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Since he won't be back on land to post for about a week, I'll answer, if Capt. Mike doesn't mind. Yes, he is a different Capt. Mike. I worked for Capt. Mike's family who owned a dive shop in Fort Lauderdale, and we've been friends for about 30 years. He was a captain and yacht surveyor in the Florida Keys and left for the Kona Agressor last summer. I myself am moving to Big Island in a few months and I'm really looking forward to a reunion with my "brother"!
Kona Aggressor II Captain's Log April 21 - 28, 2012
Air Temp 76-81*F Water Temp 74-76*F Wet suit 5mm with hood Visibility 60-100+ft
Entry by: Capt. Mike
Aloha from Kona here on the big island of Hawaii!! This week we had Gary and Kay, Tim and Kathy, Larry, Glen, Peter, Robbin, Ronda, John and Lincoln as our guests. They met us at the Kona pier Saturday afternoon and were looking forward to a great week of diving. Our crew for the week included Capt. Mike, Capt. Karl, Chef Vern, Verna, Cliff, and John. Tonight Chef Vern prepared a fabulous dinner for everyone, the crew introduced themselves, and we talked about our upcoming itinerary. After dinner we enjoyed the sunset and relaxed for the evening.
This morning we moved north at our usual time and came to a spot called Aquarium. The visibility was really good and the swells were minimal. During our morning here we saw our usual school of pennant butterfly fish, all phases of the yellow tail coris, and even a beautiful harlequin shrimp.
Our afternoon and evening dives were found at Garden Eel Cove, home of the famous manta dive. During the afternoon our familiar pod of spinner dolphins came right behind the boat for all to see underwater, a real treat!!! The world famous manta dive was in rare form with 14 mantas putting on a wonderful show with the plankton created by the dive lights. 21-28 Apr 1.gif
We motored south before the light and came to a great site called Amphitheater. I always like this site as the coral archway and long lava tubes were especially nice this morning. We saw all kinds of nudibranch along the arch way like the gold laced, white margin, red spot, sphinx and snow goddess. The pictures came out really great. We also watched our rock mover wrasse forge in the rocky bottom and came upon a cool dragon wrasse and frogfish.
The next stop was the crew favorite called the Hive. But on the way there we saw seven large great hammerheads just cruising along in the deep water. They let us get real close; great pictures by the way everyone!!! While here we explored the unique lava formations and cavern/caves. Some real notables included the conger eel, red lion fish, and spotted box fish. The night dive was spectacular with many Spanish dancers about and the variety of crustacean life seen by everyone. DSC05266.gif
I continued our journey south to a new favorite called Catacombs. I think this is probably the coolest formations to explore. There’s swim through caves and pukas that just are everywhere here. The fish life is great as well. We saw the rare Whitley’s boxfish, flame angel and viper moray.
For our afternoon and evening stop we came to Manuka Bay. Here a sheltered bay/beach with gentle sloping ledges showed everyone a great adventure. Today was all about dolphins, dolphins and more dolphins. The spinners were so friendly today we saw them diving, snorkeling and we even watched three bottlenose on the night dive—wow!!! Hey Peter, just how many did you swim with that day?
Our morning found us first at a great fish dive called the Maze. Here just off shore of a Hawaiian fishing village called Miloli’i is a beautiful series of ledges which go every which way, thus the name. A nice day octopus showed himself well on film as well as a dwarf moray hiding just below a small lava rock. DSC05436.gif
The second stop was at a great place called Neverland. Here a ledge with a large pinnacle protruding out of the water made for a great second morning dive site. Here down deep we saw the bandit angelfish and Tinker’s butterfly fish.
Our afternoon and evening was spent at the famous Au Au crater. The wall dive off this crater is always awe inspiring as we glided along looking into the many crevices. Some notables here included a nice green turtle, red lion fish, red striped pipe fish (the cousin to the sea horse) and viper and conger eels on the night experience.
We continued our way back north to the spectacular Paradise Pinnacle. The enormous pinnacle comes up from a deep depth to around 25 feet below the surface. We circled this a few times to see the many species of nudibranch and then made our way over to another great formation to see the long nose hawk fish nestled in the small branch of black coral still here in the shallow water. Not too far away was the pair of red striped pipe fish. Today we set up the death match between the triton’s trumpet and the crown of thorns. It’s a slow process but we all enjoyed the feeding of a nasty invasive creature.
