The coral reefs of the Maldives
It had always been my intention, on the completion of my explorations of the atoll and coral regions of the Pacific, to make an expedition to the Maldives, the only great group of atolls I had not visited, and which promised interesting results ; the coral reefs of the Maldives differing radically, according to the charts, from every region I had examined. 1 We spent part of December, 1901, and January, 1902, in exploring the Maldives. The steamer “Amra,” chartered from the British India Steam Navigation Company, proved a most serviceable vessel for examining the coral reefs of the Maldives. 3 She was commanded by Captain William Pigott, R. N. R,., who proved himself a most careful navigator among the maze of atolls through which we steamed for over sixteen hundred miles. Both he and the officers of the “Amra” showed the greatest interest in the objects of the Expedition. Captain Pigott took charge of the sounding machine, and himself superintended all the soundings we took (more than eighty in number) ; he became exceedingly skilful at this work. Several of the deeper soundings were taken successfully under most trying circumstances. The ” Amra ” was equipped with a deep-sea Lucas sounding machine built for me by the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company of London. The machine differs radically from the American type of sounding machine developed by Captain Sigsbee with which I was familiar, and which I had in commission on all my former expeditions. 1 This is the last of the series of monographs I shall publish on Coral Reefs, and I hope, as soon as practicable, to give a resume and connected account of the results obtained during my expeditions to all the important coral regions of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. 2 A sketch of the work of the Expedition was published at Colombo in the “Observer,” January 29, 1902, and in the American Journal of Science for March of the same year.