13 August 2004

Robert W. Schmieder



A series of expeditions is being planned to the area off Pt. Sur, south of Monterey, California. The expeditions will explore and document shallow pinnacles on the feature known as Schmieder Bank. The work will be done by divers and with remote sensing and photography. The goals is to obtain specimens, photographs, and observations of areas last seen during the 1988-89 expeditions, and to examine shallow areas newly discovered in recent high-resolution bathymetric surveys.

The expeditions are planned as three 3-day trips from Monterey aboard the Cordell Explorer.

Sep. 24-26, 2004

Oct. 8-10, 2004

Oct. 15-17, 2004

Cordell Expeditions is soliciting experienced divers who want to be part of this exciting project. Experience with deep diving, working as a team, and ability to document scientific results are required. Costs for the project will be shared by the participants.

Formal planning for the expeditions will begin in the spring, 2004. If you are interested in this project, please contact Dr. Robert Schmieder,



This document provides most of the details about the planned expeditions. It is intentionally brief, so if you have questions, please call Bob Schmieder at 925 934 3735 or email to

Goals and tasks

Ø      Explore the western ridge (unseen to date). Depth 140 ft.



Ø      Observe the previously explored shallow points, with particular interest in changes since 1989.



Ø      Use bottom grabs and trawl to obtain deepwater samples.

Ø      Remote sensing with UW acoustics, video.

Ø      Observe and record birds, mammals, plankton, water conditions.



4 or 5 Sept 2004

Planning meeting (Monterey)

18 Sept 2004

Move boat SFàHalf Moon Bay

19 Sept  2004

Move boat Half Moon BayàMonterey

24-26 Sept. 2004

Expedition 1

8-10 Oct. 2004

Expedition 2

15-17 Oct. 2004

Expedition 3

23 Oct 2004

Move boat Monterey à Half Moon Bay

24 Oct 2004

Move boat SFàHalf Moon Bay


The Cordell Explorer



Owner operator (since 1986): Dr. Robert Schmieder

42 ft. LOA, 15 ft. beam

Bunks for 5, others sleep on deck

Complete navigation, safety, galley equipment



Ø      Lines, anchors, ete. – Will be provided on the boat

Ø      Divers – Bring your own equipment

Ø      Remote sampling – Specialists bring your equipment

Ø      *** Inflatables (2) – We need to obtain use of these

Ø      *** Compressor – We need to obtain use of this

Operations for each 3-day expedition

Ø      Assemble Thursday evening at boat Monterey Harbor 6 PM for meeting

Ø      Depart Monterey Fri 6 AM

Ø      Operations on the bank 10 AM - 6 PM

Ø      Anchor at Pfeiffer Point 6 PM for night

Ø      Repeat operations Saturday

Ø      Repeat operations Sunday, except leave Pt. Sur 2 PM

Ø      Arrive Monterey Sun even 6 PM

Number of participants

Maximum number of all participants on any cruise is 15, including up to 12 divers. We will not attempt diving operations without at least 8 fully-qualified divers, two operational inflatables, a compressor, and at least one medical person (EMT) onboard. If there are not enough divers, it may be possible to still carry out some activities, but this will be at the discretion of the group and the Expedition Leader.


Divers will plan dives, debriefing, processing samples, refill tanks, cleanup. Nondivers are expected to provide support for the diving operations, and divers are expected to help with non-diving research operations (remote sensing, sampling, etc.). Everyone is expected to help with maintaining a clean and safe boat, preparing food, etc.


This cost has been calculated on a non-profit, cost-sharing basis. The fee per person per 3-day expedition will be $150. This includes:


Ø      Boat

Ø      Food

Ø      Equipment

Ø      Slip rental in Monterey.


The fee will be due on Sept. 10 for all expeditions. It is not refundable, unless the expeditions are cancelled (see below). Participants who sign on for all 3 expeditions can reduce their total by $50 (i.e., total $400). If you can provide an inflatable or the compressor, you can reduce your fee by $50 per trip.


The fees to participants are not refundable. In particular, if the participant withdraws, or if the weather prevents diving or any other planned operations, or if the participant decides to not dive, or similar events, no refunds will be given.


However, if the required minimum number of participants cannot be obtained, or if the operations appear sub-threshold for safety or other substantial reasons, Cordell Expeditions may elect to cancel the entire project. In this event, any payments made by participants will be returned in full.




The Expedition refers to the entire project, including meetings, voyages, media, and other activities. Cordell Expeditions is the “owner” of the Expedition.


Expedition Leader

Dr. Robert Schmieder will be Expedition Leader. He will have the authority to approve participation, set requirements, oversee operations, and terminate any activity deemed unsafe or inconsistent with the goals and policies of the Expedition.


Boat operations

The boat skipper (Robert Schmieder) will have responsibilities for all operations on the boat, and will have the authority to terminate any operation deemed unsafe.


Dive operations

Jeff Bozanic will act as divemaster. He will have authority to approve divers, conduct dive operations on the Bank, and terminate any operation deemed unsafe.


Safety and emergencies

The medical officer will have authority to terminate any activity deemed unsafe, and will assume executive authority during any emergency.



Photographs, film, and video will remain the property of the photographer. However, The Expedition will have the right to copies of any or all images for scientific use.



All biological and other specimens will be the property of the Expedition.



All participants will sign a mutual waiver of liability.


Entire expedition

Participants are signing on for an entire 3-day expedition. There can be no boarding or departing between the times the boat leaves Monterey and returns.



Guests are welcome during the meetings, but during the expedition there can be no guests. All persons onboard the vessel are considered members of the expedition and are expected to participate in the full range of activities.