Our first afternoon stop was Driftwood where the perpendicular ledges, lava tube and caves were great today. We saw two sleeping white tip reef sharks in the small cave as well as some box fish and a 7-11 crab.
The swells started to pick up a little so we made our way to Meadows for the second afternoon and night trip. This is such a cool site with a small swim through and a large coral archway. We noticed a sleepy sponge crab and some Spanish dancers on the night dive here.
Our last two dives of the journey were at Turtle Pinnacle home of the world famous turtle cleaning station. We did not see any but enjoyed our two dives here with great visibility and sunshine.
The day was perfect for the lunch barbeque on the sundeck and the afternoon was spent relaxing while some even did a little packing. April 21-28 group.gif
Our traditional cocktail party went off well as we all reflected on the week. Dinner was on shore this evening as everyone also got a chance to stretch their legs a little.
On behalf of the crew of the Kona Aggressor II, we wish to express our thanks to you all this week and we hoped you enjoyed your experience onboard.
Mahalo, and a Hui Hou!
After a two-week break in the beautiful northeast, this Captain is back with a vengeance and the urge to submerge. Our group this week was as anxious as I to get in the water, as they were all waiting at the pier as we pulled up Saturday afternoon. That evening was magical, after a great meal and introductions, everyone moved up to the sundeck to witness the "Super Moon" rise over Mauna Loa, a true "Lunar Event"!
Sunday AM found us southbound, with calm seas and warm sunshine. First stop Amphitheater where we found all our guests to be on their game during the "check out" dive. Things have warmed up while I was away with a 77-degree water temp and air temp in the 80s! Many of the divers' first foray into Hawaiian waters found a variety of morays, a day octopus, some big eye emperors (Mu) hanging around and some nice Nudibranchs; one of which we couldn't find in the book (a possible new discovery?). After noon it was off to Au Au, where Carlos (de Mexico) managed to dispatch a few invasive crown of thorns (muy bien, amigo). Brian, a solo adventurer from New York, got some nice shots of a spotted blue boxfish, but no luck finding the octopus that left a pile of clamshells nearby. He did however witness on the night dive, a Spanish dancer dancing, but alas, no camera
Monday it was off to Neverland where guests were awestruck by the sheer majesty of the place, with its dramatic drop off to the unknown. No hammerheads were sighted this trip, but the bandit angelfish and clouds of black durgeons suspended out over the abyss made for some cool shots. A drift dive at Tubestrea Tunnel was on tap for the late morning, (little to no current made for more of a suspended dive) where John led the guests through some nice swim thrus and arches and came across a giant yellow hairy hermit crab. Afternoon run to Manuka Bay. Illinois natives Brian and Amy, between the surveys they were taking, found time along with the rest of the guests to get up close and personal with the local dolphin population. Night dive found plenty of eels of varying types, the resident red frogfish, a Triton's trumpet eating a crown of thorns and a nice slipper lobster!
Tuesday morning it was around the corner to Catacombs. Visibility was poor in shallow due to an apparent plankton bloom, but we found good viz along the wall at 60' where some mu and nice filefish were seen. After lunch I pushed everybody overboard at a cool looking area just north of Neverland for another drift drive which produced a variety of eels and a cave chock full of lobsters. Unfortunately the divers didn't see the 12' scalloped hammerhead that swam over them (we on the boat did though!). Wound up at the Hive, saw the "local" yellow frogfish in the afternoon and Karl got the Spanish dancer dancing in the cave that night as well as a roaming conger eel, sleepy sponge crab and a textile cone snail! (Very rare and very poisonous says Karl). Brian's pics May 2012 006.jpg
Wednesday we creeped up the coast to spend the morning dives at Paradise Pinnacle. Beautiful clear calm conditions revealed a frogfish, scramble egg and strawberry nudibranchs, the resident long nose hawk fishes and a pipefish! Lions Den for the second dive saw a saber-toothed blenny and a big black manta ray did a flyby! Evening at Rob's Reef found critters aplenty in the really big cave, and those too daunted to enter saw a green sea turtle swim by.
