Kona Aggressor

Aloha! Welcome to that Hawaii vacation that will be tough to top, the liveaboard dive boat Kona Aggressor II, in the bustling port of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. The underwater volcanic topography of the Big Island is a scuba diver’s paradise. Its ancient lava flows have been worn into rocky tunnels and archways carved with nooks and grottos replete with countless species of marine life. You will see Octopus, Crabs, Pufferfish, Starfish, Squirrelfish, and so much more. Playful Sea Turtles, Morays, and Rays add to your Hawaii scuba diving adventure. During this dive boat’s Saturday-to-Saturday itinerary you will enjoy five and one-half days of scuba diving and snorkeling, night dives weather permitting, and an afternoon of shopping and sightseeing in Kailua Village.

On your vacation in Hawaii, you can visit famous dive sites along the western coast of the Big Island, including Paradise Pinnacle, Tubastrea Tunnel, The Hive, Turtle Pinnacle, and the Amphitheater. Traveling far beyond the range of day operators, Kona Aggressor II ventures to breath-taking South Point, also known as Ka Lae. South Point is the southernmost point of Hawaii (and of the United States), and it is believed the first Polynesians to arrive in the Hawaiian Islands landed at Ka Lae between 400 and 800 A.D. Rocky cliffs, strong ocean currents, and high winds characterize this area, now registered as a National Historic Landmark District.

Kona, with its tropical climate, has warm temperatures year round. January is the coldest month, when air temperatures average 82°F (27.2°C) during the day and 66°F (19°C) at night. The warmest month in Kona is August, when daytime air temperatures average 88°F (31°C) and nighttime temperatures average 73°F (23°C). Water temperatures average between 72°F and 80°F (22°-26°C) with thermoclines. The leeward side of the island presents the best scuba diving conditions during the months of May through September although the Kona coast also offers excellent dive opportunities during the other months. Because of the number of dives guests may make in a day, a 3-5mm wetsuit with hood is recommended year round. The average dive depth is 30-80 feet (9-24m). In general the waters are calm and clear but there can be a slight surge present on some dives.

The dive site of Paradise Pinnacle is a large bommie that rises from depths of approximately 90 feet (27m) to within about 30 feet (9M) of the surface. The base of this pinnacle is comprised of black sand which is formed by the waves grinding black basalt into fine sand. Garden Eels can be found in the deeper, white sand. With dive depths up to 59 feet (18m), divers at Paradise Pinnacle will also see Cleaner Shrimp, Crocodile Eels, Turkey Fish, and Hairy Hermit Crabs.

Another popular divesite is Tubastrea Tunnel off the small fishing village of Milolii. Lava tubes, extending like fingers, stretch from the shore to form a peninsula of canyons, ridges, and swim-throughs. Scuba divers here will see plentiful Puffers, Tiger Cowries, and Hairy Hermit Crabs. Night dives may present Orange Cup Coral in bloom. The feature tunnel here measures 20 feet (6m) wide, 10 feet (3m) high, and 40 feet (12m) long. Beautiful Tubastrea Coral, also known as sun coral, cover the tunnel. Contrary to what their common name suggests, Tubastrea are often found in deep waters because they do not require sunlight for nourishment and they extend their colorful tentacles only at night.

The reef at The Hive also features a large bommie, rising from 65 feet (20m) to 30 feet (9m) and covered with agile and very active Chromis. This site earned its name due to its resemblance to a swarm of bees. This reef also serves as a cleaning station where Cleaner Shrimp remove and eat the parasites from the skin of fish, sea turtles, and other aquatic life that congregate to be cleaned. Scuba divers at The Hive can also expect to see Leaf Scorpions and Titan Scorpions.

Turtle Pinnacle, with its Coral reef and large rock formation, exemplifies the layers of vibrant coral that inhabit the shoreline of Hawaii. This pinnacle is known as a turtle cleaning station. Sea Turtles gather here to have their shells cleaned by various algae-eating Surgeon Fish, such as Tangs, and also to have the parasites picked off their skin. The turtles lie still on the reef or assume a particular cleaning posture so that the Surgeon Fish can move in and do their work. The sight of a large turtle hovering in the water makes for an excellent photo opportunity. Divers may also see schools of Barracuda. Maximum dive depth at Turtle Pinnacle is 60 feet (18m).

The dive site known as the Amphitheater is located just off Kona’s boulder strewn coastline. Because this coastal ledge is just below the surface, much of the diving done here will be in shallow water. The topography of the Amphitheater also presents blind canyons and tube swim-throughs. Here divers may spot Hammerhead Sharks, Manta Rays, and Eagle Rays. In addition, schools of Blackbar Soldierfish can be found hiding under ledges.

Other dive sites include: shallow Okoe Bay, where divers will see Leaf Scorpions, Eels, Decoy Scorpions, and occasionally at night, Mantas; Thompson’s Reef, where the current may attract White-tipped Sharks and hundreds of feeding Thompson’s Butterfly Fish; Oz, with its sand patches and reef that give way to a Yellow Lobe Coral-covered ridge extending offshore 200 feet (60m); the swim-throughs, tunnels, and archways of the Catacombs’ Finger Coral garden; Manuka Bay with its Frog Fish, Flame Angels, rare Bi-colored Anthias, and lava fingers encrusted with corals and; Stoney Mesas featuring four large bommies populated with Titan Scorpion Fish, Turtles, and Wire Coral with Gobies.

The Kona Aggressor II moors above each dive site and all dives are made from the mothership. The expert crew assists passengers with their every need. You will need to provide proof of certification to the boat’s divemaster before making your first dive. The Aggressor Fleet strives to provide scuba divers and vacationers with the highest quality and most innovative liveaboard experience possible. Their dive boats afford guests both safety and comfort as they travel to the best diving locations around the world.