Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
July 1st – 7th, 2017
Air Temperature: 75-85 °F
Water Temperature: 77-79 °F
Visibility: 75 – 100+ ft
Captain: Matt Herwig
2nd Captain: Randy Wright
Video Pro: Brian Foreman
Cruise Director: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Jeremy Dick
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Michael, Heather, Deb, Steve, Stephen, Dan, Dana, Claudia, Carolyn, Carrie, Tammy, Dawn, Gracie, Rob
Sunday: Kaloko Arches, Touch of Gray, Garden Eel, Cove
Monday: Meadows, Hammerhead, Rob’s Reef
Tuesday: Never, Neverland, Land of Oz, Manuka Bay
Wednesday: Wall’s Wall, Rainbow Reef, Pohue Bay
Thursday: Catacombs, Pele’s Playground, Lion’s Den, The Dome, Pelagic Magic
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday March 18th – Aloha from warm and sunny Kona, Hawaii! Today at 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed 14 guests from across the United States excited to see dolphins, manta rays, and frogfish. 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 Kevin prepared a delicious dinner of baby back ribs, BBQ shrimp skewers, and smoked beef sausage. As the sun set over the horizon, we headed to our mooring in the Kailua-Kona Harbor 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, we began with our first dive at Kaloko Arches, allowing everyone to become comfortable with his or her gear and buoyancy. Guests were able to see a crown of thorns sea star, fried egg nudibranch, and Hawaiian dascyllus. The third dive of the day was at Touch of Gray where we saw a baby white tip reef sharks and a dragon wrasse. Our final destination of the day was Garden Eel Cove, where divers saw a gold lace nudibranch, blacklip butterflyfish, and a trembling nudibranch. For dinner, grilled salmon and broccoli was served before the Manta Mayhem night dive. The mantas put on quite a display white feeding on the plankton collected in the dive lights, and those in the water excitedly returned to the boat to share pictures before turning in for the night.
Monday March 20th – After getting a good night sleep on the boat, divers jumped into the water at Meadows to see trumpetfish, Moorish idols, and explore some of Hawaii’s lava tubes. In the afternoon, we drove to Rob’s Reef and were able to see a Triton’s trumpet, green sea turtle, and a day octopus. To fuel up for the night dive, dinner consisted of grilled pork tenderloin and asparagus. Divers were able to see a 7-11 crab, regal slipper lobster, and titan scorpionfish. After a good day in the water, everyone was ready to tuck in for a night of well-deserved sleep.
Tuesday March 21st –At the first dive site of the day, Never, Neverland, divers came across several jeweled anemone crabs, porcupine puffer fish, and scrawled filefish. For the afternoon dives, we moored up at Manuka Bay, where guests saw large dolphins, barracuda, and a yellowhead moray eel. As divers came out of the water, they were greeted by the smell of dinner, flank steak with mixed vegetables, followed by key lime pie. All divers chose to go back into the water and were able to see a moray eel eating a yellow tang, many feeding sea cucumbers, and a sponge crab. 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 – For the first dive of the day, we went to Wall’s Wall. Here guests enjoyed seeing a juvenile Tinker’s butterflyfish, wire coral gobies, and long armed spiny lobsters. After lunch, we went to Pohue Bay and those in the water were able to see a leaf scorpionfish, speckled scorpionfish, and banded coral shrimp. For dinner, everyone filled up on grilled mahi mahi green beans, coconut rice, and pound cake with berries and cream for dessert. During the night dive, guests were able to see flameback coral shrimp, marbled coral shrimp, and a pebble crab. After warming up in the hot tub, everyone was ready for a good night’s rest.
Thursday March 23rd – For the last full day of diving we began by heading to Catacombs. During the dive, everyone was able to see a Pustulose phyllidia nudibranch, banded angelfish, and many black triggerfish schooling. For the second dive of the day, we traveled to Pele’s Playground. Here guests were able to see juvenile black surgeonfish, flame angelfish, and gold lace nudibranch. In the afternoon, we arrived at The Dome. Here, guests were able to see a large Commerson’s Frogfish, snowflake eel, and Blainville’s beaked whales. As we set off for our anticipated Pelagic Magic night dive, everyone enjoyed a final dinner prepared by Chef Kevin, delicious filet mignon with baked potatoes, and a crème brulee for dessert. As the sun began to set, everyone got ready for the once in a lifetime experience, Pelagic Magic. During this dive, the boat drives about three miles offshore, and in 3,000 feet of water, lines are dropped over the side for guests to hold onto. As the boat drifts, divers have the opportunity to glimpse the plankton making their daily migration into the shallows to feed at night. This is the largest migration of organisms in the world and it happens every night! After having the opportunity to watch these glowing jellies and fish, guests begin to retire to their cabins to get some sleep.
Friday March 24th – As the week comes to a close, guests prepared for their final dives. Guests were able to see a spotted eagle ray, Hawaiian pipefish, and titan scorpionfish. During the drive back to the pier, guest enjoyed a lunch 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 award Michael, Heather, Deb, Steve, Dan, Dana, Claudia, Carolyn, Carrie, Tammy, Dawn, Gracie, and Rob with their Iron Diver awards. 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