Next morning it was "The Dome"!! A relatively new spot for this crew; a pavilion-type environment loaded with sea creatures, including 7-eleven crab, Spanish dancer, and various nudibranchs and flatworms. Afternoon/evening was spent at Garden Eel Cove, where dolphins and day mantas lit up the afternoon dive. The night manta experience was a success w/ 6 animals showing up. For Stas and Alena, coming all the way from Russia, it made their long trip worthwhile. Said they'd dove over the world and never had an experience like this. And Paul and Marta traveling from North Carolina, well, it took them three trips to Hawaii to finally witness this spectacle, congratulation -- what an anniversary present! Brian's pics May 2012 004.jpg
Wrapped up the week at Turtle Pinnacles Friday morning where the turtles weren't around but the local spinner dolphins put on quite a show. Brian's pics May 2012 005.jpg
All in all not a bad week. We had three divers make the Iron Diver this week: Brian from New York, Brian from Illinois, and Leo from LA, pulled off all 27 dives. And kudos to the rest of the group as everyone of them came darn close. Oh yeah! Congratulations to Stas who completed his 100th dive this week, shot of vodka for my comrade! ) DSC06017.jpg
This week was a light load. Seven guests joined us, and with the exception of Al & Kathy of the Bay area who took the "quad", everyone had their own stateroom. Pam, a local resident and owner of "The Kona Treehouse" Inn here in Kona, took advantage of the "Kama Aina" (local's discount) and is re- familiarizing herself with the local diving that she and her late husband used to enjoy here for years. She's full of interesting lore of the area! Charity from Chicago is an instructor and veteran liveaboard diver (she's even considering dropping out of society to come work with us!) Jane from Seattle is back out, having had so much fun on her last trip on here that she's up for an encore!! (And we're not gonna let her down, are we crew?) Roberta is experiencing her first liveaboard, gonna try to get her hooked! Todd, also from the Bay area, is here for the photo-op having brought some serious equipment along.
Sunday it was northbound to take advantage of calm conditions and great recent Manta counts. Morning dive at Kalokos Arches saw: a Yellow Headed Moray (fully exposed cruising for a meal), "Kermit" (?) the Frogfish, an Indigo Dartfish (how bout that) and some aggressive Bullethead Parrotfish zooming around. The mantas and dolphins were already cruising around when we arrived mid-afternoon at Garden Eel Cove, and hung around for the evening show, the dolphins being especially active, chasing fish around thru the light show, and cozying up to John and his camera later when we returned to the boat. KA151912.jpg
Monday, we stopped early morning at the pier to fuel and then stopped over the Predator Wreck in Kona Bay for a morning deep dive, and then it was on to Meadows for a stroll thru some nice swimthrus that had a couple White-Tip Reef Sharks lurking inside. Afternoon dive #1: at Paradise Pinnacle, where Jane saw her first Frogfish. The afternoon sun cast an abnormally interesting light on the area, as we normally dive this spot in the A.M.; nice to mix it up a bit. Late afternoon/evening was the Hive. We checked out the cave, in addition to two neat swimthrus we've recently been exploring that are only accessible on very calm days like today. One is long and square-shaped w/ a room off to one side that was loaded w/ lobsters! Cliff christened it "John's Good Time Tunnel of Fun & Excitement," and it surely was. Charity was the solo participant in the night dive with Karl and Ora leading. Two baby eels eating "too big a fish", a Slipper Lobster, Spanish Dancers, Triton's Trumpet and a Cusk Eel were the evening fare.
Tuesday started with Neverland, good viz below 40', 2 Hammerheads were sighted as well as an Eagle Ray! Nice! Late morning was a drift dive at a spot north of the Hive that revealed a beautiful area with interesting topography and lots of fish, definitely gonna re-visit & perhaps make it a permanent site on our itinerary! It was agreed by all to name it "Pakalolo Point," there being a public park adjacent on shore . That afternoon we set up at Au Au Crater. Al, Kathy, Todd & Roberta discovered a new yellow Frogfish, and some Gobys were spotted on some of the wire coral on the night dive. Karl hung a fish carcass on the stern mooring line that attracted a plethora of hungry eels, namely 2 Congers, a Yellowhead, a Viper & a Snowflake -- a real "Eel For All"!! KA251912.jpg
Wednesday's morning dive was Lion's Den. Calm and clear, the morning light shining down the corridors made for some great photos, and an octopus was spotted on the move. A drift dive near 3-Room Cave gave us all a chance to check out some unfamiliar terrain, lots of sheer walls and some interesting small caves that definitely deserve further inspection! Rob's Reef finished the day where afternoon dives revealed a White tip Reef Shark swimming around under the boat and, get this, a lone LARGE manta showed up on the night dive and hung out under our deck lights, a first for Rob's Reef!
