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Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
October 29 – November 5, 2016
Air Temp. 78-88 F
Water Temp. 79 F
Captain: Matt Herwig
2nd Captain: Chad Dolbeare
Engineer: Jeremy Dick
Video Pro: Brian Foreman
Divemaster: Ashley Sheree
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Stephen, John, David, Truc, Sandra, Alan, Russell, RoseErin, Kim, Rebecca, Luis, Luz, Carolina, Valeria
Sunday – Kalokos Arches, Garden Eel Cove
Monday – Aquarium, The Dome
Tuesday – Paradise Pinnacle, Catacombs, Manuka Bay
Wednesday – Stony Mesa, Land of Oz, The Hive
Thursday – Au Au Crater, Robs Reef, Pelagic Magic
Friday – Shark Fin
Saturday, October 29th
Aloha from sunny Kona, Hawaii! It is a beautiful day on the Big Island as we board 14 excited divers and indulge in a delicious barbeque buffet made by Chef Kevin. We share a few laughs while we go through the introductions and orientation. It is nice to see a few returning customers as well as many who had been on other Aggressor boats before. Welcome aboard the Kona Aggressor II!
Sunday, October 30th
Guests awake bright and early, eager for the first dive at Kaloko’s Arches. Captain Matt gives a dive deck briefing, then we are in the water by 8am. Divers do a buoyancy check at the surface and we enjoy nice and easy dive with some varieties of butterfly fish and wrasse. For the second location we head to Garden Eel Cove where we will spend the remainder of the day and evening. This is a great area for spotting nudibranchs, a variety of moray eels, and hundreds of garden eels. After a wonderful fresh caught salmon dinner, we gear up for an epic night dive. Divers jump in and follow the guides to the “campfire”, where divers from other boats are already waiting in a big circle with their lights in the middle facing up towards the surface. The lights attract zooplanktyn which in turn attracts hungry mantas. Our divers witness a spectacular show of mantas swooping and spinning sometimes within inches of the divers. What an exciting way to start our weeklong dive adventure!
Monday, October 31st
Another beautiful morning and guests wake up to the tropical Hawaiian sunrise with fresh brewed Kona coffee, fruits, yogurt, and granola to get the day started right. After fueling up we dive at the Aquarium where we are pleased to find crystal clear water and “aquarium like” conditions. This time we are able to go inside the “Suck em’ Up” cave and swim through to the other side, a very lovely photogenic swim through with turquoise waters decorated by silhouettes of black triggerfish and tangs. At The Dome, dive guide Brian takes divers into a large cave home to flat rock crabs and dozens of ghost shrimp. We stay here for two dives plus the night dive. The night dive here is awesome and divers have a chance to photograph a red scorpion fish, anemone crab, and an octopus before returning to the boat for hot chocolate. Another perfect day of diving in paradise..
Tuesday, November 1st
We wake up to a vibrant, colorful sunrise as guests enjoy a morning coffee, then breakfast. Our dive at Paradise Pinnacle turns out to be very eventful when we see an octopus being hunted and attacked by three peacock grouper! A sad but amazing incident in nature. After lunch we moor up at our second site of the day. Catacomb is a beautiful site, which gets its name from the hollowed out rocky formations which represent the catacombs found in underground France. The afternoon dives are very nice and we see a couple great barracuda, some pufferfish, cornetfish, and unicorn fish. Just around the corner at Manuka Bay guests get a special surprise when a pod of spinner dolphins arrives and puts on a show at the surface. A few daring snorkelers are able to actually swim within a couple feet of the dolphins! The spinners hang around long enough for the divers to get an underwater view of them before disappearing into the blue. We stay at Manuka for the night dive and are happy to see some large spiny lobsters and free swimming moray eels.
Wednesday, November 2nd
We kicked off this morning at a crew favorite called Stoney mesa. This site features maze-like rock structures that call for exploration! Some unicorn fish, cowry, hermit crabs, a stocky hawkfish and a green sea turtle! A nice start to the day… Then we were off to Land of Oz. There was an incredible amount of fish at this site. Every type of schooling fish from yellow tang to purple damsels, peacock groupers and bird wrasses. After two great dives it was time for lunch! Kevins famous meatloaf, turkey wraps, Caesar salad, and cheesy garlic bread. Our guests take some time to rest before we ring the bell at 1:45 . Our afternoon dives are enjoyable for the warm and calm waters we’re enjoying in November. Divers are excited 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 are at The Hive dive site, where the pinnacle and cave are just teeming with life! Also, we cannot forget to mention that dinner was fantastic again: grilled flank steaks over broccoli and seasoned potatoes followed by a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie pie!
Thursday, November 3rd
Guests wake up and Chef Kevin prepares a breakfast of eggs benedict, bacon, and fresh fruits. We start the day with two dives at Rob’s Reef and see several crown toby pufferfish, a crown of thorns sea star, and a conger eel. We have lunch and the guests relax on the sundeck as KAII continues sailing north to Au Au Crater. At this site we swim slowly along a sloping reef spotting nudibranches and various moray eels before coming to the dramatic crater, dropping in, and checking out the inside walls. We cut over into the shallows and see a large green sea turtle, a couple of trevally, and a great barracuda. 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. In the night, the boat drifts 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 to describe. Divers return to the boat with huge smiles and stay up late sharing photos and memories from tonight’s unforgettable dive.
Friday, November 4thIt is the last day of diving and we arrive at Sharkfin Rock. It is a very fun dive as we spotted two eagle rays, a dragon wrasse, and a very friendly octopus. After two dives 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! Mahal