Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
September 2nd – 8th, 2017
Air Temperature: 75-85 °F
Water Temperature: 77-79 °F
Visibility: 75 – 100+ ft
Captain: Matt Herwig
2nd Captain: Randy Wright
Engineer: Jeremy Dick
Cruise Director: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Celia Corbin
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Sean, Desmond, Tracy, Jim, Rich, Laura, Steve, Sunny, Gina, JoAnna, Robyn, and Robert
Sunday: Meadows, Driftwood, The Dome
Monday: Amphitheater, Mantaville
Tuesday: Hammerhead, Paradise Pinnacle, Au Au Crater
Wednesday: Lion’s Den, The Dome, Aquarium, Garden Eel Cove
Thursday: Kaloko Arches, Turtle Pinnacle, Pelagic Magic
Friday: Shark Fin Rock
Saturday September 2nd – Aloha from warm and sunny Kona, Hawaii! Today at 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed 12 guests from California excited to see dolphins and manta rays. 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 3rd – To start off the week of diving, we began with our first dives at Meadows and Driftwood, allowing everyone to become comfortable with his or her gear and buoyancy. Guests were able to see several white mouth moray eels, domino damselfish, and yellow tangs. In the afternoon, we went to The Dome where we saw a large Commerson’s frogfish, leaf scorpionfish, and a large ghost shrimp. For dinner, roasted Cornish hens with a pineapple ginger glaze, coconut rice, and sautéed mixed vegetables with cashew nuts, was served before the night dive. During the dive, guests were able to see an octopus, spotted eagle ray, and a regal slipper lobster.
Monday September 4th – After getting a good night sleep on the boat, divers jumped into the water at Amphitheater, to see trumpetfish, Potter’s angelfish, and explore some of Hawaii’s lava tubes. In the afternoon, we drove to Mantaville and were able to see spinner dolphins, and several manta rays. To fuel up for the night dive, dinner consisted of seared swordfish and fresh tropical salsa with blue cheese mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. Divers were able to see a manta ray and after a good day in the water, everyone was ready to tuck in for a night of well-deserved sleep.
Tuesday September 5th –At the first dive sites of the day, Hammerhead and Paradise Pinnacle, divers came across a viper moray, male and female Whitley’s boxfish, and flagtail tilefish. For the afternoon dives, we moored up at Au Au Crater, where guests saw a peacock razor wrasse, red stripe pipefish, and a curious wormfish. As divers came out of the water, they were greeted by the smell of dinner, grilled flank steak topped with Chimichurri, roasted red potatoes, and steamed green beans, followed by apple crumble al a mode. Divers who chose to go back into the water were able to see several whitemouth moray eels, a Hawaiian red lionfish, and a fried egg nudibranch. After the dive, and a nice cup of hot chocolate, everyone went to bed early, eager for the next day of diving.
Wednesday September 6th – For the first dives of the day, we went to Lion’s den and The Dome. Here guests enjoyed seeing a green sea turtle, large Commerson’s frogfish, and a whitetip reef shark. After lunch, we went to Aquarium and those in the water were able to see a magnificent snake eel, flame angelfish, and blue dragon nudibranch. For dinner, everyone filled up on grilled salmon with red pepper sauce, mashed cheese cauliflower, roasted mixed vegetables, and key lime pie for dessert. During the night dive at Garden Eel Cove, guests saw the mantas put on quite a display while feeding on the plankton collected in the dive lights. After returning to the boat for some hot chocolate, divers excitedly began sharing pictures before turning in for the night.
Thursday September 7th – For the last full day of diving we began by heading to Kaloko Arches. During the dive, everyone was able to see a Pustulose phyllidia nudibranch, banded angelfish, and many black triggerfish schooling. In the afternoon, we arrived at Turtle Pinnacle. Here guests were able to see a horned helmet eating a collector sea urchin, juvenile psychedelic wrasse, and several rock mover wrasses. As we set off for our anticipated Pelagic Magic night dive, everyone enjoyed a final dinner prepared by Chef Kevin, delicious grilled beef tenderloin with mushroom béarnaise sauce, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and white chocolate and coconut 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 September 8th – As the week comes to a close, guests prepared for their final dives at Shark Fin Rock. Guests were able to see a gloomy nudibranch, spotted porcupine fish, and orangespine unicornfish. 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, Sunny, Steve, and Jim 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