Thursday, time for another drift dive! This time it was Kalekekua Bay, near the Cook Monument. The day boats are always hanging out there, so I figured it must be worth a gander. We weren't disappointed, the guests really enjoyed the terrain, not to mention, we increased our rental inventory with the masks & snorkels everyone found! After noon, it was the area in front of the Kona Country Club, namely Driftwood & Amphitheater, followed by the "Dome" for the evening dive. This new spot took on a whole new meaning at night! Inside the dome was teeming with crawly night critters, including Reticulated Cowries, a huge Tufted Spiney Lobster who held his ground, and various shrimps & crabs plus a Bobtail Squid.
The final day... ... we ventured back up north where we dropped Vern the chef off at the pier to shop for next week, and then off first to a new spot, Shark Fin Reef, just around from the pier. Oceanic Triggerfish were seen here, first we've seen! Last stop Turtle Pinnacles where alas, the turtles eluded us.
We were blessed with great weather this week. Oil smooth conditions all day most days. Congrats to our "Iron Diver" Charity, who kept our divemasters wet for every dive. And Happy "Five-O" to Todd, (welcome to the club!) Ha Ha Ha
We pulled up to the pier Saturday afternoon just as the locals were cleaning up after the big canoe race so we quickly up our guests and got out of their way. Our group this week included: brothers Mark & Craig from the mile high city. Josh & Chelsea, both active "Coast Guard" on holiday from the Seattle area, Dawn from Conneticut. Greg, a Texan from Alabama (?) and last but not least there was Parco, a researcher who joined us all the way from Hong Kong!
We started our diving week Sunday morning at Sharkfin Rock for the shakedown dive. Everyone did fine and handled the light northbound current with ease. We next cruised to Garden Eel Cove for the afternoon dives where we found a Dragon Wrasse and a baby Peacock Flounder (he was tiny). A couple of Mantas appeared on the 4:30 dive and they joined us again made for the night dive along with another eight or ten Mantas.
Monday we started our diving day at a site called Meadows and then we moved next door to Driftwood where a Crown of Thorns met its fate with a hungry Triton's Trumpet (Mark & Parco got live video coverage of the event). We next journeyed onto Rob’s Reef where "crabs" were the order of the day. Additionally we all saw a sleepy sponge, a 7-11 and a Box Crab.
Tuesday we ventured to Neverland where a slight uphill (northerly) current prevailed, but divers found respite at a depth of 40' where the water was still enough to enjoy the precipice with all the wire coral and Tinkers Butterflies. We even had a green turtle swim by. A "live dive" was next at Pakalolo Point. Here we saw some "state fish" aka Humuhumu Nukunuku Apua'a and some Yellow and Red Spotted Guard Crabs. Cliff went slightly deeper and was rewarded with seeing a shark. We motored offshore and enjoyed lunch on a glassy calm sea where we spotted a Filefish swimming on the surface. Our afternoon was spent at the Hive where the local residents were in attendance: the Yellow Frogfish on top of the Hive, the cave dwellers - namely a 7-11 crab and slipper lobsters along with Spanish Dancers, live Cowries and of course the really big Porcupine Fish. Next a celebration was in order as it was Dawn's 50th Birthday! She blew out the candles of her cake on the sundeck. KA1May2612.jpg
Wednesday we cruised up to Paradise Pinnacle for the morning dives. John found the guests a frogfish, various nudibranchs for the cameras and a very "angry' Moray – possibly he was not ready to wake up. For the afternoon we made a run north to the Dome. Conditions were a bit surgey on the first dive, which kept everyone out of the Dome, but the night dive here proved fruitful as a lone manta arrived & gave us a private show! KA3May2612.jpg
Thursday started with a live dive at Kalekekua Bay. Sunshine and glassy conditions greeted us. It was such a nice place for the crew to sit while waiting for the divers to surface. The divers went in at Cook's Monument and worked the reef west towards the point. A White-tip Reef Shark, a Turtle and a White-mouthed Moray were the topic of conversation afterwards. The remainder of the day was spent at Amphitheatre. A Day Octopus, a White Margin Nudibranch and a Varicose Phyllidia highlighted the dives. At dusk and after a delicious dinner we headed west out to the 500Fathom Curve (3,000 ft.) for some pelagic magic. Lot's of critters (way too many to name) emerged from the deep to the divers delight. KA2May2612.jpg
Friday morning’s site was Turtle Pinnacles, but unfortunately this week we didn’t get to see any at this famous turtle cleaning station. Kalokos Arches was the spot for the final dive where in addition to much better viz we even had a turtle make an appearance!
