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.

Midwater Ecology Expedition Fall 2019

November 15-21, 2019 – The Midwater Ecology Group is studying and collecting midwater animals in conjunction with collaborators from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research and Auckland University.

Bioinspiration 2019 Expedition

August 14—20, 2019 – The Bioinspiration Group will be using a new suite of imaging tools and ROV collections to understand the form and function of midwater animals for bioinspired design.

Biodiversity and Biooptics 2019 Expedition

July 9-17, 2019 – The Bioluminescence Lab will conduct ROV and scuba dives to study the biochemical, physiological, and genetic adaptations that midwater organisms have evolved to survive and diversify in the deep sea.

Midwater Ecology Expedition Summer 2019

June 11-17, 2019 – The Midwater Ecology Group is studying and collecting midwater animals in conjunction with collaborators from the Stanford University and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

CANON Spring 2019 Expedition Log

May 30-June 4, 2019 – A fleet of smart, autonomous instruments in parallel with shipboard sampling will give a fuller picture of the behavior and variability of marine life.

Seafloor Ecology Expedition 2019

April 19 to April 24, 2019 – The Benthic biology and ecology group is heading out to study deep-sea communities in three different environments.

Midwater Ecology Expedition Spring 2019

March 8-14, 2019 – The Midwater Ecology Group is measuring oxygen consumption rates of select deep-sea animals using a custom-designed tool, the Midwater Respirometry System (MRS).

Wind Farm Expedition 2019

February 4 to 14, 2019 – MBARI's Geological Changes group is investigating the activity of submarine channels, gullies, and pockmarks as well as beginning to conduct post-lay impacts of submarine telecommunications cables.

At Sea

Research Vessel Western Flyer
Research Vessel Rachel Carson
Research Vessel Paragon
Emergencies and contacts
Onboard cruise log
Policies and operating guidelines
Cruise planning
Marine operations policies
Departure/arrival times
Early departure
Elevator payload limits
Equipment design guidelines
Hazardous materials
Homer beacon policies
Lab use and chemical safety
NILSPIN ™ oceanographic ropes
Push core policies and description
RHIB operations
Rigging policy
Science party size
Cruise planning
R/V Western Flyer cruise planning
Checklist of Supplies
Cruises outside home port
Data and video: formats and specifics
Departure/arrival times
early departure
Hazardous materials
Precruises and postcruises
ROV dive time definitions
RHIB operations
ROV users checklist
Safety Management System
Science party guidelines
Scuba diving
Ship to shore communications
R/V Rachel Carson cruise planning
R/V Paragon 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
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
Administration & planning
Cruise planning
Marine operations technicians
Marine operations policies