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Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
October 22 - October 29, 2016
Air Temp. 78-88 F
Water Temp. 80-82 F
Captain/Engineer: Cliff Muse
Instructor: Jeremy Dick
Instructor: Brent Goudreau
Divemaster: Ashley Sheree
Dive master: Cam Smay
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Leroy, Jane, Marcia, Kathleen, Craig, Robyn, Shelly, Kim, Joe, Lyn, Reese, Claude, Mark,
Sunday – Kalokos Arches, Garden Eel Cove
Monday – Aquarium, The Dome
Tuesday – Paradise Pinnacle, Catacombs, Manuka Bay
Wednesday – Stoney Mesa, Au Au Crater
Saturday October 22nd– The Kona Aggressor II would like to welcome aboard our guests for this week,
Leroy, Jane, Marcia, Kathleen, Craig, Robyn, Shelly, Kim, Joe, Lyn, Reese, Claude, Mark, and Lamar. We welcomed our guests aboard promptly at 5pm and after the gear and luggage was stowed away we
proceeded to do our safety briefing and introductions. Everyone was in high spirits in anticipation for the upcoming week’s adventures. Kevin provided a delicious BBQ dinner complete with Pork Ribs,
Fresh Kona Corn, BBQ Chicken and homemade biscuits. There was much excited talk around the dinner
table and everyone turned in early as it had been a long travel day for most of the guests.
Sunday October 23rd– Good Morning Divers! We begin our adventure from the mooring in Kona
harbor, and point our bow North towards Kalokos Arches. With its magnificent underwater arch
structures and abundant underwater sea life, our divers are guaranteed a wonderful dive experience.
We started our dive out by finding many Green Moray Eels, Red Day Octopus, Box Fish, and Parrot
Fish. We were also able to spot two Green Turtles of immense size, that were very friendly and
photogenic. Two dives at this spot provided plenty of excitement and fun for our divers and we
were really hungry for lunch. Stories were shared over lunch of all the sea creatures that had been
seen so far, and the ones yet to come. After lunch we headed towards our afternoon and evening dive
site of Garden Eel Cove. When we arrived at the cove we found calm clear seas with 80 degree water.
We jumped in right away and were able to see the famed Monk Seal swim by. Our guests were able to
get many great pictures of this wonderful sea creature. Next we spotted Hawaiian Lion Fish, Conger Eels,and even a few Spinner Dolphins off in the distance. Our late afternoon dive was very special.
When we dove in we immediately saw two large Manta Rays circling the boat. As we proceeded along
the wall of the dive site we encountered more Manta Rays. Eight different Manta Rays were seen on this
dive and it wasn’t even the night dive yet. We had high hopes for a epic Manta Ray night dive, and we
were not disappointed. We dove to the campfire location underwater were all the divers gather to view
the Manta Rays. We were surrounded by upwards of 15 large Manta Rays, swirling around the dive
lights, filling up on plankton. What a show! We spent an hour with Mantas and they even followed us
to the boat. Everyone was so excited to have such a wonderful experience diving with the Mantas. Our
first full day of diving drew to a close and our guests were very pleased with the day’s diving.
Monday October24th - We awoke to a beautiful rose colored sunrise over the top of the Volcano
Mona Kea, at Eel Cove Garden. During the night we were visited by 6 large bottle nose dolphins,
and the Monk Seal. We were able to see a very large Manta Ray at the surface in the predawn hous
out for the last feeding of the night. We pulled up the mooring bright and early and started to head south
towards our next dive site the Aquarium. We arrived at the Aquarium promptly at 8am and we dove in
right away. We found spotted puffer fish, Box Fish, Green Moray Eels, and many Pyramid Butterfly
Fish. The water was calm, clear, and warm, as we enjoyed our second dive and were able to see a
Spotted Eagle Ray, a Red Day Octopus, and several different types of Cowrys. We next had a wonderful
lunch of homemade clam chowder, ham and cheese sandwiches, and a fresh green garden salad.
Everyone really enjoyed the effort that Chef Kevin put forward in making such an enjoyable meal.
