garden Eels. The shoreline offers opportunities to dive among the slotted canyons and crevisis. Titan Scorpion Fish and Hammerhead Sharks have been seen on our previous dive trips to this fantastic dive site. We were not disappointed. On our first two dives of the morning we were able to see a massive Hawksbill Turtle, Garden Eels near the base of the Pinnacle, Fried Egg Nudibranches, an a rare sighting of a big Dragon Eel, going home for the day. We also discovered Leaf Scorpion Fish, Pyramid Butterfly Fish, Surgeon Fish, and Dragon Wrasse that surround the shallow areas around the Pinnacle. Next we pulled our mooring and headed towards the Hive dive Site. Again this dive site offers many different varied dive opportunities, such as a swim through a giant cavern full of lobsters, shallow reef areas to look for small creatures, a deep wall system to look for large creatures such as Eagle Rays and Hammerhead Sharks, and a mid range area full of large boulders to look for Eels and Frog Fish. We were so excited to find a large Yellow Frog Fish. We also discovered a large Green Moray Eel. Our night dive on this site produced a cornucopia of sea creatures such as, Jolly Green Giant Nudibranches, Conger Eels, Pencil Urchins, Decorator Crabs, Lobsters, Slipper Lobsters, Small Ornate Octopus, and Flat Rock Crabs. We could hear dolphins in the background while we did our night dive but were not able to see them until later when they circled the boat and we were onboard after our night dive. A great day of diving was had by all.
Thursday October 6th– We awoke to another beautiful sunrise over the Big Island of Hawaii, with calm blue, warm waters. We said our Alohas to the Hive. and set our sights towards Pele’s Playground and all the beautiful underwater terrain that it offers. We dove into tranquil blue seas and were so pleasantly pleased of the visibility conditions…. 70 feet plus. We were able to find Green Sea Turtles, large schools of Trevally, and even some Bottle Nose Dolphins came to visit us during our dives.
During our surface interval there was talk on the radio that there were sightings of large pods of Pilot Whales about 2 miles off shore. There was great amounts of excited talk among the guests for going to go see the Pilot Whales, so we pulled up the mooring and headed towards the outer costal bouys looking for Pilot Whales. The seas were cooperative and flat calm as we headed in a Westerly direction. Along the way we saw many sea birds, and flying fish. The water was so calm and blue that it made for a really beautiful transit. Upon reaching the bouy system we spotted our first pod of Pilot Whales. We could see the rainbow spray exiting there blowholes before we physically saw the Whales.
When we were close enough we were able to jump in the water with the Pilot Whales (respecting all distance requirements for Whales and Dolphins) and were able to watch them pass by as they surfaced and dove along there way South along the coastal shelf. We were so gifted to be presented with such a great opportunity to see the magnificent Pilot Whales. We were able to take many pictures and video of the Pilot Whales to be included within this log. After a full day of snorkeling with Pilot Whales we headed back towards our mooring in Kona Harbor for our overnight stay. Chef Kevin presented us with a glorious meal of roasted Prime Rib and all the fixing for our final dinner aboard the ship. With great celebration and laughter we shared our dive adventures with each other and enjoyed watching the trip
Friday October 7th – We awoke to another beautiful day in Paradise, and point the bow of the boat, this time North towards Turtle Pinnacle with hopes of seeing the famed Tiger Shark “Leverne”, and possibly an Spotted Eagle Ray or two. The water temperature was a warm 83 degrees as we eagerly dove in on our first exploration dive of the morning. We spotted many Eels and Pyramid Butterfly Fish along the reef wall, and even found some Green Turtles on the cleaning station near the mouth of the harbor. Our next dive produced sightings of Red Day Octopus, Lobsters, and Trevally. We could hear dolphins in the background but were not able to see them. Due to the Iron Man Triathalon event being held in Kona Harbor tomorrow, we moored overnight at Turtle Pinnacle and enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by our guests and Kevin as we watched a beautiful pink and red sunset over the West.