Northwestern Hawaiian Islands 2015 

AME Rebreather divers Richard Pyle, Rob Whitton and Josh Copus embark on the annual journey to explore deep coral reefs within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Location: Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

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Dive Sites

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Shakedown dive to 215ft (2015-09-04): 21.783831, -160.284526
Niihau Morning Shakedown Dive (2015-09-04): 21.846990, -160.263150
Lone dive of the day (2015-09-06): 23.650280, -166.100820
FFS Deep morning dive (2015-09-07): 23.663761, -166.297642
FFS Shark Team First Shallow Dive - Rapture Reef (2015-09-07): 23.635090, -166.185700
FFS Shark Team Second Shallow Dive - La Peruse (2015-09-07): 23.769725, -166.261013
FFS Deep afternoon dive (2015-09-07): 23.738450, -166.381150
FFS Deep morning dive (2015-09-08): 23.839720, -166.381720
FFS Afternoon Deep Dive (2015-09-08): 23.726700, -166.354820
FFS Shark Team Shallow Dive (2015-09-08): 23.748900, -166.146000
Pioneer Bank Afternoon Deep Dive (2015-09-11): 25.899130, -173.497570
Three Shallow Dives - Shark Team (2015-09-11): 25.986500, -173.518380
Pioneer Bank morning deep dive (2015-09-11): 25.895280, -173.496870
Pioneer Bank morning Deep Dive (2015-09-12): 25.929280, -173.403850
Pearl and Hermes Afternoon Deep Dive (2015-09-13): 27.764070, -175.985920
Pearl and Hermes Morning Deep Dive (2015-09-13): 27.761170, -175.982400
Shark Team Morning Dive (2015-09-13): 27.802150, -176.010950
Shark Team Afternoon Dive (2015-09-13): 27.790916, -175.863000
Pearl and Hermes Morning Deep Dive (2015-09-14): 27.764100, -175.985920
Pearl and Hermes Afternoon Deep Dive (2015-09-14): 27.772400, -175.993370
Pearl and Hermes Shark Dive 1 (2015-09-14): 27.752900, -175.948050
Pearl and Hermes Shark Dive 2 (2015-09-14): 27.787010, -175.836233
Pearl and Hermes Shark DIve 3 (2015-09-14): 27.927700, -175.738000
Kure Atoll Afternoon Deep Dive and birding (2015-09-15): 28.427320, -178.413700
Kure Atoll Morning Deep Dive (2015-09-15): 28.375680, -178.311200
Shark Team Morning Dive (2015-09-15): 28.432460, -178.372380
Shark Team Afternoon Dive (2015-09-15): 28.441460, -178.353420
Kure Atoll Morning Deep Dive (2015-09-16): 28.443970, -178.410220
Shark Team Dive 3 (2015-09-16): 28.416900, -178.333000
Shark Team Dives 1 & 2 (2015-09-16): 28.381010, -178.331560
Kure Atoll Afternoon Deep Dive (2015-09-16): 28.384430, -178.279620
Kure Atoll Afternoon Deep Dive (2015-09-17): 28.496280, -178.346330
Kure Atoll Deep Dive Morning (2015-09-17): 28.479050, -178.422280
Shark Team Dive 1 (2015-09-17): 28.433110, -178.372540
Shark Team Dive 2 (2015-09-17): 28.442030, -178.352490
Salmon Bank Morning Deep Dive (2015-09-18): 26.970080, -176.490170
Salmon Bank Afternoon Deep Dive (2015-09-18): 26.991540, -176.443530
Midway Shark Dive 1 (2015-09-19): 28.197416, 177.362722
Midway Shark Dive 2 (2015-09-19): 28.197416, 177.362722
Midway Shark Dive 3 (2015-09-19): 28.444440, -177.439170
Midway Morning Deep Dive (2015-09-19): 28.218850, -177.448930
Kure Atoll Afternoon Deep Dive (2015-09-21): 28.490070, -178.291130
Kure Atoll Deep Dive Morning (2015-09-21): 28.443420, -178.261720
Kure Atoll Shark Dive 1 (2015-09-21): 28.428630, -178.284600
Kure Atoll Shark Dive 2 (2015-09-21): 28.429600, -178.287000
Kure Atoll Shark Dive 3 (2015-09-21): 28.449100, -178.300130
Pioneer Bank Afternoon Deep Dive (2015-09-23): 25.904030, -173.499200
Pioneer Bank Morning Deep Dive (2015-09-23): 25.942430, -173.510530
Pioneer Bank morning deep dive (2015-09-24): 25.942820, -173.383030
Pioneer Bank afternoon deep dive (2015-09-24): 25.929130, -173.404120
Pioneer Bank Shark dive 2 (2015-09-24): 25.935000, -173.410970
Niihau afternoon Deep Dive (2015-09-28): 21.966770, -160.198980
Niihau Shark Dive 1 (2015-09-28): 22.002960, -160.118940
Niihau Shark Dive 2 (2015-09-28): 22.002960, -160.118940
Niihau Morning Deep Dive (2015-09-29): 21.892100, -160.157000
Niihau Shark Dive 2 (2015-09-29): 22.021280, -160.101670
Niihau Shark DIve 3 (2015-09-29): 22.020610, 160.101940
Niihau afternoon deep dive (2015-09-29): 21.995650, -160.139670

Max Depth: 90 meters

AME Rebreather divers Richard Pyle, Rob Whitton, and Josh Copus join the annual journey to explore deep coral reefs within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. This time, the focus of the expedition is on sea-mounts — ancient reefs and islands that are now submerged well below the surface. This cruise was particularly challenging due to the fact that several active hurricanes in the northern Pacific have make the seas somewhat rough. Normally, we can hide in the lee of a reef or island to seek shelter from bad weather, but this time the weather is coming from multiple directions. Moreover, the sea-mounts we're targeting have no lee because they do not come to the surface. As if conducting complex mixed-gas rebreather dives in such a remote location weren't challenging enough...!

Another interesting aspect of this cruise is that we are joined by a team of hyperbaric specialists from Divers Alert Network, who will monitor our hearts, blood and other aspects of our condition and dives as part of a larger study to understand decompression stress that deep, mixed-gas rebreather diving involves. Not only do we have the chance to document biodiversity in one of the world's largest marine protected areas, but we also get to learn a little bit about our own physiology as well!