Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
July 8th – 14th, 2017
Air Temperature: 75-85 °F
Water Temperature: 78-81 °F
Visibility: 75 – 100+ ft
Captain: Matt Herwig
2nd Captain/Video Pro: Brian Foreman
Cruise Director: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Jeremy Dick
Chef: Cameron Smay
GUESTS: Michelle Sichak, Kevin Shichak, Andriy Savchenko, Helyna Martynyuk, Tracey Berry, Raymond Legg, Lynn Hsu, Richard Barnard, Dennis Deardorff, Jerolyn Wallace, Belina Haley, Jonatha Giddens, Kimberley Whale
Sunday: Kaloko Arches, Touch of Gray, Garden Eel, Cove
Monday: Meadows, Hammerhead, Paradise Pinnacle, Rob’s Reef
Tuesday: Never, Neverland, Land of Oz, Manuka Bay
Wednesday: Rainbow Reef, Ladders, Wall’s Wall, Pohue Bay
Thursday: Catacombs, Pele’s Playground, 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 13 guests from across the United States, Australia, and the Ukraine, excited to see dolphins and the endemic fish Hawaii has to offer. 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 baby back ribs, barbecued shrimp, and smoked beef kielbasa. 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 the week off, we began with our first dive at Kaloko Arches. During the checkout dive, everyone was able to become comfortable with his or her gear and buoyancy. Guests were able to see a female Whitley’s boxfish, orangeband surgeonfish, and several whitemouth moray eels. The next dive of the day was at Touch of Gray where we saw a baby white tip reef shark and a dragon wrasse. Our final destination of the day was Garden Eel Cove, where divers saw a pair of blacklip butterflyfish and five manta rays cruising down the reef. For dinner, seared salmon with roasted red pepper coulis and cheesecake was served before the Manta Mayhem night dive. The mantas put on quite a display while feeding on the plankton that had collected in the lights. Once back on the boat, everyone was excitedly talking about the experience and sharing the photos and video they had taken.
Monday March 20th – After getting a good night sleep on the boat, divers jumped into the water at Meadows and Hammerhead to see unicorn fish, a fried egg nudibranch, and a very small whitetip reef shark resting under a coral head. In the afternoon, we drove to Rob’s Reef and were able to see a yellowhead moray eel, sponge crab, and an ornate octopus. To fuel up for the night dive, dinner consisted of grilled Cornish game hens with Portobello gravy and chocolate brownie sundae. During the night dive, divers were able to see a jeweled anemone crab and several slipper lobsters. 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 two dive sites of the day, Never, Neverland and Land of Oz, divers came across many domino damselfish, pyramid butterflyfish, and a couple blue goatfish. For the afternoon dives, we moored up at Manuka Bay, where guests saw a large pod of bottlenose dolphins, barracuda, and a an eagle ray. As divers came out of the water, they were greeted by the smell of dinner, pork tenderloin and chocolate chip cookie pie. The divers who chose to go back into the water were able to see a moray eel eating a yellow tang and dozens of feeding sea cucumbers that almost looked like active eels. 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 dives of the day, we went to Rainbow Reef and Laddars. Here guests enjoyed seeing a viper moray, flame angelfish, and diving at the southernmost point in the United States. After lunch, we went to Wall’s Wall and finally Pohue Bay and divers were able to see a pod of about 40 spinner dolphins, banded coral shrimp, and a Tinker’s butterflyfish. For dinner, everyone filled up on mahi mahi with a tomato Beure Rose and Boston cream pie. During the night dive, guests were able to see many marbled coral shrimp, a pair of snow goddess nudibranchs, and spiny lobsters. 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 and Pele’s Playground. During the dives, everyone was able to see a devil scorpionfish, green turtle, and great barracuda. In the afternoon, we arrived at The Dome and were able to see a large Commerson’s Frogfish, snowflake eel, and a . As we set off for our anticipated Pelagic Magic night dive, everyone enjoyed a final dinner prepared by Chef Cam, delicious prime rib au jus and banana bread pudding. 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 came to a close, guests prepared for their final dives at Turtle Pinnacle. Divers were able to see a sub-adult dragon wrasse, red stripe pipefish, and even a tiger shark! During the drive back to the pier, guests 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 on the boat and award Kimberley, Andriy, and Raymond 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