Expedition Log


Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 8

The First Endless Day It’s 9:30 p.m. on our first day at the time-series station. Fifteen hours ago we were all on deck, ready to begin our dawn cast. As I had predicted last night, the nervousness proved to be for nothing—or maybe it’s what kept us on our toes—but the cast went off without …

Expedition Log


Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 7

“We’ve got a lot of prepping to do!” After our nightly meeting and a presentation by Martín Hernández, the group’s focus shifted to preparation for the continuous experiments that will begin tomorrow, literally at the crack of dawn. As usual, we stopped to make a CTD cast at a GOC 2012 site. The results of …

Expedition Log


Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 6

Another Day, Another Cast At about 1:00 p.m. we reoccupied another GOC 2012 site and made our first pump cast on this expedition. Gernot Friederich, an ocean chemist at MBARI, has designed a system of water collection that differs from the Niskin bottle method. The cable that lowers the CTD rosette has a tube running …

Expedition Log


Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 5

Back to Sea, Back to Work Although we crossed into a different time zone today (we are now in Mountain Time), the Western Flyer has no need to change its clocks an hour ahead. We will be on the boat for the next week so really, it matters very little what the time is elsewhere and it …

Expedition Log


Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 4

Time to refuel After just one day in port, the scientists were ready to get moving and back to science. Therefore, no one was too pleased when our fuel truck was delayed, pushing our departure back. The fueling process itself takes about two hours as 75,000 liters of fuel are pumped into the ship. Once …

Expedition Log


Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 3

Aquí estamos en México We arrived in Ensenada early this morning and began the process of clearing the R/V Western Flyer through Mexican customs. The process went smoothly and Francisco Chavez was able to make it off the boat in time for his talk at El Caracol—the soon-to-be maritime museum of Ensenada where he spoke about the Gulf …

Expedition Log


Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 2

Passing the time in transit Today was an unusual day for the scientists aboard the Western Flyer—we made no new casts and spent the entire day in transit. Travelling at about 10 nautical miles per hour since leaving M1 yesterday, we are now off the coast of San Diego. We are making good time even with …

Expedition Log


Gulf of California 2015, Leg 1 – California Current – Log 1

First day of the expedition Like many of you reading this cruise log, I am not a scientist and I’ve never been on a research expedition before. Needless to say, boarding the Western Flyer—an MBARI research vessel named for the sardine boat that John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts took to the Sea of Cortez in 1940—this …



Experimental wave-power buoy survives winter in Monterey Bay

In early January 2015, a team of MBARI engineers, led by Andy Hamilton, set out to sea to recover an experimental buoy that creates electrical energy from ocean waves. This power buoy had been deployed six miles southwest of Moss Landing Harbor for 131 days, while engineers tested the system’s ability to handle storms.

Behind the Scenes


Unusual snails found thriving at hydrothermal vents

Dec 10, 2014 – MBARI Senior Research Technician Shannon Johnson Williams described five new species of Alviniconcha snails using DNA sequences. These snails live in the hottest and most acidic waters near hydrothermal vents. Because they live in these extreme conditions, Alviniconcha snails have severely degraded shells covered in spikes or they have no shells at all.

Behind the Scenes


Amazing “black seadevil” anglerfish observed in Monterey Bay

On Monday, November 17, MBARI Senior Scientist Bruce Robison was leading a dive using the remotely operated vehicle Doc Ricketts in Monterey Bay when he came across this amazing deep-sea anglerfish about 580 meters (1,900 feet) below the ocean surface.

Press Release


Big changes in the Sargasso Sea

Over one thousand miles wide and three thousand miles long, the Sargasso Sea occupies almost two thirds of the North Atlantic Ocean. Within the sea, circling ocean currents accumulate mats of Sargassum seaweed that shelter a surprising variety of fishes, snails, crabs, and other small animals.



Celebrating cephalopods

Cephalopods—squids, octopuses, and their relatives—are some of the most beautiful and intriguing animals in the ocean. During the week of June 23-27, 2014, MBARI, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Science Friday teamed up to present a wonderful array of videos and still images of these creatures.

Press Release


Researchers describe four new species of “killer sponges” from the deep sea

Killer sponges sound like creatures from a B-grade horror movie. In fact, they thrive in the lightless depths of the deep sea. Scientists first discovered that some sponges are carnivorous about 20 years ago. Since then only seven carnivorous species have been found in all of the northeastern Pacific.