A marine seismic exploration method and system comprised of continuous recording, self-contained ocean bottom pods characterized by low profile casings. An external bumper is provided to promote ocean bottom coupling and prevent fishing net entrapment. Pods are tethered together with flexible, non-rigid, non-conducting cable used to control pod deployment. Pods are deployed and retrieved from a boat deck configured to have a storage system and a handling system to attach pods to cable on-the-fly. The storage system is a juke box configuration of slots wherein individual pods are randomly stored in the slots to permit data extraction, charging, testing and synchronizing without opening the pods. A pod may include an inertial navigation system to determine ocean floor location and a rubidium clock for timing. The system includes mathematical gimballing. The cable may include shear couplings designed to automatically shear apart if a certain level of cable tension is reached.