Kona Aggressor II Captain's Logs

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OP
Aggressor Adventures

Aggressor Adventures

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Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Report August 24 – 31, 2013

Weather: Sunny to partly cloudy. Mid to Low 80's
Water: Still holding around 80 degrees
Seas: Typical flat, calm conditions
Log Entry by: Capt' Todd

This week our newest crewmember Hannah has invited her dad Brian out to join us. And he in turn has brought along some friends that are his recent Open Water graduates (Brian's an OWSI). They are John, Joshua and Maggie - who I used to know back in the 80's! It’s a small world. Also joining us this week are Linda, Michael and Iris, Jim and Raquel, and, all the way from Switzerland, Daniella and Markus.

There has been a plethora of Mantas lately at Garden Eel Cove, so we stuck to our normal game plan of heading north towards the airport. First stop, Kalokos Arches and yes, all the divers checked out. Here we saw a white-mouthed moray, an octopus and a "large green eel" squealed Raquel. The ‘Manta Show’ completely blew this crowd away (as usual), and then we cruised back to the mooring that night.

Monday it was a visit to The Dome where we tied to the inside ball, which put us right on top of the entrance to the dome structure, very convenient. A live dive followed at a new area, it was worth returning to! We saw a turtle cruise through an arch (guess we're not the only ones who like to do that). After lunch, it was Paradise Pinnacle where one of the guests found us a new frogfish, right on the pinnacle. I wonder how long he's been sitting there? Next we set up at The Hive for the evening where we encountered many mollusks and crustaceans in the cave - And a big conger eel was spotted prowling under the boat on the night dive.

Tuesday morning Hale took them for a tour at The Maze and our guests got to check out the jaw-dropping coral gardens south of the mooring. I then led a live dive on the stretch before Manuka Bay and then at "The Bay" after lunch. Brian had a chance to knock out some advanced specialties with his students. Afterwards James led a night dive that many called their best experience ever! Nice job James. Brian and his group, the Swiss team and Jim all braved the wee hours and jumped in for a dawn dive the next morning before we moved on.

After the dawn dive, we ventured on over to Catacombs, (my favorite site) to peruse -- what else? -- the catacombs that dot this site. A live dive followed at another new site not far down the road where we found some great arches and swim throughs along the rugged lava-strewn shoreline. Neverland was our dive site after lunch and Rob's Reef was our spot later for the night dive. Today we saw an undulated moray in feeding mode as he tried to pull a yellow tang into his lair. It wouldn't fit, and the lucky tang got away!

Thursday we "live dived" the area known as "Caldera's" just off an annihilated ancient volcano that met a violent end. The reef out front is very dramatic and Michael compared parts of it to an underwater "Machu Pichu". Au Au Crater was next (next door!) and we got the usual exhilarated expressions from the divers afterward. Meadows was our dive site after lunch followed by Mantaville for the evening. The Mantas unfortunately put on a sub-standard showing, BUT the marauding blue trevally and undulated morays stole the show. One instance where a trevally was literally hovering above an eel as he flushed out prey, gobbling up everything he could. What teamwork! Oh, and Michael and Iris came upon a VERY rare occurrence: two Commerson's frogfish, side by side, in what James told us later was a mating ritual.

Friday ended with a visit to the Aquarium and a submarine show!
Congratulations to our Iron Divers this week: Brian, Markus, Jim and perhaps our youngest ever, Joshua! Nice going fellas!
 
OP
Aggressor Adventures

Aggressor Adventures

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Kona Aggressor II Captains Report August 31 - September 7, 2013


Weather: Beautiful. Minimal VOG this week!
Seas: Flat calm


Labor Day weekend, that means it's time for the Queen Liliokalani Memorial Outrigger Canoe race here in Kona. Our departing guests from last week were treated to ring side seats at the start of the race Saturday morning as the KA II was moored literally right in the race course.Waiting on the pier with all the revelers were: Tom and Linda of D.C, Maria and Rob, the "merry band of divers" from North Carolina: Dianne, April, Tammy, Bob, and Bill, Montreal native Louis and Tony from the peach tree state of Georgia.


No recent Manta reports as of Saturday night, so off to the south we went Sunday morning, beginning our adventure in the Redhill neighborhood. Decided to try Ridges for the first two dives, it's calm, it's shallow, lots to look at and... we haven't been there in awhile! Recent recruit Hale led the first dive witrh James as safety diver. Their combined efforts brought everyone back "refreshed" in their dive skills and ready for the rest of the week. Zoomed to Rob's Reef at lunchtime and decided to stay all day, as we haven't spent a lot of time there lately. First dive James led into the big dark cave. Some remained at the entrance, while others ventured within. The big Conger Eel was there in his lair. The second dive gave me a chance to venture over to a lava tube we haven't visited in a long time, although not before we examined a rare Henshaw Snake Eel that Karl happened upon on the previous dive. The lave tube was grand, forgot how interesting it really was, light surge and decent visibility made it a pleasant experience. Almost everyone made the night dive, saw a Conger Eel cruising about as well as various other species on the move.


At daybreak we headed further south to the Maze. My dive, so I decided on a different twist. James and I had Karl maneuver us and the guests over the site "live" and off we went on an exploration south towards an intriguing lava outcropping just south of the site. With a slight current at our backs we enjoyed quite a dive. All I can say is "WOW" to all the dramatic topography we encountered. Giant arches and swim throughs accented with narrow passages and canyons. Throw in a White Tip reef Shark and you really have something talk about!. Land of Oz next, followed by the afternoon at Manuka Bay. After alerting the guests of the presence of a rare Dragon Moray Eel at this site, Rob went out and discovered him right away, at a completely different location than where he had been hanging out before. The merry band of divers from N.C got up early the next morning before the light to catch the dawn unveil underwater.


