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Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
September 9th – 15th, 2017
Air Temperature: 75 – 85 °F
Water Temperature: 76 – 79 °F
Visibility: 75 – 100+ ft
Captain: Matt Herwig
2nd Captain/Video Pro: Brian Forman
Engineer: Jeremy Dick
Cruise Director: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Celia Corbin
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Francois, Frank S., Wayne, Dan, Laurie, Mike, Frank T., Curt
Sunday: Meadows, Paradise Pinnacle, Never, Neverland, Manuka Bay
Monday: Wall’s Wall, Ladders, Rainbow Reef
Tuesday: Pohue Bay, Catacombs, Land of Oz, Au Au Crater
Wednesday: The Dome, Shark Fin Rock, Garden Eel Cove, Manta Mayhem
Thursday: Touch of Grey, Aquarium, Kaloko Arches, Mantaville
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday September 9th – Aloha from warm and sunny Kona, Hawaii! Today at 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed 8 guests from California, Alabama, Michigan, and Washington excited to see frogfish, manta rays, and Hawaii’s underwater world. 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 week of diving, Chef Kevin prepared a delicious dinner of grilled pork loins with lilikoi mustard sauce, mashed local purple sweet potatoes, and asparagus. As the sun set over the horizon, we drove to our mooring in the Kailua-Kona Harbor to spend the night before getting started bright and early the next morning.
Sunday September 10th – To begin the week of diving, we began by heading to Meadows. This site is a shallow coral garden that allows guests to become comfortable in their gear and buoyancy. Underwater, guests were able to see a longnose hawkfish, peacock razor wrasse, and flagtail tilefish. In the afternoon, we made our way to Never, Neverland where divers saw pyramid butterflyfish, a yellow hairy hermit crab, and a stout moray eel. For the last dives of the day, we moored up at Manuka Bay where divers saw a panther flounder, dragon wrasse, and a day octopus eating a cowrie. For dinner, Chef Kevin served up roasted Cornish hens with a pineapple ginger glaze, coconut rice, and sautéed mixed vegetables with cashew nuts. After a relaxing evening everyone retreated to his or her cabin for a good night of sleep.
Monday September 11th – The first dive of the day took place at Wall’s Wall where guests were able to see a small tiger shark and a tiger snake moray eel. The next two divers were at Ladders, the southern most dive site in the United States, just inside of South Point. During the dives, guests saw a gold lace nudibranch and a very tiny lined sea hare. For the afternoon dives, we tied up at Rainbow Reef, a sprawling coral garden, where guests were able to see Potter’s angelfish, white mouth moray eels, and many schooling black triggerfish. For dinner, Chef Kevin cooked up seared swordfish and fresh tropical salsa with blue cheese mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. After the long day, divers were ready to get a good night of well-deserved sleep.
Tuesday September 12th – As we began to head back north, our first two stops of the day were Pohue Bay and Catacombs. Here guests had the opportunity to see an orange gumdrop, fried egg nudibranch, and a Titan scorpionfish. As we continued up the coastline, we stopped at Land of Oz for a third morning dive to see many white spotted toby, Hawaiian cleaner wrasse, and dwarf moray eels. Finally, we arrived at Au Au Crater to spend the night and see a Hawaiian lionfish, spotted eagle rays, and several yellowtail corris. After a good day of diving, guests were excited to eat a dinner of grilled flank steak topped with Chimichurri, roasted red potatoes, and steamed green beans, followed by apple crumble al a mode. After an exciting day, everyone was ready to get a good night sleep.
Wednesday September 13th – We began the day of diving at The Dome and Shark Fin Rock where guests had the opportunity to see a large Commerson’s frogfish, a green sea turtle, and a flame angelfish. After lunch, we arrived at Garden Eel Cove and were able to tie up for the night. During the dives, guests saw domino damselfish, and a crown of thorns sea star. Kevin served up a delicious grilled salmon with red pepper sauce, mashed cheese cauliflower, roasted mixed vegetables, and key lime pie for dessert while guests enjoyed their meal on the sundeck. After the night dive and some hot chocolate, everyone returned to their cabins happy to climb into bed.
Thursday September 14th – The last full day of diving began at Touch of Grey, followed by Aquarium, where divers saw juvenile grey reef sharks in addition to an octopus and a school of cornetfish. At Kaloko arches, those underwater saw a male Whitley’s boxfish, a curious wormfish, and a sub adult dragon wrasse. To prepare for the manta mayhem night dive, Chef Kevin prepared delicious grilled beef tenderloin with mushroom béarnaise sauce, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and white chocolate and coconut crème brulee for dessert. The night dive did not disappoint, the mantas feasted on the plankton collecting in the torch light and seemed to dance through the water, keeping all those watching mesmerized. As the divers surfaced, they excitedly shared their photos and videos with one another, reliving the fantastic experience together.
Friday September 15th – As the week came to a close, guests prepared for their final dives at Turtle Pinnacle. Divers were able to see redstripe pipefish, flameback coral shrimp, and several psychedelic wrasse. 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 party to celebrate the amazing week both on the boat and underwater. At the event, Frank S., Frank T., Francois, Dan, and Mike were all awarded their Iron Diver metals, having completed every dive offered during the week! 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