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Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
March 18th – 25th, 2017
Air Temperature: 70-80 °F
Water Temperature: 77-79 °F
Visibility: 80-100+ ft
Captain: Cliff Muse
2nd Captain: Randy Wright
Instructor/Video Pro: Colin Gamez
Instructor: Timothy Wuing
Divemaster: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Celia Corbin
Chef: Cameron Smay
GUESTS: Jill Potter, Luis Terrazas, Ross Potter, Kent Potter, Steve Goldin, Marge Goldin, Daniel Steiger, Gabriela Steiger, Kathy Noorbakhsh, Pati Pistelli, Scott Eash
Sunday: Land of Oz, Thompson’s Reef, Manuka Bay
Monday: Black Coral Forest, Rainbow Reef
Tuesday: Ladders, Wall’s Wall, Pohue Bay
Wednesday: Stoney Mesas, The Hive, Hammerhead, Mantaville
Thursday: The Dome, Amphitheatre, Garden Eel Cove
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday March 18th – Aloha from warm and sunny Kona, Hawaii! Today at 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed 11 guests from across the United States and Switzerland excited to see some of the larger animals Hawaii boasts, including dolphins and manta rays. After everyone had the opportunity to choose a location on the dive deck and make sure all their equipment was working and ready for the next day’s dive, Chef Cam prepared a delicious dinner of Thai curry and Jasmine rice. As the sun set over the horizon, we headed to our mooring in Kailua-Kona Bay to spend the night before getting started bright and early for a great week of diving.
Sunday March 19th – To start off the week of diving, guests woke up to the delicious smell of banana pancakes and Portuguese sausage, prepared by Chef Cam. We began with our first dive at Land of Oz, allowing everyone to become comfortable with his or her gear and buoyancy. Guests were able to see a day octopus, rockmover wrasse, and yellowtail wrasse. Lunch consisted of grilled cheese sandwiches and turkey croissants, and filled everyone up in preparation for the afternoon of diving. The third dive of the day was at Thompson’s Reef where we saw a fried egg nudibranch and spotted Moray. Our final destination of the day was Manuka Bay, a nice protected location with several arches that are always a treat to explore. For dinner, Sautéed mahi mahi was served before the first night dive of the trip, on which divers saw flame angelfish and Thompson’s butterflyfish. After a good first day on the water, everyone was ready to tuck in for a night of well-deserved sleep.
Monday March 20th – After getting a good night sleep on the boat, guests were served bacon and home fries for a delicious breakfast before preparing for the first two dives of the day at Black Coral Forest. The sites down at the southern end of the island are more difficult to get to, but the gorgeous coral gardens are such a treat to see. In addition to the coral, divers saw Tinker’s butterflyfish, spiny-tailed lobster, and long nose hawkfish. For lunch, Chef Cam served mouth-watering baby back ribs and roasted chicken that fueled everyone up for the afternoon dives. At Rainbow Reef, guests were able to see many pyramid butterflyfish and flame angelfish. Dinner consisted of chicken picatta and smashed red potatoes with haricot vert, followed by a dessert of Honeycrisp apple crumble. Those daring enough, decided to hop back into the water for the final dive of the day. At night, divers witnessed a day octopus and many white mouth moray eels. After a good long day, everyone was ready for a night of well-rested sleep.
Tuesday March 21st – In order to begin the day off right, Chef Cam cooked up a delicious breakfast of Hawaiian sweet bread and smoked beef sausage. At the first dive site of the day, Ladders, we headed down to the southernmost point of the United States. Above water, a cliff covered with ladders people use to descend down to the water, greets us. Divers explore the site and come across a spotted moray, bandit angelfish, lizardfish, and a hundred Spinner dolphins that came to say hi to our friendly group underwater. Everyone fills up on a fantastic lunch consisting of pork and chicken tacos, along with all the fixings. For the early afternoon dive, we moored up at Wall’s Wall; a dramatic wall with many overhangs and places for small fish and other animals to hide and divers to seek. Guests saw a gold lace nudibranch, and several flame angelfish. As divers came out of the water, they were greeted by the smell of dinner, garlic and herb shrimp with pesto pasta and mixed vegetables, followed by cheesecake. Several divers chose to go back into the water for what turned out to be a spectacular night dive. Those underwater saw several blue dragon nudibranch, small flounders, and a couple very colorful slipper lobsters. After the dive, and a nice cup of hot chocolate, everyone went to bed early, eager for the next day of diving.
Wednesday March 22nd – As always, Chef Cam started everyone off on the right foot with a breakfast of bacon and prosciutto and vegetable omelets. As the boat began to head back North towards Kona, the first stop on the trip was Stoney Mesas. Here guests enjoyed meandering through the large structures, that give the site its name, in addition to seeing a tiger cowry, titan scorpionfish, and crown of thorns sea star. The second dive of the morning took place at The Hive, a fantastic spot with an arch that begins above water and continues under the water and into a small cave. In addition to these structures, divers saw a Commerson’s frogfish, Hawaiian Lionfish and cusk eel. Following these first two great dives was a lunch of crab gumbo, blackened swordfish, and baked chicken. As we continued up north, we moored up at Hammerhead. At this site, those in the water were able to see many black triggerfish, schooling at the surface as well as many Moorish idols. For dinner, everyone filled up on grilled pork tenderloin with garlic gravy and potato, mushroom, and kale hash in preparation for the manta ray night dive at Mantaville, the original manta night dive. During the dive, two manta rays swam by those in the water who were able to catch a glimpse of these majestic animals. After the dive, everyone was excitedly looking at the images they had captured of these animals before finally tucking in for the night.
Thursday March 23rd – For the last full day of diving we began by heading to The Dome, after a wonderful breakfast of Italian sausage and buttermilk pancakes. During the dive, everyone was able to see a peacock razor wrasse and devil scorpionfish. For the second dive of the day, we traveled to a site named Amphitheater, known for its 50-foot long lava tube. As guests descended down into the structure, they were able to see ghost shrimp and many beautiful colors from the encrusting organisms throughout the tube. For lunch, Chef Cam made Kalua pig and cabbage as well as Teriyaki chicken and roasted Okinawan sweet potatoes. The final dives of the day took place at Garden Eel Cove as we anticipated a second manta ray dive. The animals were very active and during the day, many could be seen swimming at the surface. The mantas sure did not disappoint and everyone was ecstatic as they returned to the boat from their final and unforgettable night dive.
Friday March 24th – As the week comes to a close, everyone begins the day by filling up on egg frittata and bacon, before getting in the water for two dives at turtle pinnacle. In addition to many scorpionfish, divers were able to see several free-swimming morays in addition to a large green sea turtle that decided to stick around for some great picture opportunities. During the drive back to the pier, guest enjoyed a lunch consisting of hamburgers and hotdogs before having the opportunity to explore Kona by land. At 5:00 everyone returned to the boat for the final cocktail hour to celebrate the amazing week both on the boat and in the water. A huge Mahalo to all our wonderful guests for another amazing week onboard the Kona Aggressor II!
Until next time!
-The Kona Aggressor II Captain and Crew