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Dive Review of Kona Aggressor II in
Hawaii/Kona Coast

Kona Aggressor II, Jan, 2011,

by Randall S Preissig, TX, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 30 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 5916.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Sipadan, Palau, Tahiti, Fiji, Truk, Ponape, Galapagos, Cocos, Bonaire, Cayman, Cozumel, Belize, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas surge
Water Temp 73 to 74 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 10 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Nitrox limits on depth which was never a problem. Computers required.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales > 2
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Aggressor always has the best photo set up, plus an excellent dive pro on this trip(Brandi) and an engineer who was very helpful with problems(floods, etc).

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was my fourth Kona Aggressor trip over the last 18 years. The weather was very unusual in that there was very large surge and considerable cloudiness and some rain--thank you La Nina! This cut visibility and compromised several dives. The Kona coast is usually perfect weather(where the Hawaiian kings stayed) and has been on all my prior trips. Unfortunately, the bad weather chased the Mantas from the usually spectacular night Manta dive. It has always amazed me that the Aggressor folks don't promote this more. People travel all the way to Yap to see mantas.... This was humpback whale season in Hawaii, and one whale surfaced just behind our boat. I was able to jump in with my snorkel and see a mother and newborn swim by!! How's that for a bonus? Amazingly, two of us were snorkeling between dives with a pod of dolphins two days later and another whale came within feet of us! Thank you Cliffe for taking time to shuttle us to the dolphins. We had a very senior staff on this boat with captains or captains in training. All the crew were exceptional. Our cook Grace was on of the best ever on a liveaboard. The other diver guests were exceptionally capable, friendly and well mannered.
The rest of the dives had the usual colorful fish(lionfish, Whitley's boxfish(!), oceanic triggerfish), the usual critters(pipefish, nudibranchs, dragon wrasse, huge conger eel, etc) plus a spotted eagle ray that let me hover near him for 5 minutes, turtles and all the rest that you expect when you dive Hawaii.
In summary, I think the Kona Aggressor is one of the most underrated dive options we have. It's closer/easier than other Pacific diving with almost a guarantee of seeing Mantas with usually great weather. And the boat is smaller and more personal(usually with less or far less than its capacity of 14)and the rates are often cheaper than other liveaboards, especially with special value trips that they run after the Christmas holidays(my 7 days cost $2000--a real bargain by today's rates). I'll be back.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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