Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Operations
Cruise Planning

R/V Zephyr - Preparing for a cruise

  • Standard Operations
    The standard schedule for the vessel is 0700 to 1630. However, non-standard times for departure and arrival can be mutually agreed upon between the Captain and cruise leader to react to special circumstances. Passengers should arrive at the dock by 0630. The standard staffing for the vessel is a crew of two, however three crewmembers may be provided depending on the scheduled activities.

  • Mobilization
    Most Zephyr operations revolve around various AUV deployments, offshore instrument deployments, and diving tasks. When switching between these activities, mobilization and reconfiguration of the vessel in port is required. Most vessel configurations can be completed in one day.

  • Night / 24Hour / Operations
    Extended offshore operations may be requested when the scientific mission requires this type of capability, however, this type of activity is limited by available vessel crew. Advanced planning is required for scheduling the transition period from day to night work for the AUV team and vessel crew. Also, 24-hour operations require advanced planning in order to comply with USCG regulations. Please coordinate these special scheduling requests with Chris Grech during the project proposal and planning process

    Guidelines for their use:

    1. Must be requested and approved in advance via the project proposal process. 

    2. Extended operations need to be assigned to specific dates in the calendar year.

    3. Departure and arrival times for night operations are typically determined by safety, scientific, weather, personnel, and transit time considerations.

  • Weekend Operations
    The standard operational day for Zephyr is scheduled for weekdays only. Operations that require weekend periods should be requested during the project proposal process, in the sea time request form.

  • Continuous Operational days
    Due to the limited range and facilities onboard the Zephyr we are limited to 4 continuous offshore days when planning extended cruises.

  • Science party size
    There is a limited number of bunks on the vessel, so the following guidelines should be used when planning cruises:

    • On standard day trips, the number of crew and passengers cannot exceed 10. Crew size will vary between two and three depending on the mission requirements.

    • On extended trips, the number of passengers and crew must equal eight.  Usually 3-4 crew members will be required, leaving 4-5 available bunks for technicians and scientists.


Last updated: Apr. 25, 2013