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Dive Review of Kona Aggressor II in

Kona Aggressor II: "Manta Magic in Kona", Nov, 2018,

by Phil Johnston, Bayswater, AU (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 22 reports with 22 Helpful votes). Report 10661 has 4 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments The good - Kona Aggressor II is a well maintained boat, nothing broke down & judging from the newish quality of the internal fittings the boat has been renovated in the fairly recent past. The crew were uniformly helpful & approachable. The captain Mike is pretty congenial, with a never ending stream of jokes. The cook Cam's meals were uniformly high quality, special mention needs to be made of his morning & afternoon snacks such as macaroons, cinnamon buns etc.
As far as the diving goes, I had relatively moderate expectations of Kona diving, & this proved to be my actual experience. Standout dive was the night Manta dive just offshore from the Sheraton Hotel south of Kona-Kailua. KA2 set the dive up pretty well, with a custom built portable floodlight that was set up in a sandy patch with the divers grouped around it, the floodlight attracting plankton which in turn attracted mantas into the viewing area. At first one, then a second full size manta repeatedly swooped over the floodlight, gulping plankton. We watched this for almost 45 minutes, the mantas brushing the tops of our heads as they turned & somersaulted to make their passes over the light. I know this is not a natural situation but its one of the best things I've experienced underwater.
The rest of the diving was split between areas of coral reef at sites such as Manuka Bay, The Land of Oz, Rod's Reef & Turtle Pinnacle, and rockier slopes & walls. The hard corals weren't as good as those I've seen in Australia, Indonesia & the Philippines but in places were fairly healthy. Turtle Pinnacle in particular had some good tropical fish life over a large expanse of healthy corals. I preferred the coral reef areas such as Land of Oz over the wall dive / drop off dive sites such as Au Au crater, which I didn't find all that interesting. There were plenty of opportunities for swims through caves & under arches, many divers seem to like these but I became a bit bored with them. Visibility was good to excellent at almost all sites, which is to be expected given the absence of any river run-off on the Kona side of Hawaii Island.
The main disappointment was absence of any large fish life, apart from 1 hammerhead (which I didn't see myself) & a couple of barracuda at Manuka Bay, there were basically no sharks, large fish or pelagics. We did see some dolphins whilst cruising between sites, but none whilst we were actually in the water. Overall, I'd describe the KAII as a very professionally run boat, but wouldn't rate Kona diving as highly as Komodo, Rajat Ampat, Walindi in PNG, or the Philippines.
Websites Kona Aggressor II   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Indonesia/Bali, Cocos, Cozumel, Tonga, Galapagos, Tahiti, Maldives, Mozambique, Bahamas, Red Sea, Roatan.
Closest Airport Kona-Kailua Getting There Regular flights from Honolulu

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 27-28°C / 81-82°F Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 12-25 M / 39-82 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions The usual things - no deco diving, no solo diving
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments I'm not an underwater photographer but the KA2 seemed pretty well set up for UAPs
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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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