Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
October 7th – 13th, 2017
Water Temperature: 78 – 82 °F
Air Temperature: 75 – 85 °F
Visibility: 75 – 100+ ft
2nd Captain/Video Pro: Brian
Cruise Director: Shelby
GUESTS: Brian, Bruce, Anne, Cecelia, Debbie, Lewis, Robin, Donna, Janis, John, Yogesh, Gene, Harry
Sunday: Ladders, Rainbow Reef
Monday: Black Coral Forrest, Stoney Mesas, Manuka Bay
Tuesday: Never, Neverland, Pele’s Playground, The Hive
Wednesday: Au Au Crater, Paradise Pinnacle, The Dome, Pelagic Magic
Thursday: Aquarium, Garden Eel Cover, Manta Mayhem
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday October 7th – Aloha and welcome to beautiful and sunny Kona, Hawaii. At 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed thirteen guests from across the United States excited to see manta rays, dolphins, and pelagic magic. After setting up gear on the dive deck to make sure everything was ready for the week ahead, Chef Kevin served up a dinner of grilled pork loins with lilikoi mustard sauce, mashed local purple sweet potatoes, and asparagus. Guests spent the evening relaxing on the sundeck and enjoying the beautiful evening as they got acclimated to the boat.
Sunday October 8th – We got started bright and early by heading down south to the southernmost point in the United States, Ladders. Here guests were able to see a playful pod of spinner dolphins, a viper moray eel, and an eagle ray. After lunch we arrived at Rainbow Reef, a sprawling coral garden. During the afternoon dives guests were also able to see a Tinker’s butterflyfish, Hawaiian garden eels, and many pyramid butterflyfish. For dinner, Chef Kevin served roasted Cornish hens with a pineapple ginger glaze, coconut rice, and sautéed mixed vegetables with cashew nuts. Those on the night dive checked out the fluorescence of underwater Kona to see dwarf moray eels, anemones, and many coral heads, that were neon red, orange, and green.
Monday October 9th – After a good night of sleep, our first stop of the day was Black Coral Forrest where divers were able to see a female Whitley’s boxfish, a longnose hawkfish, and many Moorish idols. In the afternoon, we stopped at Stoney Mesas before mooring up for the night at Manuka Bay. During the afternoon dives, those in the water saw a dragon wrasse, a horned helmet eating a collector urchin, and a few large barracuda. After the fourth dive of the day, Chef Kevin had seared swordfish and fresh tropical salsa with blue cheese mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli waiting. Several divers decided to get back into the water for the night dive and were able to see an octopus, marbled shrimp, and may feeding cucumbers that were so active, they were mistaken for moray eels. After a cup of hot chocolate, everyone was ready to tuck in for the night.
Tuesday October 10th – We began the day at Never, Neverland and Pele’s Playground where everyone was able to see a freckled nudibranch, wire coral goby, and Titan scorpionfish. In the afternoon we arrived at The Hive where divers saw a tiger cowry, Spanish dancer eggs, and couple large yellow Commerson’s frogfish. For dinner, Chef Kevin prepared grilled flank steak topped with Chimichurri, roasted red potatoes, and steamed green beans, followed by apple crumble al a mode. Those feeling up for the fifth dive of the day jumped back into the water to see a Hawaiian lionfish, gold lace nudibranch, and many trumpetfish.
Wednesday October 11th –Our first stops of the day were at Au Au Crater and Paradise Pinnacle. Divers were able to see long handed lobsters, peacock razor wrasse, and a juvenile Hawaiian hogfish. In the afternoon, we arrived at The Dome where guests were able to see another couple Commerson’s frogfish, blue dragon nudibranch, and dozens of black triggerfish. For dinner, guests enjoyed grilled salmon with red pepper sauce, mashed cheese cauliflower, roasted mixed vegetables, and key lime pie 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.
Thursday October 12th – To start the final full day of diving, we began at Aquarium. Here, divers saw many Hawaiian dascyllus, a teardrop butterflyfish, and a milletseed butterflyfish. In the afternoon at Garden Eel Cove, guests were able to see a couple black lip butterflyfish, whitemouth moray eels, and some more Hawaiian garden eels. In preparation for the evening manta ray dive, everyone enjoyed a final dinner prepared by Chef Kevin of delicious grilled beef tenderloin with mushroom béarnaise sauce, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and white chocolate and coconut crème brulee for dessert. During the manta mayhem dive, several mantas feasted on the plankton collecting in the dive lights. Back on the boat, divers excitedly talked about the swooping mantas as they watched their videos and pictures from the experience.
Friday October 13th – As the week comes to a close, guests prepared for their final dives at Turtle Pinnacle. Guests were able to see a large green sea turtle, redstripe pipefish, and orangespine unicornfish. Guest enjoyed a lunch of hamburgers and hotdogs on the boat before a relaxing afternoon. Because of the Iron Man competition, guests remained on the boat and enjoyed a duck dinner prepared by Chef Kevin as we celebrated the amazing week both on the boat and underwater. During dinner Harry was awarded his 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