The diving's fantastic right now! We had a wonderful week with our new friends and hope to see them all again on another Aggressor charter.
Last edited by Aggressor Fleet; May 29th, 2012 at 09:19 AM.
Reason: Text not aligned
Kona Aggressor II Captain's Report June 9 - 16, 2012
Kona Aggressor II Captain's Report June 9 - 16, 2012
We had another big canoe race this weekend and the Kai Opua Canoe Club put on a big shindig on the Kona Pier Saturday, but that didn't stop our eager guests from finding their way to the boat. They were all there waiting as we pulled to the pier.
Log date: June 9 - 16, 2012
Water temp: 77*-78* (warming up!)
Air Temp: High 70's
Weather: Calm Seas and Fair Skies!
Recommendation: 3-5 mil suit
Entry by: Capt. Todd
We started out north Sunday morning as a good Manta count on the Saturday night dive made this a prudent move. We began with a rare find at our first stop at Sharkfin Rock. A Finscale Triggerfish! This is the first one I'd heard of. It just shows you never know what you're going to see here in the sparkling blue Kona waters. Next a pair of Leaf Scorpionfish was spotted at Aquariums and Donna with her new "Go Pro" captured a Green Sea Turtle on the move. Unfortunately Garden Eel Cove was a little surgey, but that must have awakened the local Spinner Dolphin population because they were VERY attentive! We saw them up close on BOTH afternoon dives and the Mantas (both of them) put on a great show that evening; literally crowding our divers toward the end when we were the only ones left. It is going to be hard to top our first day out!
Monday morning we lit out before the dawn and went southbound to Meadows where saw a Dragon Wrasse and a Pufferfish. Next we ventured onward to Driftwood where a menacing Viper Moray startled a few of us and raised some heart rates (that's always fun). After lunch we moved on to Paradise Pinnacle and The Hive for the evening. Heavy surges kept us out of the cave, however everyone witnessed an Undulated Eel strike and devour a Sailfin Tang. Bad for the Tang, great for the guests! Mr. Yellow Frogfish was at his station at the Hive.
Tuesday - The Maze was our first site with good viz and no current, which made for a great dive among the many passageways that give this place its name. Next, we went further south to Stoney Mesas where a Day Octopus and a Turtle made an appearance. Manuka Bay was the spot for both the afternoon and evening dives. Our Red Frogfish was there, as well as a new one! Brian spotted a white one nearby (see photo) and on top of that a rare Reticulated Frogfish was seen floating off the dive deck that night. Once again, never a dull night dive over here! Other highlights were the resident Conger Eel - some great footage was had using Donna's “Go Pro” - and a Hairy Hermit on the night dive. Oh and ANOTHER new discovery, James (the new guy) found a Decoy Scorpionfish!
Wednesday and it's Cliff's Birthday! You don't look a day over 50 big guy - he's 49 ha ha!! We began our day at Catacombs, which is just a short move from our night mooring. Here we saw a Viper Moray, a BIG lobster, a Dwarf Moray and a Reticulated Butterfly fish. Next we moved on up to Land of Oz where James got to lead his first dive at that site. He did a good job and no one got lost Lunch was on the fly as we motored up to Neverland where we saw a Tom Smith Nudibranch, a Strawberry Nudibranch, an EAGLE RAY and a Green Turtle, along with the ever-entertaining Pyramid Butterflyfish. We spent the late afternoon and evening at AuAu Crater. Everyone REALLY liked the big drop off here and we cleaned up some discarded tackle left by the local fishermen; this being a popular spot for big Ulua.
