Kona Aggressor Captain’s Log
November 5-11, 2016
Air Temp. 82-87 F
Water Temp. 82 F
Wetsuit Recommendation: 3mm
Captain: Matt Herwig
2nd Captain: Chad Dolbeare
Instructor: Jeremy Dick
Video Pro: Brian Forman
Divemaster: Ashley Sheree
Chef: Kevin Bennett
Sunday – The Kolokos Arches, Garden Eel Cove
Monday – Black Hole, Turtle Pinnacle, Dome
Tuesday – Paradise Pinnacle, Peles Playground, Catacomb, Manuka Bay
Wednesday – Pohue Bay, Walls Wall, Black Coral Forest
Thursday – Stoney Mesa, Land of Oz, Driftwood, Pelagic Magic
Friday – Sharkfin Rock
Saturday November 5th
Aloha from beautiful, sunny Kona, Hawaii. At 5:00pm guests arrive at Kailua Pier and are greeted by crew as they board the Kona Aggressor II. Captain and crew would like to welcome Bruce, Ellen, Julie, Nunzio, Jade, Douglas, Anne, Lisa, Brian, and Melissa. Guests settle in and set up dive gear before Captain Matt gives a boat briefing, then a savory barbeque dinner is served as we sail out to sea for our diving adventure!
Sunday November 6th
The week begins at Kolokos Arches, the perfect location for our checkout dive as it is fairly shallow with much to see. Divers have a chance to adjust buoyancy and get comfortable with photo equipment before venturing off to the lava tubes with Instructor Jeremy. . After lunch we head towards our afternoon and evening divesite of Garden Eel Cove. We arrived at the cove with calm clear seas with 80 degree water and jump in right away. Here we spot Hawaiian Lion Fish, Conger Eels,and even a few Spinner Dolphins off in the distance. Our late afternoon dive is very special. When we dive in we immediately see two large Manta Rays circling the boat. As we proceed along the wall of the dive site we encounter more Manta Rays. Eight different Manta Rays are seen on this dive and it isn’t even the night dive yet. We have high hopes for a epic Manta Ray night dive. We dive to the campfire location underwater were all the divers gather to view the Manta Rays. We are surrounded by upwards of 15 large Manta Rays, swirling around the dive lights, filling up on plankton. What a show! We spend an hour with Mantas and they even follow us to the boat. Everyone is 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 November 7th
Another perfect, tropical morning in Hawaii and guests are enjoying a cup of coffee on the sundeck while watching the sunrise over the cliffs surrounding Black Hole. We moor up, brief the site, then jump in. Immediately we find ourselves surrounded by a hundred black triggerfish, schooling at a depth from 5ft to 20ft below the surface. We move along the colorful reef observing Hawaiian pufferfish and longnose butterfly fish before coming across something a little bigger, yellowfin tuna! Several big ones about 4 ft long, accompanied by a few silver mackerel. Our next stop is a little further south at a point called Turtle Pinnacle. As we arrived, we were greeted by a family of about a dozen spinner dolphins, including two babies. Our snorkelers are able to jump in and swim with the dolphins and get some up close photos of them. How exciting! Last we go to the Dome where divers enjoy seeing a large helmet shell and also an octopus encounter. The night dive is very interesting as well with large spiny lobsters and fee swimming morays, then back to the boat for hot coco and hottub.
Tuesday November 8th
Guests wake up to a spectacular breakfast of macadamia nut pancakes and eggs Benedict, as well as assorted fruits and granolas as usual. After fueling up on a hearty breakfast, we dive at Paradise Pinnacle a steep pinnacle which teems with life at all depths. Today divers are happy to have seen some nudibranches, a porcupine pufferfish, a green crown of thorn starfish, two longnose hawkfish and sea cucumbers. We then have a relaxing dive at Pelels Playground, where we see many pairing butterfly fish, two Mu Fish aka big eyed emperorfish, and a colorful array of parrotfish. In the afternoon we head to Catacombs, believed to be one of our most dramatic landscape on the itinerary. The site is a steep wall of lively corals which leads to a massive archways, home to scorpion fish, dragon wrasse, and spotted eagle rays. After the dive we have an absolutely awesome, delicious dinner of grilled flank steak followed by Chef Kevins famous Napolean custard and berries. For those still mobile after the huge dinner, we enjoyed another exciting night dive, then off to bed for another big day of diving tomorrow.
Wednesday November 9th
It’s a beautiful sunrise at Pohue Bay, where divers swim through a 30ft crevasse where the coral reef has split in two and is filled with schooling fish rising for an early feed. Then it is a short hop over Wall’s Wall, a steep wall with awesome visibility and tons of life. After getting a little sun it is time to gather in the A/C cooled salon for a sizzling lunch. Egg drop soup, beef and broccoli stir fry, fried rice and egg rolls. Yum!
Our last stop was at Black Coral Forest, a site praised by both new divers and very experienced ones, due to its variety of marine life and the rarity of the massive amount of black coral found here. Some of the divers return from the dive saying it was the best night dive they had every been on. Things seen include slipper lobsters, a Titan scorpion fish, several feeding moray eels, and an octopus. Not a bad way to end another awesome day of diving.
Thursday November 10th
Heading north at dusk we sail from to Stoney Mesa where guests enjoy seeing two spotted boxfish – one brightly patterned blue and orange male and also one modestly design brownish female, a flame angel fish, and a lemon butterfly fish which can only be found in Hawaii. We also notice a golden trumpet fish hovering closely behind a coral-munching parrotfish in hopes of ambushing a small prey. The second dive at Land of Oz is also very enjoyable. At this site we enjoy an all American lunch of cheeseburgers in paradise up on the sundeck with the company of the shining sun and a light breeze. Later in the evening we head out to sea for our once in a lifetime blackwater night dive known as Pelagic Magic. This is a very special and unique dive meant for brave thrill seekers and adventurers. We cut the engines a few miles off shore above 3000 feet of open water and drift in the night. We drop several lines from the boat from the bow and the stern. Divers jump in, grab a line, and drift with the boat over the black water and just wait to see what shows up. Strange, alienlike creatures begin coming out of the blackness and pulsing past the divers as they observe in awe. The dive is very fun and unforgettable and guests sre excited to have seen these new, intriguing creatures.
Friday November 11th
It is a bittersweet day as it is our last day of diving for this incredibly awesome week. We do two dives at Sharkfin Rock before cleaning and packing up our gear. The Chef prepares a lasagna and garlic bread lunch for guests as we dock at Kailua Pier. Our guests have a chance to roam and explore Kona by land before our farewell cocktail party at 5pm. We say our goodbyes and congratulate our iron divers for the week. A huge mahalo to all of our awesome guests for another great week onboard the Kona Aggressor II!
Until Next Time!
-The Kona Aggressor II Captain and Crew