Expedition Log


Seafloor Ecology Spring 2020 – Log 2

Amanda Kahn Today was a mixed day of deploying and recovering moorings along with an ROV dive. In the morning, the sediment trap mooring we recovered yesterday was redeployed at the top of Sur Ridge. The sediment traps will remain there until December, collecting marine snow that rains down from the ocean’s surface. Corals and …

Expedition Log


Seafloor Ecology Spring 2020 – Log 1

Andrew DeVogelaere After months of preparation and a full day of loading equipment, the crew boarded R/V Western Flyer at 4:00 a.m. Our main destination for the research cruise is Sur Ridge and its dense forests of deep-sea corals and sponges. Sur Ridge is located 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Point Sur, near the …



The secret lives of sponges

Time-lapse photography in the deep sea over 30 years reveals sponges "coughing" and moving across the seafloor.

Expedition Log


Biodiversity and Biooptics 2020 Expedition – Log 3

Today was an exciting day because we thought we were going to be weathered out at first (GALE WATCH, NO!). Luck was on our side in the ‘hole of hope’ and the wind and waves enabled us to collect five species of ctenophores that we are currently studying. This is an important site for our …

Expedition Log


Biodiversity and Biooptics 2020 Expedition – Log 2

As with the ctenophores, siphonophores are found from the ocean surface to the seafloor. Also like the ctenophores, many siphonophores are bioluminescent which makes them prime targets for the science team to investigate. Siphonophores range in size from 10 millimeters to 30 meters (less than half an inch to almost 100 feet)—longer than a blue …

Expedition Log


Biodiversity and Biooptics 2020 Expedition – Log 1

The scientific team aboard the R/V Western Flyer this week is focused on learning more about the gelatinous creatures that inhabit the open midwaters of the ocean. This is the largest, and yet least understood, habitat on our planet. Most of the researchers are specifically studying ctenophores or siphonophores, or both. In today’s report we’ll …



Robots filming robots in Monterey Bay

In an intricate underwater robot ballet, two of MBARI's underwater robots recently shot video of each other in the depths of Monterey Bay.

Expedition Log


Seafloor Ecology Winter Expedition 2019 – Log 3

Wrapping up the cruise and the year: It is the last day of the last research cruise of the R/V Western Flyer for 2019. We have had a busy and exciting four days exploring the depths of Sur Ridge and Davidson Seamount with the ROV Doc Ricketts. We have explored the Octopus Garden, measured the …

Expedition Log


Seafloor Ecology Winter Expedition 2019 – Log 2

Updates from researchers on the R/V Western Flyer: Monday, December 16, 2019 Jim Barry Taking the pulse of the Octopus Garden: We were excited to send the ROV down 3,300 meters (just over two miles!) to the Octopus Garden, a site discovered a couple years ago where thousands of female octopuses nest in warm hydrothermal springs. …

Expedition Log


Seafloor Ecology Winter Expedition 2019 – Log 1

  We dropped lines and headed out into the thick fog at just before 7:00 a.m. on this Friday the 13th. Hopefully the fog isn’t an omen of some sort. The Western Flyer headed for Sur Ridge, a rocky undersea ridge about 65 kilometers (40 miles) southwest of Moss Landing. The swell from a large …

Expedition Log


Midwater Ecology Expedition Fall 2019 – Log 5

Henk-Jan and Stella Scheer We are guest scientists from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and are very happy to join the MBARI midwater expedition on the Western Flyer. During this week, we have been documenting and collecting a range of midwater animals. Such in situ observations provide much more than an image alone. …