Thursday morning we started out at Rob's Reef. This is normally an afternoon and evening site and it was interesting to see this spot in the morning light for a change. Guests found a Gold Nudibranch, the Conger Eel (probably just getting in from a night out hunting) and another Turtle. We popped over to Lion's Den for the 10:30 dive. After lunch it was north to the Kalekekua area. The Dome was surgey, but still a great attraction as we saw a Reticulated Cowry crawling around and various crabs and shrimps in the rubble. Cliff led the dive at Amphitheater and took everyone for the grand tour, exploring both lava tubes and visiting the guardian Yellow Frogfish. Floating around in 3,000 feet of water was on the menu for after dinner. Even the skeptics were wowed by what they saw. We made them firm believers in "Pelagic Magic"!
Friday, off to Turtle Pinnacles, where, yes, we spied a shark! Don't know if it was "Laverne" or not. (Too far away).
Well, one more offshore adventure for the books, Sean, Jennifer, David, Barb, Richard (both of them), Brian- thanks for the log pics!, Joanne, and Elizabeth, thanks for spending your dive adventure with us! And thanks to Michele from "Fourth Element" for all the gratis stuff! We are going to put those rash guards and hooded vests to good use! Oh and last but not least, thank you Donna, for all your help and advice...and letting me use your Go Pro!
Kona Aggressor II June 16 – 23, 2012
Weather: Partly cloudy, scattered showers.
Water Temp: Mid 70's
Air Temp: Low 80's
3-5 mil recommended. KA1 062312.jpgKA2 062312.jpgKA3 062312.jpgKA4 062312.jpg
This is a week, we, the crew has been anticipating because this week we have the "Sea Trek" bunch out with us. A group of fired-up young adults out here enjoying one of many adventures the Sea Trek people have in store for them this summer. We had them out last year and everyone had a blast! Looking forward to a "repeat"!
Day one of our "sea trek" had us cruising, with the Big Island off to our left (that would be south...). Got everyone up to par with a couple of dives at Meadows. For a few, it was their first foray into Hawaiian waters. Contact with a white-mouthed moray, guard crabs and other critters had lips a flappin’ on the dive deck afterwards. Dives at the Hive for the afternoon and evening. The really cool cave was a new experience for some; I think we've created some new "cavers"! The night dive was challenging for some, but with a little enlightenment from some our experienced staff, we had them submerged and exploring away. We saw two types of lobsters, a sleepy sponge crab, a regal slipper and more. Gonna have these guys ready for the Manta Dive yet!
Monday it was an a"Maze"ing morning. The gang saw a divided flatworm, a viper moray and a turtle among the passageways. We decided to hang at Manuka Bay for the better part of the day where we swam with the dolphins and got a brief glimpse of a Hammerhead Shark! Campers on the shore turned out to be previous guests of ours from Hilo who were on a diving safari of their own. They emerged from the depths and greeted us at the boat and it was decided by all that they (Kevin and his son Sterling) should absolutely, positively take a break from roughing it and join us for dinner! They wound up partaking on the night dive as well before returning to their little barking dog they left behind at the campsite (good thing they brought a doggy bag :-)
Tuesday morning we decided on Catacombs. It being right around the corner, we didn't have to take off so early, and besides, it's a crew favorite! Land of Oz was where a devil scorpionfish and an undulated moray were spotted. Next, I dropped the divers at an interesting spot north of Neverland, and I noticed that they didn't go anywhere.(?) Turned out I deposited them on an underwater ridge with a nice cave and a sleeping white tip reef shark! No need to travel any further, what luck. I led the night dive at Au Au Crater, and finally found the REALLY old anchor (must be several hundred years old). I've never been able to find it in the daytime but only at night, and there it was!
Wednesday started at Paradise Pinnacle, and then we did something fun. On the second dive, everyone, led by DMs Karl and James just headed north from the P.P divesite while I fired up the boat and followed. They explored the areas adjacent, that we always wondered about. Turned out to be another pinnacle and a nice wall running offshore from it. We saw some pelagics as well; a turtle and a spotted eagle ray. What a great idea! Afterward we remained in the bay there and dove Lion's Den and Rob's Reef for the night dive where we had a couple of turtles and another white tip reef shark on that one!