Next we headed towards the Dome, just south of the Aquarium. The Dome structure, with its open
skylight and several entry/exit area throughout make it a wonderful dive experience to enjoy. Our divers
jumped in after a much deserved rest after lunch, and were pleasantly surprised by finding Octopus,
Box Fish, Lobsters, and Red Crabs within the Dome. Outside of the structure, we looked for White Tip
Reef Sharks known to be in a cave at 60 feet of depth, but they were not home when we stopped by
to say hello. We did find a Triton Trumpet that was feasting on an Urchin, and were able to take some
really cool pictures of nature in action. We returned to the boat after our late afternoon dive, and enjoyed
a beautiful rose colored sunset to the West, as we enjoyed a meal of Grilled Fresh Salmon, Mashed
Cauliflower, and Roasted Root Vegetables. We had several divers interested in doing the night dive, so
off we went at 7:30 pm and were greeted by two large Bottle Nose Dolphins, that not only circled the
divers many time, but also the boat. The divers reported seeing many Eels, including a Dragon Eel,
Cowrys, and Slipper Lobster. A great night dive was had by all, and after a hot chocolate and dip in the
hot tub, the divers were ready to turn in.
Tuesday October 25th- There is much excitement this morning, as one of our guests, Leroy is to have
his 500th dive with us on the second dive of the day. We are headed this morning to Paradise Pinnacle.
This is a great spot to have a celebration dive as we have had many diving milestones celebrated at
this location, and even an underwater Wedding recently. We arrived at Paradise Pinnacle shortly before
8am under clear blue skies and warm waters. We could see all of the Pyramid Butterfly Fish around the
Pinnacle from the top deck of the Kona Aggressor II. We dove in right on time, and were able to see
schools of Yellow Tangs, Surgeon Fish, and Pennant Butterfly Fish. We were able to also find a Conger
Eel, Cleaner Shrimp and a Yellow Hairy Hermit Crab inside a Triton Trumpet Shell. On our second dive
on Paradise Pinnacle we celebrated Leroy’s 500th dive. We were so excited to be a part of the
celebration, and Leroy came up from the dive to a rousing round of applause from the crew and the
guests. Congratulations Leroy! After a very tasty lunch by Chef Kevin, we pulled up the mooring and
headed further south to our next dive location, The Catacombs. The Catacombs is an extensive reef
structure that has been sculpted by many years of tidal flow and has left behind a very uncommon
architecture underwater for us to explore. With smooth walls, and many pillars to explore we were
bound to find many sea creatures that perhaps that we have not seen earlier on this charter. During our
one dive here, we were able to located several Ghost Pipe Fish, Peacock Flounder and Grouper,
many Crown of Thorns, and even a baby Red Day Octopus! We next pulled up or mooring and headed
further South to our late afternoon, evening dive site, Manuka Bay. Manuka Bay is a beautiful area with
white sandy beaches, palm trees, and tranquil waters. A picture perfect location on the Big Island of
Hawaii. Below the surface of the water it is equally as stunning, as it ranges from sandy bottom flats, to
extensive coral gardens, to dramatic drop offs with slopping walls to the west. On our dives we
encountered swimming Green Moray Eels, Viper Eels, Brittle Stars, Milkfish, a Triton Trumpet,
and many colorful reef fish to keep us plenty occupied through the remainder of the dive day.
great fun was had by all and we settled in for a good night’s rest with many happythoughts of all that we have seen this day.
Wednesday October 26th – Good Morning and Aloha! We awoke to another beautiful day in
paradise, and pointed our bow of the boat North, to head towards our first dive site of the day,
Stoney Mesa. Stoney Mesa is a terrific choice for a morning dive site as it is usually very calm and
very little wind. It offers many different underwater dive structures, such as swim throughs, mesas,
arches, and walls. We dove in right away upon arriving, and were able to spot Fried Egg Nudibranches,
Crown of Thorns, a Triton Trumpet, Yellow Trumpet Fish, Day Octopus (Red), and Green Moray Eels.
Along the sand patches, we were able to see Dragon Wrasse, and Cleaner Wrasse. We spent two dives
on this location, and explored all of the many different underwater structures and sea creatures. We were
all eager for lunch, and feasted on Roast Turkey, Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, Gravy , and a Green Salad.
