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Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
May 6th – 12th, 2017
Air Temperature: 75-85 F
Water Temperature: 77-79 F
Visibility: 50-100+ ft
Captain: Matt Herwig
2nd Captain/Video Pro: Brian Foreman
Cruise Director: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Cam Smay
Divemaster: Celia Corbin
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Rudolf, David, Amanda, Sergio, Troy, Jocelyn, Sean, Margaret, John, Ken, and Cathie
Sunday: Shark Fin Rock, Garden Eel Cove
Monday: Driftwood, Au Au Crater
Tuesday: Land of Oz, Manuka Bay
Wednesday: Catacombs, Rob’s Reef
Thursday: Paradise Pinnacle, The Dome
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday May 6th – Aloha and welcome from beautiful, sunny, Kona, Hawaii. At 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed twelve guests from the United States, Canada, Austria, Australia, and Brazil, looking for an exciting week of diving. After setting up gear, to make sure everything was working and ready for the exciting week ahead, we drove out to our mooring in the Kailua-Kona Harbor to enjoy the sunset. After Chef Kevin cooked up baby back ribs, BBQ chicken, and smoked beef sausage for dinner with a dessert of chocolate mousse cake, everyone was ready to call it a night in preparation for the week ahead.
Sunday May 7th – As guests woke up after their first night on the boat, they were greeted by the smell of Hawaiian bread French toast, smoked sausage, and eggs. The first order of business was a checkout dive at Shark Fin Rock. This site is ideal as it is a shallow coral garden with little surge or current. During the dives here, guests were able to see a tiger cowry, tiger snake moray, and a dragon wrasse. As we drove to our next site of the day, guests enjoyed a lunch of Reuben sandwiches and grilled cheese sandwiches, before getting back into the water at Garden Eel Cove. Here, guests saw a fire dartfish, milletseed butterflyfish, garden eels, and even a few manta rays. In preparation for the Manta Mayhem night dive, everyone filled up on grilled salmon with mixed vegetables before the final dive of the day. The divers enjoyed a show put on by a couple of mantas as they swooped through the lights, feeding on the plankton collecting there.
Monday May 8th – We continued the journey by heading south of Kona to Driftwood after a breakfast of macadamia nut pancakes, bacon, and eggs. During the morning dives, guests were able to see a psychedelic wrasse, gold lace nudibranch, and a juvenile Commerson’s frogfish. For lunch, guests were served grilled tri tip and grilled chicken tenders, before arriving at Au Au Crater. After filling up on lunch, divers returned to the water and were able to see a dwarf moray eel, several crown of thorns sea stars, and a barred filefish. For dinner, everyone enjoyed Cornish game hens with broccoli and mashed red potatoes that Chef Kevin prepared. Those feeling adventurous enough returned to the water for the night dive and were not disappointed to see ghost shrimp, a turkey fish, and spiny lobsters. After some hot chocolate, guests were ready to retire for a good night of sleep.
Tuesday May 9th – This morning, guests woke up to a breakfast of waffles, sausage, and eggs before getting into the water for two dives at Land of Oz. This location is named for the sand channel running through the site that is reminiscent of the yellow brick road from the Wizard of Oz. During the dive, everyone was able to see a small day octopus, Potter’s angelfish, juvenile Hawaiian hogfish, and a magnificent snake eel. As guests enjoyed the sunshine on the top deck, they indulged in stuffed pasta shells with meatballs and garlic bread for lunch. In the afternoon, we arrived at Manuka Bay, and after mooring up guests were able to get into the water and see a Pustulose phyllidia nudibranch, devil scorpionfish, and a couple lizardfish. When divers returned topside after the second dive of the afternoon, a dinner of grilled pork tenderloins, brown rice, and green beans was waiting. Many divers returned to the water for the last dive of the day where they were able to see a yellowmargin moray eel feed on a convict tang, in addition to sailfin tangs, and a juvenile Hawaiian dascyllus. After a quick dip to warm up in the hot tub, guests retired to their cabins for some rest.
Wednesday May 10th – As we started to head back north up the coast, our first site of the day was Catacombs. After a breakfast of waffles, eggs, and bacon, guests jumped into the water and saw a green turtle, barracuda, and many yellow tangs. After the busy morning, guests were ready to enjoy a lunch of BLT sandwiches and turkey wraps. In the afternoon, we arrived at Rob’s Reef where in addition to a large lava cave divers saw a spaghetti worm, flat rock crabs, and a yellow margin moray eel. Chef Kevin served up a delicious dinner of grilled mahi mahi, coconut rice, and mixed vegetables, topped with a berry and cream puff pastry. Those feeling up to the challenge entered the water for the fifth time for a great night dive to see a whitetip reef shark, many small bubble snails, and a leaf scorpionfish. After a good day of diving, guests began to return to their cabins to get some sleep.
Thursday May 11th – A fantastic breakfast of pineapple pancakes, eggs, and sausage was ready for our guests as they woke up on the final full day of diving. Our first stop of the day was Paradise Pinnacle, where guests were able to see two longnose hawkfish, a juvenile psychedelic wrasse, and a peacock razor wrasse. For lunch, everyone enjoyed a meal of Hawaiian snapper and grilled lamb, before getting back into the water at The Dome. Here, divers were able to see a large Commerson’s frogfish, a Triton’s trumpet, and a blue goatfish. As it was the last dinner on the boat, Chef Kevin prepared a filet mignon with twice-baked potatoes, caramelized carrots and delectable coconut crème brulee. To finish the night off, as we had a game night, most guests enjoyed a glass of wine to wrap up the night.
Friday May 12th – For the final breakfast, guests enjoyed egg frittata with bacon and fruit before we arrived at our last site of the trip, Turtle Pinnacle. At this large coral garden, divers saw redstripe pipefish, a Triton’s trumpet eating a collector sea urchin, a peacock flounder, and an eagle ray. On the way back to the dock, guests enjoyed a hamburger and hotdog lunch before having the opportunity to explore Kona by land. At 5:00 everyone gathered on the sundeck for the farewell cocktail party to celebrate the amazing week of diving and award David, Jocelyn, Sean, John, Ken, and Mandy with their Iron Diver medals. A huge Mahalo to all of our wonderful guests for another great week onboard the Kona Aggressor II!
Until next time!
-The Kona Aggressor II Captain and Crew