Thursday it was northbound, to rendezvous with the Mantas. We stopped at Driftwood in time to catch a deathmatch between a horned helmet and a collector urchin (it was too close to call). Next door at Amphitheater we got an e-ticket ride from the gentle surge that whisked everyone through the lava tubes, fun!
Garden Eel Cove once again produced! We saw a white tip reef shark (again!), lots of eels and the Mantas were there in LARGE numbers.
Friday we hung out at Kalokos Arches where a spotted eagle Ray sighting rounded out the week.
We really had fun with the "kids" this week; the grown up ones included. Everyone was on their best behavior and the crew felt like they were really appreciated. Many thanks gang for doing the dishes! And cleaning up the table! And making your beds! We almost thought we were on vacation.
Angela and Josh, you did a splendid job keeping things organized, you made my job a breeze. And a big Mahalo to Monk, for choosing us as the S.C.U.B.A portion of your summer itinerary. I wasn't here last year, but I'll bet this year went as well/better as last. Looking forward to next year! Oh and a big "High Five" to Jeff for being the solo "Iron Diver' this week, well done!
Kona Aggressor II Captain's Report June 23 - 30, 2012
Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Report June 23 – 30, 2012
This week we were met by a diverse group determined to dive!! We had Curt and Mark from Indiana, John from Salem, Oregon, Gonzolo and Jorge all the way from Peru to the south and our last arrival John from Orange County, California.
Sunday started off with a bang!! Our first dive was made at Shark Fin where we were greeted by our seasonal oceanic triggers and an assortment of eels. Hoovers was the next stop. We had a fly by of a resident pod of spinner dolphins and four mantas. Then off to Garden Eel Cove to see mantas for the next dives and a visit by a white tip shark!!!
Monday, first dive was at Meadows. We had lots of fish and a gold-laced nudibranch and divided flatworm. Pyramid Point was our “live dive” of the day and we had heaps of pyramid butterfly fish and a lazy green turtle riding the current along the top of the slope and into the abyss. Lions Den was our third dive of the day and a Hawaiian red lionfish and white margin moray were spotted together along with a dwarf moray. A white-stripped cleaner shrimp performed a manicure for one of our divers. Rob's Reef was our resting point for our final dives of the day. An eagle ray, flame back shrimp, 7- Eleven crab, a sleepy sponge crab, banded lobster, bull's eye lobster, and a sculptured slipper lobster were some of the highlights in the big cave!! On the night dive we had three giant morays fighting over a fish carcass, which provided much entertainment for our divers.
Our first dive for Tuesday was a drift dive at Bed Rock with its cool terrain; it makes you want to yell yaba daba too!! Spiny lobster, fuchsia flatworms and flame back shrimp were just a few of the attractions. The infamous Nevererland was the next stop. Milkfish, dwarf morays, yellow margin morays, and schools of pyramid butterfly fish clung to the edge of the abyss. The Hive was our resting point for the evening. Our divers were treated to a frogfish on the remaining dives along with a red reef lobster, tufted lobster, conger eels, and two Spanish dancers with imperial shrimp clinging to their backs, along with a decoy scorpionfish.
Pakalolo Point was the first dive of the day Wednesday. Blue dragon and gold-laced nudibranchs had divers interested along with milkfish. ParadisePinnacle was our second site of the day with an eagle ray fly by, red-striped pipefish and white-striped cleaner shrimp. Au Au Crater was our resting point for the evening. Our divers saw long handed lobsters, eagle rays, undulated and viper morays, along with a blue dragon nudibranch on the way to check out the old anchor left behind so long ago.
Thursday morning The Dome was our first dive. The day was to start off by waking up a sleeping white tip reef shark and then a death match between a Triton's trumpet and a crown of thorns. Later that morning a match between a horned helmet and a collector urchin was observed by our divers along with blue dragon and scrambled egg nudibranchs. Next we were off to Amphitheater where our divers played in the lava tubes with Hawaiian and porcupine puffers. The" Pelagic Magic " night dive was described as awesome by our guests this week, as deep water creatures came from the depths like something out of the movie “Aliens”.
Friday we went to Turtle Pinnacle for the last two dives. An eagle ray was to be the highlight of our dives, but sadly no turtles - so we suspected "Lavern" the local tiger shark may have scared them away!!
