National Geographic : 1898 Mar
COMPLETION OF THE LA BOCA DOCK MR F. W. NORRIS, Hon. Editor of the Viking Club, London: One week in Cornwall, 1895. Three weeks in Scotland, Orkney, and Shetland, 1896. Two weeks in England, 1897. DR PHIL. VALTYR GUDMUNDSSON, Professorof Old Norse History and Liter ature at the University of Copenhagen: Direction of explorations in Iceland for four months, 1895. Five weeks in and near Cambridge, 1896. Ml THORSTEINN ERLINGSSON, Iceland: Four months in Iceland, 1895. REV. HENRY OTIS THAYER, Maine HistoricalSociety : Two weeks among old English ruins in Maine, 1896. SIR JAMES LIOINE, Past President of the Royal Society of Canada: Di rection of researches near Quebec, 1896. MR C. C . WILLOUGHBY, Peabody Museum, Cambridge: Two days on Cape Cod, 1897. MR W J McGEE: Advice, criticism, and encouragement, both in Wash ington and Cambridge for over four years. COMPLETION OF THE LA BOCA DOCK In a recent report to the Department of State, Consular Clerk Murphy of Colon announces the completion of the La Boca dock, the Pacific terminus of the Panama canal. The real importance of the work at La Boca, says Mr Murphy, remains to be demon strated. The tide fluctuation at Panama amounts to over 25 feet, and at the lowest ebb the bottom of the sea is exposed for a mile or more from the shore. As to whether or not vessels will venture to use the La Boca dock, time alone will prove. Mr Murphy says he has heard the opinion expressed that the dock will prove to be a complete success. On the other hand, he has heard it even more confidently stated that this is only another example of the waste which has characterized the management of this apparently simple undertaking. To one traveling .across the isthmus, he says, it appears th't there can be no obstacle to the completion of the canal which money, honestly used, engi neering skill, and common sense cannot easily overcome. The land is mostly level, the highest point being little over 300 feet above the sea. The distance is only about 45 miles. The freshets of the river Chagres seem to be the only difficulty, and it ap pears that provision for the storage or escape of such water can be made. The work, if it were in American hands and under American control, could, Mr Murphy believes, be completed in a few years at moderate cost. About one-half of the work-14 miles at the north end and 6 miles at the south-has been com pleted or partially completed, though the freshets of the Chagres river have caused great damage during years of neglect.