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Dive Review of Kona Aggressor II in
Hawaii/Kona Coast

January, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Randall S Preissig, TX, US
Sr. Contributor   (29 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 5916
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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

Water Temp
73   to 74    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
10   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox limits on depth which was never a problem.  Computers required.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
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):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
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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