Everyone enjoyed Catacombs, and James and Karl led a live dive at the "Krazy Spot", a great vertical wall dive there. The Hive followed Neverland, and the critter cavern didn't disappoint.


Wednesday morning north bound. The group voted on a double dipper on the Manta experience, so we're on our way to Keauhou Bay! First stop along the way, Lion's Den, where there were Lions! (fish). THREE count em' THREE Leaf Scorpionfish! A live dive at City of Refuge led by yours truly, found the really neat lava tube that I discovered once. Again, there was a White Tip Reef Shark guarding the rear chamber within. Perhaps he's a descendent of 'Lono" the Shark God, to whom hapless sacrifices were fed ! A stop in Kalekekua Bay was a GREAT idea, the Spinner Dolphins were "present and VERY accounted for", they hung around long enough for Linda and April to get in the water with them. Amphitheater and Meadows for the afternoon, and a splendid encounter with the Mantas in the evening, at least a half dozen.


Thursday we untied from Keauhou and headed back towards town. First stop, Aquarium, and then something new. We stayed tied up there till the next dive and then James and I led the group north with the boat following us. We found a new mooring ball! Gonna call it "Outside Aquarium" and utilize it on a future expedition. Stay tuned for reports about that place. Afternoon and evening spent at Garden Eel Cove. Several Mantas that evening.


Friday we finished up at Turtle Pinnacle and the Predator Wreck. Iron Divers were rampant this week, eight in all: Tammy, Rob, Dianne, April, Tammy, Bob, Bill and Louis all made the cut and received our coveted medallions to wear home on the airplane (good luck getting through the metal detectors!)
 
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Aggressor Adventures

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Kona Aggressor II Captain’s Report September 7 – 14, 2013

Weather: Nice! (Rained one day)
Water temp: Teetering at eighty degrees!
Seas: Flat calm
Log Entry by Capt' Todd

We started out Sunday with 11 guests this week (and finished with 11- ha ha): Vicki, Bill, Stephanie and Laurie - all friends of our Palau boat operation managers Mike and Amanda (Vicki and Bill have been diving here since the 70's - we've got our work cut out for us!) also on board, Simona and Georgio of Switzerland, local residents Suzi and Michael, who also spend half the year in the Caribbean (what a life), and single divers Dave, Tony and John all converging here and forging new friendships. Anyway, this expedition is heading south, hopefully showing our veteran guests some new terrain. We started at Keauhou Bay for the first dive and were graced by the presence of a Manta Ray right off the bat- a good omen! Next was Ridges where we spotted an eagle ray, then on to Rob's Reef for the remainder of the day.

Monday in the morning we trekked south still, for a shot at a "live dive". Vicki's been diving Aggressor boats for years and has never done one with them, so here we go! Dropped in at "The Bluffs at Milolii" where a gentle current took us first one-way and then another. My first time at this spot and I was impressed. Vicki was waving excitedly at what turned out to be a few bandit angelfish, (she had a "must see" list for this trip and they were on it-Shhwing!) Also saw some pyramid butterflies, pale tail unicorns, and some Thompson butterflyfish. A great variety of fish at this spot! Tubestrea Tunnel was our next stop where the only hairy hermit crab we saw was in pieces (obviously met a grisly end). Stoney Mesas was our next dive site after lunch, followed by Manuka Bay.

Tuesday morning Vicki, Bill, Suzi and Laurie were all up early for a dawn dive. Then it was time for another "live dive" to start the day for the rest of us. Dropped in at "Karl's Krazy Spot"- a stretch of sheer wall and bluffs dropping out of sight in to the depths that Karl thought was "Krazy" (hence the name). After that we dropped in at Land of Oz where razor wrasses live out there in the sand. A bit of too much current forced us to pass on Neverland, but we found The Hive to our liking instead so we stayed there for the rest of the day and found the really neat lava tubes in shallow on the second dive. During the night dive, the conger eels put on a "supper show" (supper for them!) as we watched them make a meal out of a yellow tang and an angelfish - YUM!

Wednesday, we hit the Pinnacle (not literally), Paradise Pinnacle that is, and saw a green sea turtle, reticulated butterfly and some garden eels. A “live dive” at a new spot just north of City of Refuge had Bill gushing about the great condition of the coral reef in these isolated areas (good news). He's been diving here a long time and has seen it all. We enjoyed lunch moored a Kalekekua Bay and then I took everyone on a nice aerobic dive at Amphitheater to help burn off all that pasta that Vern cooked up. Next, Karl took em' all through the "Dome" and then we headed out to sea for some "Pelagic Magic". A lot of enthusiasm was evident as everyone participated. We then ventured back to the "death star' (our mooring ball) afterward for the night.

Thursday morning we took a northerly approach to our day and stopped at Aquarium for the first dive where the local rock mover wrasses were busy bustling about. Garden Eel Cove was the place for the rest of the day. During our first dive there we saw an octopus, a freckled snake eel in the sand, and a showing of the spinner dolphins doing a ballet that we all watched from below, quite a show. The afternoon dive was an unexpected delight when some large bottlenose dolphins came around and did something unprecedented, they came upon some snorkelers near the boat and proceeded to "mingle" with them, I mean they literally moved right in among the divers and let them pet them! CONTACT! In addition the divers below were joined by a very curious spotted eagle ray, this whole thing sounds like something right out of "Doctor Doolittle"! The night dive incidentally, was fabulous, with nine Mantas showing up.

Friday we dove Kalokos Arches and finished with a “live dive” at Old Airport with Karl leading and Hale "Sheep dogging". Thanks to Mike and Suzi for the pics this week, and kudos to Georgio, Dave and Simona for being our Iron Divers.
 
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