Ocean observatories are changing the way oceanographers go to sea. The rapidly evolving field of ocean optics is producing new technologies and analysis procedures that are contributing to this transition. Optical oceanography is now moving beyond the slow-boat approach of stopping to collect discrete profiles and water samples for later laboratory analysis. These traditional methods often require filtering of discrete samples or even solvent extractions, which are time consuming and challenging to use when at sea. Older submersible spectral radiometers had slow scanning speeds, requiring the instrument to be held at constant depth while taking a measurement.