Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/467

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nent biologists at home and abroad for establishing an " Inter- national Marine Biological Station " at the place above named. It is sincerely hoped that the preliminary steps taken in this direction may lead to the establishment of the much-needed in- stitution on American shores.

The building which we called our " Marine Laboratory " was a large, one-story stone structure, known as the " Sister Houses." It was light, airy, and comfortable, affording ample room for our party of seven. Each member of the company occupied a sepa- rate table, and upon this his microscope was placed, together with a varied collection of specimens, " preserving " fluids, dishes, scal- pels, etc., the whole forming a veritable " biologist's corner." In other parts of the building were our nets, buckets, jars, gun, and dredge, also books and chemical reagents, arranged as occasion and space suggested.

Our usual programme for the day began with early coffee and toast ; then we repaired to our sloop with nets, water glass, dredge, etc., and rowed out to the coral reefs or so-called cays. Landing on one of these, we waded about in water, varying in depth from tiny waves that rippled over the sandy beach to breakers whose white crests dashed over our shoulders, and filled our faces with salty spray. After collecting for two or three hours we would sail for port. One rule adopted for these expeditions shows the ease and freedom existing among the members of our party i. e., " No one is allowed to capsize the boat more than three times ; more than this is considered dangerous on account of sharks." The regulation was closely observed. When the laboratory was reached, the morning's collection was set aside for an hour, while all prepared for breakfast by taking a plunge into a large swim- ming pool near by. Our meals were served after the English cus- tom prevailing on the island, and were characterized by a large variety of tropical fruits and vegetables. The Ripley pineapples, No. 11 mangoes, and sapodillas were luscious fruits, but quite forgotten when we returned to the States and found American melons and peaches. After breakfast the remainder of the day was generally devoted to the study and preservation of the morn- ing's collection. After a lunch of fruits and limeade we fre- quently took walks over Salt Pond Hill or up the valley of the Rio Cobre, in search of termites, scorpions, centipeds, and lizards. Late in the evening was the best time for "' towing," although we often went out early in the morning. To do surface collecting we would row out upon the quiet bay about a mile from shore, then throw out two nets made of fine silk bolting cloth. These were tied by long cords to the stern of the boat, so as to drag near the surface of the water. The nets were carefully emptied into buck- ets of fresh sea water every few minutes. The " tow," or material

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