The shipboard mission team poses on the bow of the Okeanos Explorer as the Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific Marine Protected Areas expedition comes to an end. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific MPAs. Download larger version (jpg, 5.6 MB).
This morning the ship arrived back in Apia, which is the capital and the largest city within Samoa. While at port, the ship will resupply and personnel will be able to get some much-needed rest. It was a very successful expedition, with all 19 planned dives completed. While the mission personnel are all sad that the Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific Marine Protected Areas expedition is complete, they are looking forward to stepping onto solid ground after 23 days at sea. While the mission team gets to go home, the ship’s crew only gets about a week on shore before they are back underway. On April 4, we will begin a mapping-only expedition, focused on the waters American Samoa, including within Rose Atoll Marine National Monument and National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa; Western Samoa; and the Cook Islands (New Zealand). We will be back again with more exciting remotely operated vehicle dives starting April 27, with the Mountains in the Deep: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin expedition.