2016 Hohonu Moana: Exploring Deep Waters off Hawai'i

Mission Logs

Follow along as participants in the cruise provide updates and reflections on their experiences, the science, the technology, and other elements of the expedition.

  • Highlight Images

    This brisingid sea star was imaged by Deep Discoverer while exploring an unnamed seamount just outside the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
    A close up of an anemone on an unnamed seamount in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

    This selection of images highlights some of the observations and discoveries made during the 2016 Hohonu Moana: Exploring Deep Waters off Hawaiʻi expedition.

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  • Completing the Circle

    March 14, 2016  |  By Art Howard

    Uncle Lee's Seabee unit in Kwajalien, 1943.

    This is a story of Lee Fulton, my great uncle, and the common thread we share at this moment, literally and figuratively, 70 years apart.

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  • Returning to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to Uncover its Many Deepwater Mysteries

    March 9, 2016  |  By Daniel Wagner

    Photograph of new species of squat lobster sitting on a new species of black coral taken by the Okeanos Explorer ROVs during the 2015 expedition to the Monument.

    The current expedition aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer has been particularly exciting, because it represents the third successive year that I have returned to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to explore the deep waters of this unique region. During each one of these successive visits, we have been able to build on knowledge acquired during the previous expedition. As a result, we have been able to explore this area in a systematic manner and uncover some of the unique features that have remained hidden in the deep waters of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

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  • Paths of the Pacific

    March 7, 2016  |  By Ed McNichol

    Capt. Joseph E. Hart, USN (Ret.) with his Navy aircraft.
    Ed McNichol with the Deep Discoverer remotely operated vehicle.

    Leaving Pearl Harbor, I was able to stand on upper decks of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer and gaze down the same flight path that Capt. Joseph E. Hart, USN (Ret.), my step-grandfather, would have used on his approach to land his Navy aircraft on Ford Island. He was a proud naval aviator and served through the War of the Pacific in World War II.

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  • The Engineering Team: Providing a Portal to the Deep Sea

    March 5, 2016  |  By Daniel Rogers

    ROV Engineering Team with ROV Deep Discoverer.

    Exploring the bottom of the ocean requires a talented and professional team with access to the best in deep submergence technology. Through a unique partnership between NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration, highly skilled engineers and technicians operate, enhance (or improve), and maintain Deep Discoverer.

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  • Kicking Off 2016 Hohonu Moana: Dive Status and Summary

    March 3, 2016  |  By Jonathan Tree

    Deep Discoverer slowly working its way up a canyon wall.

    The Hohonu Moana Expedition of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer was scheduled to leave Honolulu on February 23, 2016, en route to Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, via a transit through the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Due to some technical difficulties and concerning weather, which delivered the best surf to the island of Oahu since 2009, we were delayed two days.

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  • Deep Discoverer Discovers a Very Deep, Ghostlike Octopod

    March 2, 2016  |  By Michael Vecchione

    This ghostlike octopod is almost certainly an undescribed species and may not belong to any described genus.

    As the ROV was traversing a flat area of rock interspersed with sediment at 4,290 meters, it came across a remarkable little octopod sitting on a flat rock dusted with a light coat of sediment. The appearance of this animal was unlike any published records and was the deepest observation ever for this type of cephalopod.

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  • Cozy on Corals, Snug in Sponges: Deep-sea Squat Lobsters and Shrimps

    February 28, 2016  |  By Mary K. Wicksten

    This squat lobster hangs on tightly to its soft coral despite the current.
    The unknown thorn-studded king crab marches across the seafloor.

    Coral reefs of shallow tropical seas are rich in biodiversity. A single coral head may house as many as 10 or more species of tiny crabs and shrimps; a big sponge may serve as an apartment complex for brittle stars, small shrimps, and tiny fishes. But what happens in the cold, dark depths of the sea?

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