A method and apparatus for recording acoustical and seismic signals at the ocean bottom with minimal noise. A seafloor seismic recorder couples geophones to the water bottom, stores the seismic data, and is retrievable. The device is comprised of a chassis, a ballast ring, an electronics control package, a geophone package, a buoy means, and a leg extension means. The geophone package is disconnectably connected to the portion of the control package housing, so that the geophone package can remain coupled to the seafloor, when the control package and chassis rise toward the surface for a short distance. The buoy means permits the ballast ring and geophone package to become embedded in the sediment upon impact, and allows the chassis, geophone package, and control package to rise to the surface upon release of the ballast ring. Leg members can be partially extended to cause the chassis and control package to rise toward the surface for a short distance, to isolate the geophone package from the control package and chassis during recording operations.