Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Log
December 16th – 22nd, 2017
Air Temperature: 70 – 80 °F
Water Temperature: 75 – 78 °F
Visibility: 75 – 100+ ft
Captain: Randy Wright
Engineer: Jeremy Dick
Cruise Director: Shelby Penn
Divemaster: Jenny Fink
Divemaster: Tristan Beasley
Chef: Kevin Bennett
GUESTS: Mark, Dean, Erica, Sean, Shannon, Glen, Michelle, Will, Kim, Eric, Ryan, Ben
Sunday: Shark Fin Rock, Garden Eel Cove
Monday: Driftwood, Lion’s Den, Rob’s Reef
Tuesday: Au Au Crater, Manuka Bay
Wednesday: Catacombs, Never, Neverland, Paradise Pinnacle
Thursday: Kaloko Arches, Turtle Pinnacle, Garden Eel Cove
Friday: Turtle Pinnacle
Saturday December 16th – Aloha and welcome from beautiful, sunny, Kona, Hawaii. At 5:00 PM the Captain and Crew welcomed twelve guests from across the United States hoping to see some dolphins and manta rays. After making sure all their gear 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 of seared swordfish and fresh tropical salsa, coconut rice, asparagus, and topped off with a birthday cake for Dean.
Sunday December 17th –For the first dives of the week, we made our way to Shark Fin Rock, ideal for a checkout dive as it is a shallow coral garden with little surge or current. During the dive, guests were able to see Moorish Idols, Hawaiian sergeants, and whitemouth moray eels. After lunch, everyone got back into the water at Garden Eel Cove. Here, guests saw a Hawaiian Monk seal, blacklip butterflyfish, and dozens of yellow tangs. After a dinner of grilled flank steak topped with chimichurri, roasted red potatoes, steamed broccoli, and cheesecake with fresh tropical fruit, guests returned to the water for the night dive, and after a cup of hot cocoa, were ready to tuck in for the night.
Monday December 18th – We continued the journey by heading south to Driftwood after a delicious breakfast. During the morning dives, guests were able to see a zebra moray, humpback whales, and a Spanish dancer. After filling up on lunch, divers returned to the water at Lion’s Den and Rob’s Reef, and were able to see Hawaiian red lionfish, a juvenile Commerson’s frogfish, and a viper moray eel. For dinner, Chef Kevin served roasted Cornish hens with pineapple ginger glaze, garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed mixed vegetables with cashew nuts, and chocolate mousse cake. Those feeling adventurous returned to the water for the night dive and were not disappointed to see a leaf scorpionfish, a green sea turtle, and a fried egg nudibranch. After some hot chocolate, guests were ready to retire for a good night of sleep.
Tuesday December 19th – Guests began the day by getting into the water at Au Au Crater. During the dives, everyone was able to see their first manta ray, a devil scorpionfish, and Hawaiian cleaner wrasse. In the afternoon, we arrived at Manuka Bay, and after mooring up guests were able to get into the water and see a dragon wrasse, Hawaiian coral croucher, and many barracuda. When divers returned topside after the second dive of the afternoon, a dinner of grilled salmon with roasted red pepper sauce, wild rice, green beans, and key lime pie, was waiting. Many divers returned to the water for the last dive of the day where they were able to see slipper lobsters, a day octopus, and a white tip reef shark.
Wednesday December 20th – After breakfast, guests jumped into the water at Catacombs and saw three hammerhead sharks, a porcupine fish, and Spanish dancer eggs. After the busy morning, guests were ready to enjoy lunch and a nap on the sundeck before we arrived at Never, Neverland, followed by Paradise Pinnacle to see a blue dragon nudibranch, longnose hawkfish, and decoy scorpionfish. After dinner, grilled pork tenderloin with apricot chutney, local purple sweet potatoes, roasted mixed vegetables, and macadamia nut brownie sundae. After a good day of diving, guests began to return to their cabins to get some sleep.
Thursday December 21st – As we continued to head back north, guests got into the water for their first dives at Kaloko Arches and Turtle Pinnacle where they saw a spotted coral blenny, several crown of thorns sea stars, and red stripe pipefish. For the afternoon dives, we tied up at Garden Eel Cove where divers were able to see Hawaiian garden eels, a gold lace nudibranch, and a crowned toby. In preparation for the Manta Mayhem night dive, everyone filled up on beef tenderloin with mushroom béarnaise sauce, blue cheese mashed potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, onions, and white chocolate and coconut crème brulee for dessert. The divers enjoyed a show put on by the manta ray as it swooped through the lights, feeding on the plankton collecting there.
Friday December 22nd – Our final site of the week was Turtle Pinnacle, a large coral garden, where divers saw a spotted eagle ray, flame angelfish, and even a tiger shark! On the way back to the dock, guests enjoyed cheeseburgers in paradise 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 Mark, Michelle, Will, Sean, and Eric 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