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Marine Science Floating Lab

A Unique Learning Experience!

Students participate in teams as they manipulate oceanographic equipment, make observations, and gather data and specimens from the ocean waters and sea bottom of San Diego Bay.

This study cruise program will:

  • Enable students to learn about oceanography with actual observations and experiences on the bay.
  • Provide an opportunity to study marine organisms in their offshore habitat.
  • increase the students content knowledge of the marine environment.

Half day cruises schedule

Trip 1 leaves at 8:30 am and Trip 2 leaves at 1:00pm

8:30 am or 1 pm
Students will be met by onboard instructors at the land end of the dock

  • Introduction
  • Description of days activities
  • Special Duty assignments to students

Boarding of boat and storage of student materials. Group assembly in the bow of the boat.

  • Rules and regulations
  • Plankton net instructions
  • Secchi disc instruction
  • Fore-ule color bar and sounding lead

9 am or 1:30 pm

  • boat leaves dockside - 5mph speed limit
  • Discussion of various vessel types and the anchorage
  • Full speed movement to otter trawl locality - 15 knots
  • Selection of 5 students for otter trawl crew and assignment of duties

9:10 am or 1:40pm
Movement of entire class to stern to observe setting of otter trawl

  • Instructions for retrieval of the otter trawl
  • Discussion of organisms from aquarium while trawl is finished
  • Lining up of students for pulling in the net
  • Retrieval of otter trawl
  • Full speed movement to biological dredge locations (student snack time)

10 am or 2:30 pm
Setting dredge

  • Instruction of mud grabber while dredge is down
  • Lining up of students for dredge retrieval
  • Pull dredge
  • Discussion of organisms found in dredge
  • Movement to bait receivers

10:30-12 pm or 3-4:30pm
Tie up a the bait receivers and snack break. Begin student rotation through work stations.

  • Plankton net
  • Plankton lab
  • Secchi disc
  • Observation of bird life
  • Grab sampler

Clean up and recapitulation of data collected. Observation of Sea Lions "hauled out" on channel buoy.


12:30pm or 5pm
Return to dock

  • Times will vary depending on weather condition

Twilight cruises run from 5:30pm to 9:30 pm except Fridays

Moon Phase