Thank you Chef Kevin, it was delicious. We next headed further North towards Au Au Crater, a crew
favorite. Again, Au Au Crater offers many different dive opportunities, such as deep underwater
volcano walls, sandy shallows, rocky crevesis, small caves, and pooled water areas were the many
tropical fish that abound in this area, gather to feed. It is a very beautiful site, and more than enough
locations, and sea life to discover over three dives. Our first two dives produced viewings of Moorish
Idols, Surgeon Fish, a Scorpion Fish, Rock Movers, Reticulated Eels, and Pyramid Butterfly Fish.
Our evening dive was a big hit, as guests reported seeing Decorator Crabs, Viper Eels, Conger Eels,
large Hawaiian Lobsters and Slipper Lobsters, a Red Frog Fish, an Ornate Octopus, and even a
a few Red Rock Crabs. We gathered in the Salon after the night dive with some hot chocolate and
laughed and told stories about the days adventures and also talked about what was to come with
tomorrows diving adventures. We all couldn’t wait to go dive again, but we also needed sleep….
so until tomorrow.
Thursday October 27th– Dawn at Au Au Crater, and the Milky Way and many stars are still
overhead as we pull up the mooring and head for the Hive, our first dive site of the morning.
Over freshly brewed coffee and a wonderful breakfast of homemade grits and eggs, we got ready to
go dive. Calm, blue, and warm waters surrounded us as we dove into the Hive and were ready to explore
the underwater grotto with its many lobsters and rock crabs. There was not much of a swell so we were
able to explore all of the cavern area and found many cowrys, more lobsters, and Rock Movers. On our
second dive we found more Green Moray Eels, Yellow and Purple Covin Fish, a Triton Trumpet, and
a Viper Eel. We felt so fortunate to be able to scuba dive in such a beautiful, pristine area such as the
Hive. We look forward to having you here also! Next, we climbed on board and pointed the bow North
towards our next dive site, the Amphitheater. The Amphitheater is always a great site to go to with
its extensive lava tube formations, crevisis, and walls with drop offs. We tied up right after another fantastic lunch from Chef Kevin and jumped right in. We immediately found many Peacock Groupers
waiting for us, and even a Green Sea Turtle. We also were able to locate a White Leaf Scorpion Fish.
Along the way we found Day Octopus, Crown of Thorns, Cowrys, baby White Mouth Eels in a nest,
and a Oceanic Trigger Fish, just to name a few. We loved this dive, but were super excited to do the Black Water Pelagic dive this evening, so we hopped on board again, and headed out to the deep water off of the Big Island, in search of all the many “alien” sea creatures that come up from the ocean floor
at night to feed. We were not disappointed, and we did over an hour’s dive for the Pelagic dive. We found so many fascinating creatures afloat in the water column under the boat, it was hard to come back
up on the boat. We were also visited by large schools of hunting squid that was amazing to see. Great fun was had by all, and we returned to our mooring sight just outside of Kona harbor for the night, as
we told stories about our dive day over dessert and hot chocolate.
Friday October 28th– Friday morning started out bright and clear as we watched the sun come up over the volcano Mona Kea. We were eager to get to our next dive site, Shark Fin, just North of the Kona the Kona Harbor, as there was talk on the boat radio that Bottle Nose and Spinner Dolphins had been spotted there. We arrived at Shark Fin just in time to see the fins of the Spinner Dolphins in the water
departing the site and were not able to dive with them, but we had a great dive anyway, as the water
was amazingly clear and warm without any current. We dove in right away and found a Green Sea Turtle and a Hawksbill Turtle. We also found many of the reef fish around Shark Fin Rock and had a great time seeing Green Moray Eels swimming back to their nests after a full night of hunting. We spent
two dives at this location, with great fun and sight seeing, but at last, it was time to clean gear and end
our dive charter for another great week of diving along the Kona Coast. We had such an amazing time this week, with seeing all the Mantas during the day and evening dives, Turtles, Dolphins, Scorpion Fish, Octopus, and many more such creatures. We feel so happy that we were able to celebrate Leroy’s
500th dive with us, and Joe and Lynn’s 30th Wedding Anniversary, that although we are sad to see our guests go, we know that everyone had a great time and we look forward to sharing this experience again with them, and you also when you come dive aboard the Kona Aggressor II Live Aboard Dive Boat.
The Kona Aggressor II Captain and crew