Log Date: Saturday, Apr 15, 2017
Entry By: Kona Aggressor Crew
Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
April 15th – 21st, 2017
Air Temperature: 75-85 F
Water Temperature: 79 F
Visibility: 75-100+ ft
Captain: Randy Wright
2nd Captain/Video Pro: Brian Foreman
Engineer: Cliff Muse
Divemaster: Shelby Penn
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Marlene, Dean, Stuart, Georg, Shaunte
Sunday: Kalokos Arches, Garden Eel Cove
Monday: Aquarium, The Dome
Tuesday: Lion’s Den, Rob’s Reef
Wednesday: Paradise Pinnacle, The Hive
Thursday: Au Au Crater, Driftwood, Pelagic Magic
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday April 15th – Aloha and welcome from sunny and beautiful Kona, Hawaii. At 5:00 PM, the Captain and Crew welcomed five individuals from the United States, Germany, and Australia, excited to see manta rays and dolphins. After guests set up their gear to make sure everything was working and ready for the week of diving, we left the dock for our mooring in the harbor. There, we had a delicious BBQ dinner that Chef Kevin prepared as everyone watched the sun set over the horizon.
Sunday April 16th – To begin the week of diving, Chef Kevin cooked up eggs, Hawaiian bread French toast, and bacon, before everyone hopped into the water for their checkout dive at Kalokos Arches. This shallow spot is an ideal location for everyone to become comfortable with his or her equipment, wetsuits and weights. In addition to many arches formed by the lava, divers saw a green sea turtle, milletseed butterflyfish, and a Triton’s trumpet. After a delicious lunch of clam chowder, Reuben sandwiches, and grilled cheese, divers returned to the water at Garden Eel Cove for two afternoon dives. Underwater, guests were able to see a horned helmet, day octopus, and many garden eels. In anticipation for the Manta Mayhem night dive, everyone filled up on tasty grilled salmon, mixed vegetables, mashed cauliflower, and pound cake with berries and cream for dessert. During the Manta Mayhem dive, guests were treated to quite the showing and watched what looked like an underwater disco party for an hour as the graceful animals swooped and dove in-between the clouds of plankton. Back on the boat, guests excitedly shared their experiences with on another before going to sleep in preparation for the next day.
Monday April 17th – This morning, guests woke up to the fantastic smell of macadamia nut pancakes with sausage and eggs to fuel up for the morning and start the day. For the first dive site, we made our way to Aquarium, a site characterized by a few caves in the shallows where a white tip reef shark can be seen. In addition to the shark, divers spotted a dragon wrasse, devil scorpionfish, and a peacock razor wrasse. For lunch, Chef Kevin whipped up a delicious meal of grilled tri tip with baked white fish and potato salad. For the afternoon dives, guests got into the water at The Dome. At this fantastic site, guests were able to see a Commerson’s frogfish, dolphins, and scrawled filefish. For dinner, guests were served grilled flank steak, broccoli, and mashed red potatoes, topped off with a delicious cheesecake. A few divers hopped back into the water for their fifth dive of the day and were not disappointed to see a spotted puffer, spotted burrfish, and a large Spanish dancer. After an exciting day of diving, everyone was ready to tuck in for a night of well-rested sleep.
Tuesday April 18th – To start the day off right, breakfast consisted of eggs and corned beef hash. After fueling up for the morning, divers entered the water at Lion’s Den for a couple exciting dives. During these morning dives, guest saw a dragon wrasse, cleaner wrasse, and several lobsters. For lunch, Chef Kevin cooked up Italian meatloaf, stuffed pasta shells, and garlic bread. For the next dives of the day, we moored up at Rob’s Reef. Here, guests were able to see some wire coral gobies, cornetfish, and a white mouth moray along the wall of the crater. The delicious smell of Cornish hens with piccata sauce, green beans, and brown rice, greets guests as they climb out of the water and fill up on dinner. Those feeling up for the challenge jump into the water for the night dive where they see a yellow margin moray, gold lace nudibranch, and a tiny sea hare. Back on the boat, guests excitedly look through their photos for the day before retiring to their cabins for the night.
Wednesday April 19th – After a breakfast of eggs, waffles, and bacon, we continued to head south along the coast to a dive site called Paradise Pinnacle. At this site, everyone is able to see many cushion seastars, blue dragon nudibranchs, barred wire coral shrimp, and a Scott Johnson’s nudibranch. As guests enjoy a great lunch of BLT sandwiches, turkey wraps and Greek salad, we drive to our next dive site, The Hive. In the afternoon divers see a yellow hairy hermit crab, red pipefish, and flagtail tilefish. For dinner, Chef Kevin cooked up grilled mahi mahi with mixed vegetables and coconut rice. The divers daring enough to enter the water for the night dive saw a giant moray, a tuberculous nudibranch, and many whitemouth morays. After a relaxing soak in the hot tub, guests are ready to get a well-rested night of sleep.
Thursday April 20th – For the final full day of diving, we begin to head back north along the Hawaiian coast. After a great breakfast of pineapple pancakes, smoked sausage, and eggs, we moor up at Au Au Crater. During the dive, guests had the opportunity to see an ewa fang blenny, peacock razor wrasse, and a phyllidia nudibranch. During a lunch of grilled lamb, macaroni and cheese, and spaghetti squash, we move to our next dive site of the day, Driftwood. At this site, our mooring sits on top of a lava tube guests have the opportunity to swim through. In addition, this exciting dive allowed guests to see a juvenile Commerson’s frogfish, ghost shrimp, and two scrawled filefish chasing after each other. As everyone enjoyed a dinner of filet mignon with twice-baked potatoes, and crème brulee, we drive to our final dive site of the day, about three miles off the Kona coast. After dinner, guests had the opportunity to experience the Pelagic Magic dive where lines are hung from the boat as it floats in about 3,000 feet of water. As guests hang onto the lines in the water, they see what plankton emerges from the depths. This plankton migrates to shallow water at night to feed and it is the largest migration of organisms in the world, something that happens every night! As we drive back to our mooring in the Kailua-Kona harbor, guests cannot stop talking about all the amazing jellyfish, squid, and seahorse they saw during this epic dive.
Friday April 21st – For the last two dives of the day, we head to Turtle Pinnacle, after a great breakfast of egg frittata and bacon. Underwater, divers were able to see a huge green sea turtle, juvenile Hawaiian dascyllus, and a huge school of bluestripe snapper. On our way back to the pier, everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch of hotdogs and hamburger sliders before having the opportunity to explore Kona by land. At 5:00, everyone gathered for the cocktail party to celebrate the wonderful week of diving and award Georg, Marlene, Dean, and Stuart their Iron Diver medal. A huge Mahalo to all our fantastic guests for another amazing week onboard the Kona Aggressor II!
Until next time!
The Kona Aggressor II Captain and Crew