Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
July 30th – August 4th, 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 Forman
Cruise Director: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Celia Corbin
Chef: Cam Smay
GUESTS: Holly, Scott, Jeff, John, Glen, Ian, BJ, Therese, George, Chris, Allen, Kathy, Erica
Sunday: Touch of Gray, Garden Eel Cove
Monday: Aquarium, The Dome
Tuesday: Rob’s Reef, The Hive
Wednesday: Land of Oz, Manuka Bay
Thursday: Catacombs, Never, Neverland, Lion’s Den, Amphitheatre
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday July 29th – Aloha and welcome from beautiful, sunny, Kona, Hawaii. At 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed thirteen guests from California and New Mexico, 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 and enjoy a delicious dinner served up by Chef Cam.
Sunday July 30th –For the first dive of the week, we made our way to Touch of Gray. This site is ideal for a checkout dive as it is a shallow coral garden with little surge or current. During the dives here, guests were able to see a juvenile white tip reef sharks, gray reef sharks, and a snake moray. After lunch, everyone got back into the water at Garden Eel Cove. Here, guests saw a day octopus, bandit angelfish, and manta rays. In preparation for the Manta Mayhem night dive, everyone filled up on whitefish with a liliquoi sauce before the final dive of the day. The divers enjoyed a show put on by the mantas as they swooped through the lights, feeding on the plankton collecting there.
Monday July 31st – We continued the journey by heading south to Aquarium after a delicious breakfast. During the morning dives, guests were able to see a pair of Milletseed butterflyfish, a dragon wrasse, and a couple shrimp. After filling up on lunch, divers returned to the water at The Dome and were able to see domino damselfish, many Potter’s angelfish, and a large Commerson’s frogfish. After dinner, grilled tuna with roasted red pepper cream, those feeling adventurous enough returned to the water for the night dive and were not disappointed to see a starry night octopus, tiger cowry, and several large Commerson’s frogfish. After some hot chocolate, guests were ready to retire for a good night of sleep.
Tuesday August 1st – This morning, guests woke up for two dives at Rob’s Reef. During the dives, everyone was able to see a hammerhead shark, Spanish dancer eggs, and many yellow tangs. In the afternoon, we arrived at The Hive, and after mooring up guests were able to get into the water and see a Pustulose phyllidia nudibranch, leaf scorpionfish, and a regal slipper lobster. When divers returned topside after the second dive of the afternoon, a dinner of grilled chicken with mushroom gravy was waiting. Many divers returned to the water for the last dive of the day where they were able to see many flat rock crabs, a Hawaiian red lionfish, and a spiny lobster.
Wednesday August 2nd – After breakfast, guests jumped into the water at Land of Oz and saw two horned helmets, a large peacock flounder, and a black manta ray. After the busy morning, guests were ready to enjoy lunch and a nap on the sundeck before we arrived at Manuka Bay where divers saw a Gosline’s fang blenny, a dragon wrasse, and a supermale bird wrasse. After dinner, roasted leg of lamb with red wine jus, those feeling up to the challenge entered the water for the fifth time for a great night dive to see several spotted coral blennies, two jeweled anemone crabs, and a jeweled slipper lobster. After a good day of diving, guests began to return to their cabins to get some sleep.
Thursday August 3rd – As we began to head back north, guests got into the water for their first dive at Catacombs and Never, Neverland where they saw pyramid butterflyfish, blue-lined triggerfish, and several fried egg nudibranchs. For the afternoon dives, we tied up at Lion’s Den and Amphitheatre where divers were able to see a couple sphinx phyllidia, ghost shrimp, and banded coral shrimp. As we set off for our anticipated Pelagic Magic night dive, everyone enjoyed a final dinner of grilled top sirloin, prepared by Chef Cam. As the sun began to set, everyone got ready for this once in a lifetime experience. 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 day! After having the opportunity to watch these glowing organisms, squid, and fish, guests begin to retire to their cabins to get some sleep.
Friday August 4th –At the last site of the trip, Turtle Pinnacle, a large coral garden, divers saw redstripe pipefish, a crown of thorns sea star, and a couple cornetfish. On the way back to the dock, guests enjoyed BBQ lamb sandwiches and grilled chicken sandwiches 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 Scott, Glen, BJ, and Chris 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