This week went by fast as this group of hard chargers could not get enough of Hawaii below!!! They were to be the first group to all make the " Iron Diver Award " My hats off to you gentleman!!!
Look forward to diving with you all again. Captain Karl
Kona Aggressor II Captain's Report June 30 - July 1, 2012
ATTEN-HUT! That's right, it's military week here on the Kona Aggressor. We're honored to be hosting a contingent of Lieutenants and Cadets from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, that decided to join us for some serious R & R. Lt. Derek Hale decided back in March to round up dive buddies Jan, Kaz, Bradley, Jordan, Jeffrey, Nick, Brendan, Brian, Andrew, and his lovely girlfriend Lindsay from the Academy for an adventure aboard a liveaboard diveboat. But not just any liveaboard, an AGGRESSOR liveaboard! Nice choice Derek. In addition, we welcome Scott and Lenore from NJ. Their week aboard with this bunch turned out to be a pleasant surprise, as everyone got along famously.
Because we had some new divers aboard, it was decided to start south, get everyone acclimated and certified (Jeff and Jordan were finishing up their OW certs) throughout the week, in time for Mantas on Thursday (turned out to be a wise decision as you will read later). Did Meadows for the first half of Sunday, got everyone "wet and set". With weights figured out and first dive jitters out of the way, we continued south to Au AuCrater, where Karl could get the newbies' check out dives wrapped up in the shallow black sand area there. Everyone else? Well they "scrambled" for the Crater like it was an incoming "bogie"! (had a turtle running for cover)
Monday we continued south to Neverland and the Maze in the morning. The Maze got the best of me this week as I had to "turtle" during the dive to find the boat for everyone (ouch) A Hammerhead made an appearance at Neverland (par for the course). Spinner Dolphins made an appearance later at Manuka Bay, where everyone got a close encounter, many claiming it to be a "Top Ten" experience! Love to see that.
Tuesday it was time to head north, to make our Manta rendezvous on time. In the sand channel at Land of Oz, a Horned Helmet and a Triton's Trumpet were caught feasting on hapless prey. Paradise Pinnacle was cool where we rode a green sea turtle! (kidding) But we saw one though, and saw a Mole lobster and a Slipper Lobster also. Afternoon/night was spent at Rob's Reef, where everyone formed a conga line through the really big cave as the resident Conger Eel and various other creatures looked on.
Wednesday, time to head further north. First stop Hammerheads. Big south swell made for some wild surge riding there, but we stayed deep and all was good. Viz was a little off, but we still saw a couple of Octopus, and a Red Stripe Pipefish. At the Dome, diver Lenore noticed a Giant Puffer, sitting perfectly still, with its tail wrapped around a coral projection. Apparently it was "holding fast" against the prevailing surge - interesting! It being the Fourth of July, and our group being who they were, it was kind of important to try and witness the "rocket's red glare" and "bombs bursting in air". So we decided to head north to the Kona area for the evening. Great idea! We combined a "Pelagic Magic" dive with a little fireworks show! Watched the Kona town show from 3 miles out (listening to the sound delay was cool) and then dropped into the deep ocean for a different kind of "light show". That was great.
Thursday morning, with the south swell in full swing, we managed to find some pretty calm conditions at Kalokos Arches, while being able to watch the surfers perform on a break south of us, Afternoon it was around the corner and out of the south swell's path at Garden Eel Cove, and the Mantas? Well they were off the charts! The afternoon dives had us ducking for cover as squadrons of Mantas dive-bombed us in formation! The night dive was ridiculous, with no less than FORTY Mantas showing up. I believe that's a new record, leaving the local dive operators bewildered (and happy!)
Friday we did a live dive in a new spot called Wash Rock, adjacent to Garden Eel Cove. It's a nice spot, with healthy coral gardens on a steep slope down to 100' or so. Finished up the week with a couple of wreck dives. The Predator Wreck became a stage for the gang to ham it up, as the tourists aboard the Atlantis Sub glided by. The "Naked Lady", a sunken sailboat with a peculiar history was a site new to us, but deemed worthy by all to be re-visited.
Weather: Mostly sunny!
Water Temp: Pushing 80*!
Air Temp: Low 80*'s
Recommendation: 3-5 mil/bareback even!
Log Entry by Capt. Todd