Hi'ialakai Launching Boat
The Hi'ialakai launches one of the dive boats.

Photo: Richard L. Pyle

A Large School of Aholehole
An enormous school of Aholehole (Kulia xenura) swarms in the shallow water off Lehua Rock.

Photo: Richard L. Pyle

Lehua Rock at Dawn
The sun rises behind Lehua Rock, off the northern tip of Ni'ihau.

Photo: Richard L. Pyle

Stingray In The Blue
An unusual sighting of a Hawaiian Stingray (Dasyatis lata) high up in mid-water.

Photo: Richard L. Pyle

Juvenile Bandit Angelfish
Two juvenile Bandit Angelfish (Apolemichthys arcuatus), one the size of a quarter; the other the side of a thumbnail, hide among the rocks 280 feet (85 meters) deep off French Frigate Shoals.

Photo: Richard L. Pyle

Thresher Shark
An extremely rare sighting of a Thresher shark as it cruises by at a depth of about 250 feet (75 m).

Photo: Richard L. Pyle

A Close Pass
A Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis) comes in for a close pass during decompression off French Frigate Shoals.

Photo: Richard L. Pyle

Urchins
A pair of Blue-spotted Urchins (Astropyga radiata) cruise along the sandy bottom 200 feet deep at Maro Reef.

Photo: Richard L. Pyle

Midway Albatross Banner
Thousands of Laysan Albatross chicks prepare to fledge at Midway Atoll.

Photo: Brian D. Greene

Chromis struhsakeri Banner
Hundreds of Strusaker's Damselfish (Chromis struhsakeri) school at at depth of 300 feet (90 m) off Kure Atoll.

Photo: Richard L. Pyle

Arriving Midway Banner
The conditions are perfect as the Hi'ialakai glides into the channel at Midway Atoll.

Photo: Brian D. Greene

Midway Sunset
The sun sets over North Beach at Midway Atoll.

Photo: Richard L. Pyle

Yellow Anthias, Midway Atoll
The Hawaiian Yellow Anthias (Odontanthias fuscipinnis) hovers near the reef at a depth of 300 feet (90 m) off Midway Atoll.

Photo: Richard L. Pyle

Northwestern Hawaiian Islands 2016 

Once again, AME Board members join a team of technical divers for NOAA's Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to explore deep coral reefs in the little-known but hugely important Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Location: Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

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Dive Sites

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Lehua Rock, Morning Dive: 22.045920, -160.105820
Lehua Rock, afternoon dive: 22.050490, -160.091760
Lehua Rock, Snorkel: 22.025285, -160.101951
French Frigate Shoals, morning deep dive 25 May: 23.658110, -166.060680
French Frigate Shoals, afternoon deep dive 25 May: 23.622490, -166.149030
French Frigate Shoals, morning deep dive 26 May: 23.635350, -166.214780
French Frigate Shoals, afternoon deep dive 26 May: 23.638110, -166.232030
Maro Reef, morning dive 28 May: 25.366840, -170.845083
Maro Reef, afternoon dive 28 May: 25.364966, -170.828074
Maro Reef, morning dive 29 May: 25.280450, -170.586970
Maro Reef, afternoon dive 29 May: 25.282950, -170.591180
Pearl and Hermes, morning dive June 1: 27.764020, -175.986120
Pearl and Hermes, afternoon dive June 1: 27.762533, -175.983750
Midway Atoll, morning dive June 2: 28.255721, -177.315832
Midway Atoll, afternoon dive June 2: 28.186349, -177.286079
Kure Atoll, morning dive June 4: 28.487162, -178.373043
Kure Atoll, afternoon dive June 4: 28.492108, -178.291603
Kure Atoll, morning dive June 5: 28.491770, -178.287950
Kure Atoll, afternoon dive June 5: 28.498450, -178.341717

Max Depth: 100 meters

Once again, AME Board members join a team of technical divers for NOAA's Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to explore deep coral reefs in the little-known but hugely important Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. This year's cruise takes on a special meaning, because there is a movement to expand the Monument out from its existing 50-mile boundaries to the full extent of the U.S. Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) at 200 miles. Also, this time we have three AME Board members on the cruise: Richard Pyle, Brian Greene, and John Hansen. All three of us are part of a team of seven deep divers, the other four being NOAA divers Dr. Randall Kosaki (Deputy Superintendent of the Monument), Jason Leonard (NOAA's regional Dive Safety Officer), Brian Hauk, and Dan Wagner. John and the NOAA team area all using Megalodon rebreathers, and Brian and Richard are using Poseidon SE7EN rebreathers (including the new M28 dive computer, CPOD module, and Solid State oxygen sensor).