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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/465

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A MARINE BIOLOGICAL LABORATORY.

buildings lying across the harbor to the southwest about four miles from Kingston. It is a seaside resort for Jamaicans of leisure, and a more attractive and suitable spot about the harbor could not have been chosen. In the rear of the village Salt Pond Hill rises abruptly to a height of one thousand feet or more, and upon its highest point are the ruins of an old stone fort known as "Rodney's Lookout." From this position a glorious view of the surrounding country is obtained. Here, in the early days of pirates and buccaneers. Admiral Rodney had his stronghold, whence he could look out upon the harbor and sea and detect the approach of enemies.

From the veranda of our laboratory we had a grand view of Kingston Harbor, in which the entire fleet of the English navy might anchor with safety. Following the low, sandy beach to the left we see the fishermen's hamlets and old Port Augusta. Across the harbor the city of Kingston appears in dim outline; and off to the right, upon the end of the "pallisadoes" protecting the harbor, lies old Port Royal, which was nearly destroyed by the earthquake of 1603. To the southeast the harbor opened out into the deep waters of the Caribbean Sea. The beautiful landscape stretching out thus before us was completed by the Blue Mountains, which formed a dark gray background. The highest point of the range is Blue Mountain Peak (7,560 feet). It appears in bold relief above the range, twelve miles east of Kingston, Two years ago some of our party made the ascent of the mountain. They encamped on the peak overnight, and enjoyed the rare luxury of soft beds of tree-fern leaves improvised for the occasion. The location of our laboratory offered many facilities for biological research. Numerous coral reefs, mangrove swamps, and salt ponds were all within an hour's sail from our port. Good opportunity for study is also found on land. The hills in the rear and the broad valley of the Rio Cobre, not far away, are stocked with land crabs, lizards, termites, scorpions, and the like. Bird life is not so abundant as we had anticipated, but to a botanist the flora of Jamaica offers a most attractive field for study.

By those who are acquainted with the coast of Jamaica, Port Henderson is thought to be the most suitable location on the island for a permanent marine laboratory. It offers many advantages for study of life in tropical waters; its collecting grounds and its facilities for "towing" and "dredging" are next in value to those of the Gulf Stream. The location is in the immediate vicinity of Kingston, whence the temporary wants of the party may be readily supplied. It is also in direct communication with New York and Liverpool by steamer and cable. With a view, then, of locating a permanent laboratory for promoting the study of marine biology, a plan is at present being considered by promi-