Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Operations
Cruise Planning

Frequently Asked Questions

For further information or clarification, please refer to Cruise Planning or contact Marine Operations.

Scheduling ship time first begins during the MBARI Proposal Process. Shiptime Request forms are submitted with proposals, and are awarded by a review committee. Special scheduling requests should be included in the proposal. Ship days are scheduled by DMO with every effort to meet the needs of each project. For further information on the proposal process, contact the PCO office.

External users are non-MBARI employees or adjuncts who wish to request MBARI ship time. Ideally, external users should submit their requests each year in June along with the internal MBARI proposals. However, whenever external users request ship time, they should complete the external ship time request form.

Please contact the Deputy Director or the Logistics Specialist for additional information regarding scheduling.

  • What should I do to prepare for a cruise?

Refer to the Cruise Planning section of our website and select a vessel under the Preparing for a Cruise section.

  • How do I file a precruise plan or postcruise report and when are they due?

Precruise plans should be submitted to the Logistics Support Specialist 10 working days in advance of a cruise. Postcruise reports are due within two weeks after returning to shore. If an operational day is "lost" due to harsh weather, mechanical problems or other causes, a postcruise report should still be filed. DMO will offer a "make-up" contingency day as availability and the schedule allow. MBARI employees may submit their cruise plans and search for cruise data on-line via the Expedition Database. External users should complete the Cruise Plan form (MS Word template) and return by e-mail to the Logistics Specialist.

  • How many science participants can I bring on board?

The R/V Point Lobos will accommodate 6 science participants including the Chief Scientist. Additional guests, and special guests such as media representatives, are by special arrangement with the Director of Marine Operations and the Captain. Please inform DMO of these requests prior to submitting a precruise. 

The number of science participants for a R/V Western Flyer cruise is 11. If no ROV operations are to take place, then 16 science crew may participate. Please refer to the Science Party Size policy or contact the Logistics Specialist for details.

  • How can I participate in or observe a cruise if I'm not a member of the usual science party?

Determine who will be the Chief Scientist for the day by consulting the MBARI Web Calendar where the monthly Schedules are posted. The vessel entries are color coded: R/V Rachel Carson, R/V Western Flyer. Contact the Chief Scientist directly and ask permission. In the case of general non-science observers, such as from the media or from other institutions, the Director of Marine Operations and MBARI Communications Coordinator should be consulted.

  • What time do I need to be at the dock?

It is expected that all cruise participants be onboard the R/V Rachel Carson 30 minutes prior to departure and onboard the R/V Western Flyer one hour before departure .

For a cruise on board the R/V Rachel Carson, departure is normally at 0700. Please confirm with your Chief Scientist. The R/V Western Flyer departures vary with each cruise. A logistics plan for cruises are generally forwarded to participants several days prior to the ship's scheduled departure date, however, it is the Chief Scientist's responsibility to confirm that all members of his/her party are fully aware of all plans.

  • How can I get information on ship & ROV specifications?

Consult the MBARI Vessels & Vehicles pages.

  • How can I get information on "ships of opportunity"?

DMO has files and contact information for many ships in the oceanographic research community, both large vessels and small day boats, statewide and national. Please contact the Deputy Director or the Logistics Specialist.


Last updated: Nov. 07, 2013