Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/463

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449
A MARINE BIOLOGICAL LABORATORY.

NOTES FROM A MARINE BIOLOGICAL LABORATORY.
By Prof. WILLIAM S. WINDLE.

FOR the past fifteen years it has been customary for the members of the Biological Department of the Johns Hopkins University to devote the summer vacations to pursuing their studies on the seashore. "The Johns Hopkins Marine Laboratory," as the organization is called, is under the direction of Prof. W. K. Brooks, and has been confined to no permanent location, but has been moved from place to place as the wishes of those interested demanded. Many seasons were spent in studying animal forms found in waters of the Chesapeake Bay. For a few years the laboratory was stationed at Beaufort, N. C. Then Green Turtle and Biminy Islands of the Bahamas were chosen as stations for biological research. Finally, the organization went so far south as the island of Jamaica. The site of the present marine laboratory is Port Henderson, Jamaica, where it was located two years ago. To secure best results in research upon embryonic forms, our party set out early for the sea. With full equipment for the laboratory we boarded the steamer Ryvingen and sailed down the Chesapeake Bay en route for the West Indies. The voyage was uneventful for the most part. After the lighthouses and white sandy hills of the Eastern Shore had disappeared beneath the horizon, we continued our course steadily to the southeast, with little to entertain us but occasional schools of flying fish and the flock of "Mother Carey's chickens" which followed our boat all the way. Large jellyfish and ctenophores floated by occasionally. On the fourth day out we passed Watling's Island, or San Salvador, and other smaller islands of the Bahamas. Next day we rounded the eastern coast of Cuba, and by using the captain's field glass could easily determine the characteristic features of the island. Its mountains appear quite high and rugged in the interior, and they slope rapidly by foothills and broad terraces down to the sea. The shores of Cuba afforded us our first glimpse of cocoanut palms, banana and sugar-cane plantations. It was a beautifully clear and starry night when we sailed into Windward Passage. The gray mountains of Cuba outlined against the northern horizon were slowly fading from view, when the crescent moon arose out of the waves in the east. The north star hung low, and in the south the Southern Cross appeared to us for the first time. With such new and charming surroundings we spent the evening very delightfully on deck. Not the least interesting was the phosphorescence in the waves and spray. Each crested wave, as it receded from the bow, seemed alive with hosts of glowing fireflies. It was a grand sight to watch the turbulent,