MBARI is strategically located in Moss Landing, California, where its researchers can quickly access the deep waters of the Monterey Canyon. Made famous by John Steinbeck’s classic novel Cannery Row, Monterey Bay is the ocean equivalent of the Grand Canyon and it provides unprecedented access to the deep sea. Thanks to the geology of the region—a steep drop-off to near-abyssal depths within 100 kilometers (about 60 miles) offshore—the deep is very close. In less than three hours, scientists can be exploring the seafloor nearly a thousand meters below the surface with Doc Ricketts and Ventana—MBARI’s remotely operated vehicles (ROV). In just eight hours, scientists can be exploring the abyssal plain at a depth of almost three kilometers (two miles).

The institute operates two research vessels, the R/V Western Flyer for longer multi-day expeditions and the R/V Rachel Carson mainly for one-day trips out to sea, with occasional longer missions to conduct seafloor mapping. MBARI teams also collaborate with other institutions aboard ships operated by academic and government organizations around the world. Researchers are very busy during these expeditions, often multi-tasking various science and engineering activities to accomplish their goals within a few days. These cruise logs provide a glimpse into what goes on during an MBARI expedition and what our researchers are doing to help answer important science questions.

Biodiversity and Biooptics 2020 Expedition

January 28 - February 2, 2020 – The Bioluminescence Lab will conduct ROV dives to study the biochemical, physiological, and genetic adaptations that midwater organisms have evolved to survive and diversify in the deep sea.

At Sea

Research Vessel Western Flyer
R/V Western Flyer cruise planning
Checklist of Supplies
Data and video: formats and specifics
early departure
Precruises and postcruises
ROV dive time definitions
ROV users checklist
Science party guidelines
Research Vessel Rachel Carson
R/V Rachel Carson cruise planning
Research Vessel Paragon
Marine operations policies
Early departure
Elevator payload limits
Equipment design guidelines
Homer beacon policies
NILSPIN ™ oceanographic ropes
Push core policies and description
Rigging policy
Cruise planning
Marine operations policies
Remotely operated vehicles
ROV Ventana
ROV Doc Ricketts
Mini remotely operated vehicle (ROV)
Autonomous underwater vehicles
Gulper autonomous underwater vehicle
Seafloor mapping AUV
Long-range autonomous underwater vehicle Tethys
Investigations of imaging for midwater autonomous platforms
Benthic Rover
Autonomous surface vehicles
Wave Glider
Wave Glider-based communications hotspot
2020 Expeditions
2019 Expeditions
2018 Expeditions
2017 Expeditions
2016 Expeditions
2015 Expeditions
2014 Expeditions
2013 Expeditions
2012 Expeditions
Cabled observatory
About MARS
MARS contacts
MARS science experiments
Ocean Soundscape
Soundscape Listening Room
MARS hydrophone data
How to connect to MARS
MARS contacts
How to interface
MARS site description
MARS instrument deployment
MARS biology
MARS technology
MARS connector wiring
MARS node description
More ocean observatory resources
Local notice to mariners
Mooring data
Research tools