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Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
November 25th – December 1st, 2017
Water Temperature: 75 – 78 °F
Air Temperature: 70 – 80 °F
Visibility: 75 – 100+ ft
Captain: Matt Herwig
Engineer: Jeremy Dick
Cruise Director: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Celia Corbin
Divemaster: Tristan Beasley
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Britta, Denis, Louise, Ramna, Herve, Alexey, Marina, Jeff, Bill, Karen
Sunday: Driftwood, Mantaville
Monday: Amphitheater, Paradise Pinnacle, The Hive
Tuesday: Land of Oz, Manuka Bay
Wednesday: Catacombs, Au Au Crater
Thursday: Rob’s Reef, The Dome, Pelagic Magic
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday November 25th – Aloha and welcome to beautiful and sunny Kona, Hawaii. At 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed eleven guests from Canada, Germany, Russia, and The United States hoping to see manta rays, dolphins, and the pelagic magic night dive. After setting up gear on the dive deck to make sure everything was ready for the week of diving, Chef Kevin served up a dinner of seared Mahi mahi and fresh tropical salsa, coconut rice, asparagus, and chocolate mousse cake for dessert. Guests spent the evening relaxing on the sundeck and enjoying the beautiful evening as they were rocked to sleep with the gentle swaying of the boat.
Sunday November 26th – To begin the week of diving, we moored up at Driftwood. This site gives guests their first introduction to the lava structures that characterize Hawaii’s underwater world. Here guests were able to see two day octopuses, a whitemouth moray eel, and a dragon wrasse. After lunch we arrived at Mantaville, the original location of the manta ray night dive. During the afternoon dives guests were also able to see a fried egg nudibranch, gold lace nudibranch, and a regal slipper lobster. For dinner, Chef Kevin served grilled flank steak topped with Chimichurri, with roasted red potatoes, and broccolini. During the manta mayhem experience, divers watched the mantas feasting 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.
Monday November 27th – After a good night of sleep, our first stop of the day was Amphitheater where divers were able to see coral crouchers, a spotted boxfish, and a dwarf moray eel. In the afternoon, we stopped at Paradise Pinnacle before mooring up for the night at The Hive. During the afternoon dives, those in the water saw a sculptured slipper lobster, several peacock groupers, and spinner dolphins. After the fourth dive of the day, Chef Kevin had roasted Cornish hens with a pineapple ginger glaze, garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed mixed vegetables with cashew nuts, and cheesecake with tropical fruit waiting. Those divers that decided to get back into the water for the night dive were able to see a Hawaiian conger eel, two Spanish dancers, and several spiny lobsters. After a cup of hot chocolate, everyone was ready to tuck in for the night.
Tuesday November 28th – We began the day at Land of Oz where everyone was able to see tiger cowries, a zebra moray eel, and leaf scorpionfish. In the afternoon we arrived at Manuka Bay where divers saw a devil scorpionfish, arc-eye hawkfish, and a barracuda. For dinner, Chef Kevin prepared grilled salmon with roasted red pepper sauce, wild rice, green beans, and key lime pie. Those feeling up for the fifth dive of the day jumped back into the water to see many marbled shrimp, spotted sea cucumbers, and Hawaiian dascyllus. To finish off the day, divers enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate before returning to their cabins for the night.
Wednesday November 29th –Our first stop of the day was at Catacombs. Divers were able to see a yellow hairy hermit crab, ghost shrimp, and long-handed spiny lobsters. In the afternoon, we arrived at Au Au Crater where guests were able to see redstripe pipefish, a juvenile peacock razor wrasse, and many brittle stars tucked into the rocks. For dinner, guests enjoyed grilled pork tenderloin with apricot cherry chutney, local purple sweet potatoes, roasted mixed vegetables, topped with a macadamia nut brownie sundae. Those going for the Iron Diver returned to the water for their fifth dive of the day and were able to see Hawaiian cleaner wrasse, a crown of thorns sea star, and a crowned toby.
Thursday November 30th – To start the final full day of diving, we began at Rob’s Reef. Here, divers saw a spotted coral blenny, juvenile yellowtail coris, and an Ewa fang blenny. In the afternoon at The Dome, guests were able to see a larger Commerson’s frogfish, Triton’s trumpet, and several saddle wrasse. Everyone enjoyed a final dinner prepared by Chef Kevin of beef tenderloin with mushroom béarnaise sauce, blue cheese mashed potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, and onions, and finally a white chocolate and coconut crème brulee. 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 December 1st – As the week comes to a close, guests prepared for their final dives at Turtle Pinnacle. Divers were able to see Redmargin Spanish dancer eggs, a few sea urchin crabs, and blue goatfish. Back onboard, guests enjoyed a lunch of hamburgers and hotdogs on the boat before a relaxing afternoon. At 5:00 everyone gathered on the sundeck for the farewell cocktail party where Jeff was awarded his Iron Diver metal, 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