Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
April 1st – April 8th, 2017
Air Temperature: 75-85 °F
Water Temperature: 77-79 °F
Visibility: 75-100+ ft
Captain: Randy Wright
2nd Captain/Video Pro: Brian Forman
Instructor: Colin Gamez
Divemaster: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Celia Corbin
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Cheryl Lowery, Mark Lowery, Jeff Stone, Linda Townsend, Kevin Peterson, Daniel Peterson, Dave Brezinski, James North
Sunday: Shark Fin Rock, Kalakos Arches
Monday: Amphitheater, Driftwood, Mantaville
Tuesday: The Dome, Paradise Pinnacle, Rob’s Reef
Wednesday: Never, Neverland, Catacombs, Manuka Bay
Thursday: Land of Oz, Au Au Crater, Lion’s Den, Pelagic Magic
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday April 1st – Aloha and welcome from beautiful and sunny Kona, Hawaii! Today at 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed 8 guests from around the United States looking for an exciting week of diving and the chance to see frogfish, whales, and manta rays. After boarding, everyone began unpacking and setting up their gear on the dive deck to make sure their equipment was in working condition and ready for the week of diving. As we drove to our mooring in the Kona Harbor, guests enjoyed a delicious dinner of BBQ chicken, baby back ribs, and smoked beef sausage that Chef Kevin had prepared.
Sunday April 2nd – To start off the awesome week of diving, guests enjoyed a breakfast of eggs, Hawaiian bread French toast, and bacon before getting into the water for the first dive of the week at Shark Fin Rock. This location offers a shallow coral garden that allows divers to become comfortable with their gear and the conditions. Here, guests were able to see a sub adult rock mover wrasse, yellow margin moray, and zebra moray. Looking to fuel up for the afternoon, guests enjoyed a lunch of Reuben sandwiches, grilled cheese and Hawaiian macaroni salad. During the dives in the afternoon at Kalakos Arches, divers saw three eagle rays, a dragon moray, and a sea turtle that swam with divers for quite a while, giving them some phenomenal opportunities for photos and videos. For dinner, Chef Kevin cooked up grilled salmon and asparagus with a dessert of key lime pie before most of the group got into the water for the final dive of the day. During the night dive, guests were excited to see a moray eel munching down on a collector sea urchin and the structures that characterize the dive site. Everyone was excitedly looking at his or her photos for the day before retiring for the night.
Monday April 3rd – Guests awoke to the smell of macadamia nut pancakes, eggs, and sausage that Chef Kevin was preparing in the kitchen before the first dive of the day. The fun began at Amphitheater, where divers were able to swim though a large lava tube about 50 feet long, in addition to seeing ghost shrimp and regal slipper lobsters. For lunch, a meal of grilled tri tip and baked white fish was served up before everyone was able to get back in the water at Driftwood. As our mooring is on top of another lava tube, guest had a second chance to experience these unique structures in addition to seeing a juvenile Commerson’s frogfish and a Triton’s trumpet pouncing and eating a crown of thorns sea star. In the end the sea star made a brilliant escape by climbing up and over the Triton’s trumpet. For dinner, guests enjoyed grilled pork tenderloin with broccoli and mashed red potatoes, topped off with a delicious cheesecake for dessert. The excitement continued through the night as everyone eagerly anticipated the manta ray night dive at Mantaville. Guests were pleased to see several of these graceful giants feeding off the plankton collecting in the dive lights and returned to the boat with some great videos, pictures and memories. After a hot cup of cocoa, guests were ready for a good night sleep.
Tuesday April 4th – Everyone begins emerging from their cabins to see a beautiful sunrise over Hawaii while enjoying a breakfast of homemade waffles, eggs, and bacon. The first dive of the day brings us to The Dome. This site is characterized by a large cave-like structure with a skylight right at the top, creating a peaceful sanctuary full of color. Divers also enjoyed seeing a large Commerson’s frogfish, horned helmet eating a collector sea urchin, and a giant moray. For lunch, Chef Kevin prepared spinach and broccoli soup with Italian meatloaf and stuffed pasta shells. After fueling up for the afternoon, guests jumped into the water again at Paradise Pinnacle. Here they were able to see a longnose hawkfish, blue dragon nudibranch, and red stripe pipefish. Dinner was delicious as always and guests enjoyed Cornish hens with piccata sauce, green beans, and brown rice, topped with a brownie sundae. The night dive at Rob’s Reef was equally exciting and allowed guest to view a dwarf moray eel, flat rock wrasse, and fang blenny, before tucking in for the night.
Wednesday April 5th – Breakfast this morning was scrumptious omelets and sausage to start off the day. The first dive spot was Never, Neverland where guests were able to see many pyramid butterflyfish and a huge school of whitebar surgeonfish, moving as a river across the rocky landscape. A lunch of BLT sandwiches and turkey wraps gave everyone enough energy for the afternoon of diving. At Catacombs, guests were able to see reticulated butterflyfish, a Tom Smith’s nudibranch, and at the end of the dive a pod of seven dolphins came to play in the bubbles of the divers as they were approaching the boat. Needless to say everyone was extremely excited after surfacing from the dive! A tasty dinner of grilled mahi mahi with mixed vegetables and cookie pie was served up before most of the guests got into the water for their fifth dive of the day. At Manuka Bay, everyone saw a leaf scorpionfish, viper moray eel, and titan scorpionfish. After sharing photos from the day of diving, all the guests were ready to climb into bed for the night.
Thursday April 6th – During the last full day of diving, we had to make our way back North toward Kona. After filling up on fantastic pineapple pancakes, bacon and eggs, guests completed their first dive of the day at the Land of Oz, named for the sand channel in the middle of the site that is reminiscent of the yellow brick road. Here, divers saw a female boxfish, flame angelfish, and unicornfish. The second dive of the morning took place at Au Au Crater, giving guests the opportunity to see gold lace nudibranchs, fried egg nudibranchs, and blue goatfish. For lunch, Chef Kevin served grilled lamb, macaroni and cheese, and spaghetti squash. In the afternoon, we moored up to the Lion’s den. Here, guests were able to see more dolphins, stocky hawkfish, and dozens of black triggerfish feeding at the surface. As we approached out night dive site, guests enjoyed a dinner of filet mignon and twice baked potatoes with roasted carrots, topped with a crème brulee. For the final night dive, guests all took part in the unique pelagic magic dive, where the boat drives about three miles off the coast in about 3,000 feet of water and lines are dropped over the side at various depths up to fifty feet. As the boat drifts in the current, divers are able to watch the plankton that floats up from the depths during its daily feeding ritual. This is the largest migration of organisms on the planet and it happens every night! The jellies that the divers were able to see did not disappoint and everyone was excitedly talking into the night about the bizarre creatures they had witnessed.
Friday April 7th – The final day of diving is always bittersweet. To start us off, everyone enjoyed a breakfast of egg frittata and sausage before two dives at turtle pinnacle. For the third day in a row, divers were lucky enough to swim with dolphins, in addition to seeing a couple large sea turtles with barnacles on their backs. As we drove back to the pier, a lunch of hamburgers and hotdogs was served up before having the opportunity of exploring Kona by land. At 5:00 PM, to celebrate the week of diving, everyone returned to the boat for the cocktail party where Linda, Jeff, Daniel, and Kevin received their iron diver metals for completing all dives during the week! Mahalo to all our wonderful guests for another fantastic week onboard the Kona Aggressor II.
Until next time!
-The Kona Aggressor II Captain and Crew