If it's Friday, it means school starts in three days

Alas, I neglected to write down today’s quote, but they may not have been one anyway.  Matthew is off the boat shopping for next week’s supplies.  I will miss his wonderful meals.  Breakfast today was a buffet style meal, his presence is already missed!

Today marks our last two dives of the trip - no!  We did both at Kalokos Arches.  On the first dive, we kind of followed Karl, kind of didn't. We tooled around the reef, saw a flame wrasse, two peacock razor fish, and a female Whitley’s boxfish. We were headed to safety stop when Karl came up and motioned us to follow. He wanted to show us the male Whitley's, but another group of divers entered and probably frightened him off. That was ok, we had at least one more opportunity.

It was really a super sunny, hazy day, which we noticed as we went on our last dive.  We followed Mindy most of the way so we could get on the ship’s video. She was looking for a horned helmet, which we did not find. We did see a male Whitley's box fish, too quick to photograph. I found a triton's trumpet eating breakfast. Mindy found an octopus under an antler coral head. The landscape was beautiful, even if it was cold.

Lunch was a barbecue preapred by the crew.  Hot dogs, hamburgers and chips were served, and we washed the meal down with a cold beer.  Very pleasant.  And I brought out my grey poupon mustard packets to use with the burgers, much to the amusement of the crew.  Yes, I travel with mustard.  :)  Apple doesn’t fall too far from the spicy mustard tree.

The large group left the ship today in mid afternoon, never to return.  We had our reception party with only three participants.  I feel sorry for the crew, they went to all that work, and all that food went to waste.  But Wayne and I had our Iron Diver awards again, although at the price of my ear.  I have to remember to use the drops in my ears on the live aboard in Palau, as we have had outer ear issues on our last two live aboards.  We are also planning on returning to the Kona Aggressor on the week of Wayne’s birthday, right after summer school lets out.  

Captain James entertained us with the story of how the Iron Diver award was created.  One passenger, several years ago, came on board the KA II after having finished the Kona Ironman race.  He then proceeded to do each of the dives on board the Aggressor that week, and the crew decided that they should have an award that mirrored the medal given at the successful completion of the Ironman.  And so the Iron Diver award was born.  It is now given across the Aggressor and Dancer fleets to all divers completing each dive on the live aboard trip.

We left the ship to have dinner at Phuket Monkey, a Thai restaurant up near Hilo Hattie’s.  We placed our order, but I am glad that they missed part of it because we were full from the cocktail party on board ship.  If you are ever there, you should try the Phuket Monkey.  And when you ask for Thai spicy, they really bring on the heat.

As for the rest of the weekend, tomorrow we will disembark and return to the Marriott.  Our plan is brunch at the Holuakoa Cafe (you MUST go here if you come to Kona) and the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden.  The garden is an extension of the Bishop Museum, focusing on Hawaiian ethnobotany.  The exhibits provide a study of the Hawaiian people and their plants.  There are over 200 species of plants that grew in the traditional farms and native forests of Kona before Captain Cook’s arrival.  The plants are endemic, indigenous, and Polynesian introduced, and include the most important and endangered plants in Hawaiian culture.  It’s a nice way to round out my environmental law education.  

We will then dine with the D’Avella’s for dinner, and catch up on how things have been going for them over my past semester.  This will have been a great way to refresh before starting the spring semester.  

A hui ho!

Iron Divers!