NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer departed Pago Pago harbor this morning to commence the first cruise leg of the 2017 American Samoa Expedition! Our first dive was conducted just outside the harbor at a site with a known Nautilus community. However, shortly before the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) reached the bottom, a mechanical issue occurred and the ROV had to be immediately recovered. The ROV engineering team expects to fix the problem tonight. After recovery, mapping operations will be conducted overtop of a ridge extending southeast of Tutuila island on the way to our next dive site at Ta'u.